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Drug Abuse Recovery

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. A Growing Need for Drug Abuse Treatment
  3. Comprehensive Treament
  4. Drug Abuse Recovery Treatment Options
  5. Treatment Methods
  6. Additional Drug Abuse Recovery Tools
  7. Inpatient Treatment and Recovery
  8. Getting Help Today

Recovery is possible  effective addiction treatment can result in profound, positive changes in the brain.

Recovery is possible – effective addiction treatment can result in profound, positive changes in the brain. Image Source: NIDA Publication: Drugs, Brain and Behavior

Drug abuse and addiction can quite literally destroy lives. The prevalence of drug abuse is of epidemic proportions in the United States. In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 23.9 million people, age 12 and up, had used illegal drugs in the month prior to taking the survey. Modern research shows that addiction isn’t a matter of moral failing but rather a recurring disease that requires treatment. Those struggling with drug abuse and addiction issues can find the help they need to sustain their sobriety in dedicated recovery programs.

A Growing Need for Drug Abuse Treatment

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 8 million people required treatment for a drug abuse issue in 2012 yet only 1.5 million received the care they needed at a specialized treatment center. While drug abuse and addiction are rampant problems in the United States, people aren’t getting the professional help they need to get well.

Oftentimes, individuals may be reticent to seek care for fear of the social stigma attached to addiction. Modern research continues to support the belief that addiction is a chronic disease, similar to other recurring diseases like diabetes, which must be managed with long-term care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that addiction causes actual changes in the brain that lead to self-destructive and dangerous behaviors. With regular drug abuse these changes can also alter communication pathways and the way the brain experiences pleasure. Per NIDA, certain drugs can cause two to 10 times more dopamine – a natural “feel-good” neurotransmitter – to be released than can be released naturally. As a result, the brain and body aren’t able to experience pleasure in the same way without drugs. Since the individual continues to return to drugs to experience pleasure, it often doesn’t take long for an addiction to take hold. While addiction cannot be “cured,” it can be effectively controlled with proper care.

Drug addiction indiscriminately affects people of all ages and walks of life.

Drug addiction indiscriminately affects people of all ages and walks of life.

Drug addiction strikes people at any age and in all walks of life. There are no accurate stereotypes for someone addicted to illegal or prescription drugs or alcohol, but there is hope for people who find themselves struggling with a substance abuse problem. By calling (800) 943-0566 today, you can start getting help for yourself or a loved one.

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 1

Comprehensive Treament

In order to effectively address issues of drug abuse and addiction, it’s important that treatment is comprehensive, addressing the underlying reasons that led to the substance abuse in the first place. While detox removes the substances from the physical body, it is not treatment in and of itself, according to NIDA. Detox must be followed by a progressive treatment program that includes individual and group therapy, as well as an aftercare program, to provide recovering addicts with support once they exit formalized treatment.

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 2

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 3

Drug Abuse Recovery Treatment Options

Drug recovery is extremely difficult to achieve alone. It generally takes a group effort supported by medical and clinical personnel. Most people requiring drug recovery need a highly structured setting with accountability, and support that could include:

  • Group and individual counseling
  • Medically assisted treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Holistic or complementary & alternative medicine programs
  • Supervised drug detox and withdrawal

Many, but not all, alcohol and drug recovery programs utilize the well-tested 12-step program. The 12-step program, in combination with quality drug recovery treatment, creates a strong foundation towards long-term recovery. Combining the above therapies with effective after-care programs has had a profound effect on the rate of relapse occurrences.


Credit: Howcast

When you call the national hotline at (800) 943-0566, you'll be connected with a treatment support operator who can help you decide what sort of treatment facility might be best for you. Some will opt for local treatment, while other people find that choosing a center far from home is preferable, as it removes the temptations of their normal environment.

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 4

Treatment Methods

Reputable drug abuse recovery programs will utilize evidence-based therapies that address the destructive thoughts and behaviors that lead to substance abuse. If the root causes behind the substance abuse aren’t addressed then the likelihood of relapse is great. Cognitive behavioral therapy, commonly known as CBT, and dialectical behavior therapy, known as DBT, are often used to reform damaging thought patterns and manage emotional responses, helping patients to lead more balanced lives.

