People can recover from addiction. Effective treatments are available.
The first step on the road to recovery is recognition of the problem. The recovery process can be hindered when a person denies having a problem and lacks understanding about substance misuse and addiction. The intervention of concerned friends and family often prompts treatment.
A health professional can conduct a formal assessment of symptoms to see if a substance use disorder exists. Even if the problem seems severe, most people with a substance use disorder can benefit from treatment. Unfortunately, many people who could benefit from treatment don’t receive help.
Because substance misuse affects many aspects of a person’s life, multiple types of treatment are often required. For most, a combination of medication and individual or group therapy is most effective. Treatment approaches that address an individual’s situation and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric and social problems can lead to sustained recovery.
Medications are used to control drug cravings and relieve severe symptoms of withdrawal. Therapy can help addicted individuals understand their behavior and motivations, develop higher self-esteem and cope with stress. Other treatment methods may include:
- Therapeutic communities (highly controlled, drug-free environments)
- Outpatient programs
Many people find self-help groups for individuals (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous) as well as their family members (Al-Anon or Nar-Anon Family Groups) useful. Depending upon a number of factors, including the individual’s age, the nature and severity of the abuse or addiction, and the presence of any co-occurring conditions, the optimal treatment for abuse or addiction may include inpatient and outpatient therapy, and continued participation in a 12-Step support group.
Treatment for addictions may include the following therapies and techniques:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- 12-Step education
- Relapse-prevention instruction
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Biofeedback & Neurofeedback
- Medication management
- Anger management
- Recreation therapy