There are many methods for the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. Treatment will vary according to factors such as: type of drug(s) used, level and duration of addiction, and individual personality characteristics. The treatment of addiction has scientific approaches, including behavioral (counseling, cognitive therapy, and psychotherapy), medicinal, or a combination of both. Many addicts believe they can quit using without professional treatment. Unfortunately, long term recovery and abstinence are rarely achieved without the assistance of licensed professionals.
Behavioral therapy focuses on coping skills to deal with the “cravings” and prevent relapses, as well as therapeutic treatment based upon factors such as race, gender, income level, parenting, physical or sexual abuse, and living environment which play a significant role in the formation and treatment of addictive behaviors. Medicinal treatment focuses on detoxification for the physical side, and the use of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and neuroleptics, when patients have mental issues, such as anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.
The physiological effects on the brain and changes in brain function due to long term or heavy drug abuse have been known to persist even after the cessation of use. Additional post treatment therapeutic and medical assistance may also be necessary, even critical in some cases. The goal of drug addiction treatment is to heal the patient of their addiction, and help them return to a functional productive state of being. Resolution of the aforementioned issues as well as any criminal, work, social, and personal/family issues, so the patient can return to life as normal, and continued aftercare to avoid and deal with relapses should they occur, are essential to treatment and help ensure a lasting recovery.