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What is drug addiction treatment?

Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating addiction. Drug treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management), medications, or their combination. The specific type of treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the types of drugs they use.

In 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimated that nearly 22 million people at least 12 years of age needed substance abuse treatment.1 Drug abuse treatment plans not only help addicts detoxify in a safe environment but also assist them through all stages of the recovery process.

Various treatment methodologies are employed in the treatment of drug abuse and addiction issues. When admitted to a rehab facility, a treatment plan will be devised for the individual addict. Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it’s essential that treatment is tailored to the unique individual as there is no finite treatment that will work for everyone.

The individual’s history of drug abuse, severity of abuse, physical and mental health, and personal traits should be taken into account when developing the treatment plan. Likewise, the plan should be altered throughout the recovery process according to the individual’s progress in treatment.

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