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What Are the Different Types of Drug Addiction Treatment?

Group counseling is one approach to helping with addiction.
A drug addiction counselor may help those struggling with alcoholism.
A heroin addict's treatment may begin with a detox period and shift to methadone.
An inpatient drug rehab center has specialists on call at all hours of the day and night.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Drug addiction treatment comes in many forms, and recovering addicts can access one or more of these to make success more likely. Treatment types include utilizing psychotherapy or the services of a drug and alcohol counselor as a main resource. Other people benefit from group counseling in the form of expert led or peer led groups; the latter includes programs like Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.). Additional drug addiction treatment comes from being admitted to hospitals to first tackle the issue of detoxing from a drug and then to use a variety of inpatient teaching and support methods so that when patients resume their lives they are less likely to use drugs again. There are also specific programs designed for certain types of drug addiction, and these may use drug replacement such as methadone.

Some recovering addicts find they prefer to handle the issue of drug addiction privately, and provided they are able to survive detoxing from drugs, they may only want support from a private therapist or drug and alcohol counselor. Since such isolation may promote backsliding, this isn’t always a good stand-alone choice. Many therapists and counselors strongly encourage the use of some form of group therapy concurrently, and such group programs are also sometimes used alone.

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The advantage of using both methods together can be the ability to look for signs of any mental illness that might have contributed to drug abuse. A number of addicts have a dual diagnosis and are addicted to substances while having illness like depression; the illness fuels the addiction and vice versa. Having two interventional areas to tackle drug addiction can discover this possibility and may result in more effective treatment.

Many start drug addiction treatment with hospitalization that includes time to detox from drugs. At this point, drug replacement with products like methadone could occur for those addicted to substances like heroin or some people use outpatient clinics for this. Drug addiction treatment in hospitals can last a week or two, several months, or a year, depending on treatment plan, patient’s ability to pay, and other factors. These programs can be life-saving for people who are unable to quit on their own. When patients finish drug treatment in hospitals, they typically continue to work with counselors or other professionals on the outside and will have a counselor and/or attend approved group meetings.

It is difficult to end addiction alone, and in some cases it is physically unsafe to quit the use of a drug cold turkey without medical support. Those wanting to end a drug problem are strongly advised to look at available options and determine what would best help, and also to seek the advice of a physician to decide what is safest. As already stated, most recovering addicts use a combination of methods, since one drug addiction treatment alone may not be adequate.

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