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What are the Different Types of Drug Addiction Treatment?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

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.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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