The treatment options explained below can help you overcome an addiction and stay drug-free.
Chemical dependence treatment programs
Treatment programs usually offer:
- Individual, group or family therapy sessions
- A focus on understanding the nature of addiction and preventing relapse
- Levels of care and settings that vary depending on your needs, such as outpatient, residential and inpatient programs
The goal of detoxification, also called "detox" or withdrawal therapy, is to enable you to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible. For some people, it may be safe to undergo withdrawal therapy on an outpatient basis. Others may need admission to a hospital or a residential treatment center.
Withdrawal from different categories of drugs — such as depressants, stimulants or opioids — produces different side effects and requires different approaches. Detoxification may involve gradually reducing the dose of the drug or temporarily substituting other substances, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
As part of a drug treatment program, counseling — also called talk therapy or psychotherapy — can be done by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed alcohol and drug counselor with an individual, family or group. The therapist or counselor can:
- Help you develop ways to cope with your drug cravings
- Suggest strategies to avoid drugs and prevent relapse
- Offer suggestions on how to deal with a relapse if it occurs
- Talk about issues regarding your job, legal problems, and relationships with family and friends
- Include family members to help them develop better communication skills and be supportive
Many, though not all, self-help support groups use the 12-step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Self-help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, help people who are addicted to drugs.
The self-help support group message is that addiction is a chronic disorder with a danger of relapse. Self-help support groups can decrease the sense of shame and isolation that can lead to relapse.
Your therapist or counselor can help you locate a self-help group. You may also find support groups in your community or on the Internet.
Dec. 05, 2014
- Family checkup: Positive parenting prevents drug abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/family-checkup. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Weaver MF, et al. Substance use disorder: Principles for recognition and assessment in general medical care. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Substance-related and addictive disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Information about NA. Narcotics Anonymous. http://www.na.org/?ID=ResourcesforProfessionals-content. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- For those in treatment. Narcotics Anonymous. http://www.na.org/?ID=ResourcesforProfessionals-content. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Commonly abused drugs chart. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-drugs-chart. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Commonly abused prescription drugs. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-prescription-drugs-chart. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Drug facts: Understanding drug abuse and addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Akram Y, et al. Family-based interventions for substance misuse: A systemic review of systematic reviews — Protocol. Systematic Reviews. 2014;3:90.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://www.psychiatryonline.org/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Alcohol and drug addiction happens in the best of families. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Alcohol-and-Drug-Addiction-Happens-in-the-Best-of-Families/SMA12-4159. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Intervention — Tips and guidelines. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/for-friends-and-family/intervention. Accessed Aug. 19, 2014.
- Karpyak VM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 27, 2014.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 23, 2014.
- Synthetic drug threats. National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/synthetic-drug-threats.aspx. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
- DrugFacts: Spice ("Synthetic marijuana"). National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/spice-synthetic-marijuana. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
- DrugFacts: Synthetic cathinones ("Bath salts"). National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts. Accessed Sept. 19, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.