The main purpose of drug treatment is to stop use and seek for drugs, but as well to return in normal social and work life. A drug addiction is a chronic disorder, and very often drug user will occasionaly relapse (a recurrence of drug use). This leads to long term and not only one-time treatment. Regular monitoring and multiple intervention are very often part of long term treatment.

No one form of addiction treatment is best for all people – treatment works best when it’s matched to the needs and wants of the individual.

Some of the more commonly available types of addiction treatment programs include:

Private Counseling

Some people find working individually with a community based counselor or psychologist helpful in overcoming moderate substance abuse.

Support Groups

Community based support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), can be found. Research shows that people who maintain a participation in community addiction treatment after a period of primary care are more likely than those who don’t to maintain a successful recovery.

Residential detoxification

Specialty medical clinics (sometimes inside larger hospitals) offer nursing care and medication (Pic. 1) to those requiring stabilization during the initial withdrawal period. People dependent on alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates will often need a brief period of detoxification prior to entry into a residential or outpatient rehabilitation program.

Therapeutic communities

These long duration residential programs are best suited for people with long and severe histories of addiction, often people who have tried and failed at alternate addiction treatment programs in the past. Therapeutic communities consider a re-socialization necessary for complete recovery (like a child needs to learn how to live in the world – so to does a long using addict need to re-learn how to live without the use of drugs or alcohol) and so the community works, plays and lives together for treatment durations that can last for as long as 2 years.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Through CBT, patients learn to recognize how negative thoughts and behaviors can lead to unwanted outcomes and how correction of negative thinking can produced desired outcomes. CBT is one of the most proven techniques of effective addiction treatment.

Other therapies include family counseling, intensive outpatient programs, detoxification services, sober living houses, relapse prevention classes and contingency management.

Alternative treatments also can play an important complementary role in any addiction treatment program. Some of many alternative methods of addiction treatment include acupuncture, which is very promising method of drug treatment.


Acupuncture is one the most widely offered alternative therapies. Acupuncture advocates say that the ancient Chinese technique can ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce drug and alcohol cravings. 

Other alternative treatments include sweat lodge therapy, animal assisted therapy, yoga and meditation.

Drug treatment is very long process which require determination, patience, solid will and conviction to stop using drugs by an addicted individual.

Addiction is a brain disease. It changes the brain’s structure and function. Much of this change is reversible, but some is not. Some of these brain changes cause symptoms - like memory problems or poor impulse control - that make relapse very likely. Some medications help to feel better and function more normally during this initial recovery period and this reduces your relapse risk and increases the odds of a successful long term recovery.

Addiction treatment works but only if patient stick with it. A lot of people drop out of treatment early because they feel so sick or discouraged or because they can’t handle the cravings. 

Residential detoxification

Conventional detoxification methods such as methadone (an opioid used to treat both pain and addiction to other opioid drugs) and buprenorphine (an opioid used to treat opioid addiction, moderate acute painand moderate chronic pain) are effective in reducing illicit opioid use, but problems associated with their use, such as social resistance to the idea of “replacing one drug of abuse with another”and difficulties in tapering patients off the medication due to long-lasting withdrawal effects, make the search for alternative therapies important.


Acupuncture offer some advantages over existing pharmacological interventions: they are safer, have fewer side effects, and are less expensive. Since deteriorating health often accompanies long-term use of addictive drugs, pharmaceutical interventions with harsh side effects can be detrimental to the general health of long-term drug users. In contrast, acupuncture can enhance immune function and increase metabolism in organs necessary to fight infections and various acute and chronic illnesses. 

Although the definitive role of acupuncture in the treatment of drug addiction has yet to be established, its basic research and clinical data reviewed here justify further clinical trials to systematically examine the efficacy of acupuncture in treating various conditions related to drug addiction such as withdrawal symptoms, drug craving, anxiety, and depression. 

Group therapy

One of the single largest benefits offered by group therapy in drug treatment is the support from peers struggling with similar battles, and the sense of hope and encouragement that recovering addicts can transfer between each other as they jointly overcome their addictions.

Many addicts enter rehab suffering from a sense of isolation, and through the bond building process of group therapy, isolation leads to community and often friendship. Because all are compelled to participate, even members struggling with social interaction receive a forum of expression.

Group therapy sessions allow for a sharing of ideas and strategies for coping with the similar trials of withdrawal, addiction, temptation and recovery. Recovering addicts learn what strategies and techniques others use to overcome very similar feelings and temptations.


Relapse poses a fundamental barrier to the treatment of addictive behaviors by representing the modal outcome of behavior change efforts. For instance, twelve-month relapse rates following alcohol or tobacco cessation attempts generally range from 80-95% and evidence suggests comparable relapse trajectories across various classes of substance use. Preventing relapse or minimizing its extent is therefore a prerequisite for any attempt to facilitate successful, long-term changes in addictive behaviors.

When drug addict patients are highly motivated, there is high chance that they will recovery, even after lot of years of addiction. It is necessary to be actively engaged and receive intensive treatment services. It is possible to be fertile and conceive children and maintain normal social and family life.

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