Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How can medications help treat drug addiction?


Did you know that there are medications that can be prescribed by an addiction specialist to supplement your counseling treatment plan? There are safe ways to medically detox on an outpatient basis and use medications to combat cravings and discomfort. Part of our program's success is having a doctor who specializes in addiction who closely monitors patient's progress and physical needs. The goal of our program is not to keep you on medication forever, but to assist with the process of tapering off drugs and alcohol and achieve a life of health and balance. The processes of medical management and tapering are very individualized. Call today and find out more about how we use addiction medicine in outpatient treatment.

How can medications help treat drug addiction?

Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse.

·       Treating Withdrawal. When patients first stop using drugs, they can experience a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, as well as restlessness or sleeplessness. Certain treatment medications are designed to reduce these symptoms, which makes it easier to stop the drug use.

·       Staying in Treatment. Some treatment medications are used to help the brain adapt gradually to the absence of the abused drug. These medications act slowly to stave off drug cravings and have a calming effect on body systems. They can help patients focus on counseling and other psychotherapies related to their drug treatment.

·       Preventing Relapse. Science has taught us that stress, cues linked to the drug experience (such as people, places, things, and moods), and exposure to drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Medications are being developed to interfere with these triggers to help patients sustain recovery.

Find out more in this booklet from the National Institute of Drug Abuse called Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.