Over time, certain drugs, such as cocaine, alcohol, heroin, and opium, can become addictive. An addict craves the drug both physically and mentally, which can lead to self-destructive behaviors. There is not just one single form of drug abuse treatment that effectively works for every addict. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 13,000 drug abuse treatment centers in the United States that offer specialized treatments for drug and alcohol addiction. In addition, addicts can receive professional assistance through individual physicians and mental care experts.
One approach to drug abuse treatment is through medically managed withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause physical pain, or in some cases, death. Medically managed withdrawal allows a physician to prescribe drugs to help alleviate the addict's discomfort while the addict's body cleans itself. Managed withdrawal by itself is typically not an effective drug abuse treatment. In order for the addict to recover, the addict will have to commit to another form of drug abuse treatment.
Long-term residential treatment is a highly regimented form of drug abuse treatment that lasts six to 12 months and includes patient care all day and every day. This form of rehab focuses on changing behavior patterns using the physicians, the treatment center's staff, and other residents to help with the process. In addition to forming more positive, effective forms of behaviors, long term residential treatment may offer other services such as opportunities to pass high school equivalency tests, to attend community colleges, and to get job training.
A short-term residential drug abuse treatment program is intense, but of a shorter duration than long-term residential treatment. After treatment, addicts participate in a 12 step program based on the 12 step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. These 12 step programs can include Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Pills Anonymous.
Drug addicts have a number of other options to get drug abuse treatment. These options include group therapy with other addicts, individual therapy in conjunction with a 12 step program, or outpatient treatment programs. Outpatient treatment programs offer a number of services ranging from education about drugs and the effects that drugs can have on the human body to regimented day treatments.
Addiction can also affect the addict's family members. Family members may need help breaking their own behavior patterns such as enabling or trying to rescue the addict. These members may also need mental health treatment or the support of groups such as Al-Anon or Atateen.