Depending on the degree and type of addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues that may be at play, medications are sometimes employed in addiction treatment programs. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have been abusing opiate drugs, such as prescription painkillers or heroin, for an extended period of time may need to be on a maintenance medication, such as methadone or buprenorphine, in order to safely wean off the illicit drug. For various addictions, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be utilized in both the detox and therapeutic portions of the treatment program. When prescribed and overseen by a doctor, these medications can help to regulate moods as the individual returns to a sober life in recovery.

Complementary therapies, such as massage, equine-assisted therapy, may augment more standard drug abuse counseling approaches.

Complementary therapies, such as massage and equine-assisted therapy, may augment more standard drug abuse counseling approaches.

Various complementary therapies, such as adventure therapy, equine-assisted therapy, or massage therapy, may be included in drug abuse treatment programs; however, specifics will vary according to the facility in question and the therapies that appeal to the individual and their treatment team. The most important aspect of care is that treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific situation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery, per NIDA; it’s imperative that care is customized according to the individual and their progress in recovery.

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 5

Lastly, talk therapy is a treatment method that is used in one form or another in nearly all rehab facilities. Frank and open discussion about your mental health issues is an enormously therapeutic activity. In group sessions, drug addicts have the opportunity to create meaningful friendships. These friends can provide much-needed support during moments of weakness. Individual therapy with a trained psychologist can help you see and understand the causes of your addiction. When you more fully understand your triggers and cues, you can develop effective strategies for maintaining sobriety for the long haul.

Drug Abuse Recovery Quiz question 6

The toll-free Drug Abuse Helpline at (800) 943-0566 can assist you in finding a drug abuse recovery program that meets your individual needs. Call today for a free, confidential analysis and the treatment information you’re looking for. Our staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you take the steps to a successful recovery.

Additional Drug Abuse Recovery Tools

A number of effective drug abuse recovery tools are available for those seeking treatment. For instance some programs may incorporate meditation techniques. Meditation has a calming effect on people, and helps them find balance and become more aware of their feelings.

As mentioned, some drug abuse recovery programs incorporate holistic approaches and exercise programs like yoga. Yoga practices go hand in hand with meditation techniques and helps drug abuse patients relax and gain focus on their recovery issues.

In addition art therapy and music therapy is used during drug recovery as a technique that allows individuals to "communicate" deep-seated feeling through creative expression.

Each drug abuse recovery program is different and every program will show you how a certain technique will help minimize the need for drug use. These drug abuse recovery tools will help you find alternative ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and other unmanageable and self-destructive behaviors.

Don’t let an addiction destroy your life. Seek drug abuse recovery help today. Contact our confidential, toll-free Drug Abuse Helpline at (800) 943-0566. Our treatment support staff are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Credit: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH)

Inpatient Treatment and Recovery

Many inpatient (both short and long-term) drug recovery programs are treated in therapeutic residential settings. Services provided include:

  • Professional staff of physicians, nurses, therapists and support staff
  • Detoxification services
  • Careful monitoring of the physical consequences associated with drug recovery
  • Treatment of psychological affects
  • Medical monitoring
  • Identification and treatment of dual diagnosis conditions
  • Aftercare plan

A drug recovery program’s primary goal is to help individuals attain a permanent and total abstinence from drug use. It emphasizes the fact that recovery depends upon utilization of all the skills attained to achieve a long lasting recovery. The combination of a relapse prevention plan, alumni support and aftercare provide individuals with the necessary skills to maintain their recovery.

Getting Help Today

contactNo matter how long you have taken drugs, recovery is always possible. Simply call the hotline at (800) 943-0566 today and you can begin returning to a healthy, fulfilling life. If you're calling on behalf of a loved one, be sure that they're ready to make a change. Recovery is a bold step, requiring commitment and determination. However, the strength to end drug addiction and embrace health is within everyone.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.