How is Drug Addiction Treated?
Drug addiction is treated with multiple approaches to ensure a successful lifelong recovery. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder. Chronic disorders like addiction require long-term behavioral changes and monitoring symptoms throughout recovery. You need to stop using drugs, address underlying issues causing addiction, learn coping skills to prevent relapses, and build a social support system.
Medically Supervised Withdrawal Management (Detox)
The first step toward recovery is ridding your body and mind of the harmful chemicals from substance abuse, commonly called “detoxification” or “detox.” Many drugs cause physical dependence, meaning that you might feel “off,” edgy, or uncomfortable during detox. These unpleasant feelings are called withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms vary in severity from mildly uncomfortable to life-threatening. Opioids and alcohol generally cause the most severe withdrawal symptoms.
During medically supervised withdrawal management, you get the medical care you need during the detox phase of recovery. Withdrawal management helps you deal with the unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms occurring after you stop using drugs. These symptoms are usually temporary. Most people need about one to two weeks for withdrawal management.
Common withdrawal symptoms from drug abuse include:
- Fever and muscle aches
- Sweating, chills, and clammy skin
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Feeling low or rundown
- Sleep disturbances
- Drug cravings
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Stomach cramps
- Depression and anxiety
- Hallucinations and delusions
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Withdrawal Management
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help manage severe withdrawal symptoms. MAT combines medications and behavioral therapy for comprehensive withdrawal management. You might struggle to focus during treatment if your withdrawal symptoms and cravings are unmanageable. MAT can take the edge off of withdrawal symptoms so you can focus on your recovery.
Opioids like heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. During opioid detox, you might have strong urges and intense cravings to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing from opioids without professional supervision can put you at a high risk of relapse, overdose, and accidental death.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following medications for opioid use disorder:
Residential Drug Rehab
Residential drug rehab can keep you safe from relapse with 24/7 supervision and support. Most residential treatment programs last about 30 to 90 days. Residential treatment helps you begin therapy for underlying mental health concerns, develop coping skills, learn relapse prevention strategies, and start building a healthy lifestyle for long-term recovery.
There is no cure for drug addiction. However, you can treat your symptoms and cravings to recover from addiction. Drug rehab facilities such as our Vermont treatment center offer a variety of options for you depending on the severity of your addiction, the quality of your support system, and your home environment.