Addiction. New Treatments and Strategies

Things you didn't know about Drug Dependency

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2017

5 Pages, Grade: 1.0


Treatment for Addiction

- Drug Addiction/Dependency

Drug arrests are common in most parts of the world with at least a quarter of the population locked up in America have committed and been arrested because of drugs. Despite the efforts by most governments to fight drugs the use rates remain steady over years. Many countries continue to spend huge amounts of money on war on drugs for security reasons and for a healthy population. Drug prohibition in many countries has left some drugs legal and others illegal such as marijuana and opium. Drug treatment is quite costly and demanding as those receiving treatment are required to remain in treatment for some time for treatment effectiveness. The process may involve multiple courses of treatment to attain success.

In 2009, approximately 23.5 million persons in United States aged 12 and above needed some form of treatment for drug or alcohol abuse problems. Unfortunately, only 2.6 million roughly 11.2 percent of this population received treatment at a specialty facility. Alcohol abuse records highest (41.4 percent) admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities followed by heroin and other opiates (20 percent) followed by marijuana (17 percent) (Treatment Statistics, 2011).

- Treatment for Addiction

Treatment for addiction basically follows three main stages; early (beginning), middle (action), and late (end) stage treatment. Early treatment stage is the beginning of addiction treatment that involves a brief explanation of the session, personal introduction of the health practitioner and setting goals and illustrating expectations of the session (Tusaie & Fitzpatrick, 2012). Treatment strategies focus on achieving abstinence and managing cravings. The middle treatment stage involves actions taken to achieve the set goals of the session. Clients are made to recognize the effect of their addiction and how it hinders them from achieving life goals. They get guidance and assistance on ways to help abstain from the substance and find healthy substitutes. Lastly, in the late treatment stage the entire session of treatment is summarized and recommendations provided. At this stage clients are likely to minimize intake of substances as they focus on ways to maintain abstinence.

Treatment involves a number of basic principles that govern effective drug treatment. They include accurate assessment which is essential in diagnoses of substance abuse disorders, creation of a treatment plan based on the severity of the problem, involvement of family, friends, or relatives for support purposes, build of relationships of trusts between the addict and therapist, and treatment programs should recognize cultural differences in their approach. Additionally, continuing care services such as relapse prevention and follow-up plans should be provided for the addicts (, 2013).

- Principles of Effective Treatment

1. Addiction is complex

Addiction tends to be a complex but treatable disease affecting brain functioning and behavior of an individual. Drug abuse alters how our brain functions resulting in changes that persist in an individual’s life long after drug use has stopped. This could be the reason why drug abusers are at risks of relapse after long periods of abstinence and potentially devastating outcomes (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

2. There is no single addiction treatment

Addiction/dependency treatment varies depending on the drug type and patient’s characteristics. It is critical to match treatment interventions and services to a person’s specific problems and needs. This is essential for the patient to achieve ultimate success and become productive and meaningful in the family and society (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

3. Treatment should be readily available

Readily accessible or immediately available treatment services enhance patient treatment. People should take advantage of the available services when an addict is ready for treatment. Inaccessible treatment services may hinder potential patients from receiving treatment when they are willing to. Additionally, earlier treatment increases the chances of positive outcomes (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

4. Effective treatment should attend to an individual’s multiple needs, not just drug abuse

In order for addict treatment to be effective, it must address the addict’s drug abuse as well as any associated psychological, medical, legal, and social problems. It is significantly important to ensure that the treatment is age appropriate and consider s an individual’s sex, ethnicity, and culture (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

5. Treatment requires adequate time

An individual is required to remain in treatment for some time depending on the type and level of his problems and needs. Many researchers feel that addicted individuals should remain in treatment for at least three months to significantly change their behavior by reducing or stopping their drug use. However, the best outcomes of treatment occur with longer durations. Recovery from drug addiction often requires multiple episodes of treatment that might include reinstating or adjusting treatment in case of a relapse. Strategies to keep patients in treatment are essential since some individuals leave treatment prematurely that increases chances of relapse (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

6. Behavioral therapies and medication are essential in addiction treatment

Behavioral therapies are the most used forms of addict treatment. They vary in focus and may involve a number of activities to help maintain abstinence such as motivation to change, replacing drug-using activities with meaningful and rewarding activities and providing incentives for abstinence. Medication combined with counseling and behavioral therapies is a significantly important element of treatment for many addicts. Medication such as methadone and buprenorphine help heroin addicts stabilize their lives and significantly reduce their drug use. Oral medication such as varenicline can be helpful in treating nicotine addicts (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).

7. Treatment plans must be assessed and modified when necessary

An individual’s treatment plan should be continually assessed to ensure that it meets the patient’s changing needs. This is because a patient may require different combinations of treatment and services during treatment and recovery. He may also require medication, family therapy, and vocational rehabilitation services. A continuing care approach is essential as it leads to best results with varying treatment needs depending on an individual’s changing needs (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012)

8. Drug addicts should be assessed for other mental disorders

Many drug addicts tend to have other mental disorders, therefore, should be assessed for effective treatment that addresses the addiction and any mental disorders present. Addiction and mental disorders often co-occur, therefore, patients should be assessed for other conditions for effective treatment plans. Also, treatment programs should tests addicts for infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and provide them with targeted risk-reduction counseling (Principles of Effective Treatment, 2012).


Excerpt out of 5 pages


Addiction. New Treatments and Strategies
Things you didn't know about Drug Dependency
Mount Kenya University
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ISBN (eBook)
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473 KB
Drugs, Addiction, Sickness, Mental Health, Dependency, Marijuana, Opium, Heroin
Quote paper
Business Administrator Mutinda Jackson (Author), 2017, Addiction. New Treatments and Strategies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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