Mental Health Awareness: The Experts’s Top Five Treatments For Substance Abuse Disorder

Drug addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is a chronic disease marked by uncontrollable drug-seeking that adversely affects a person’s mental and physical health condition. Addiction to substances such as alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine is also categorized under the umbrella of drug addiction by medical health professionals. These degrading changes in the brain can have a life-long impact on users. 

For many, the path to drug addiction starts with experimental or recreational use, but there could be a number of other factors that lead people down this road. The chance of developing a drug dependency and how fast that dependency progresses varies largely by the type of substance in question. For instance, painkillers with opioids in them have a higher risk of causing addiction than many other types of drugs.

Treating substance abuse addiction is possible, but it’s not an easy venture by any means. A lot of people will seek help only once their addiction spins out of control and problems start to arise, both for them and the people around them. Fortunately, our medical community has successfully come up with many effective ways of treating these problems, some of which have been discussed below. 

Prescribed Medications

Doctors can prescribe several forms of medicines, both natural and allopathic, to patients seeking drug addiction treatment in a bid to re-establish normal brain functions and a healthy lifestyle. These days, nearly all kinds of drug addictions can be treated with medicinal courses, including opioid, alcohol, and nicotine addiction.

Medicines used during the course of this treatment target the areas of the brain which are involved in the rewarding effects of consuming opioids. Although they work differently, all medications are aimed at reducing drug-seeking behaviors and any other related negative tendencies, so patients can open to behavioral treatments. These medications are typically administered after the patient has successfully completed their detoxification phase. 

Behavioral Counseling

Behavior counseling has helped modify the attitudes and behavioral tendencies of drug addicts with a high rate of success in the past. They are meant to incorporate and reinstate healthy life skills into the lives of patients under careful moderation. Outpatient behavioral treatment supports a wide array of programs for patients who are seeking health counseling related to drug addiction. 

In severe cases, family members of patients are advised to opt for inpatient or residential treatments, which offer intensive care and guidance to patients around the clock. For patients seeking rehab, Hollywood Florida – as well as other major cities across the globe – offers facilities that can apply extensive behavioral counseling sessions in their staple programs. Each has shown remarkable success over the years.

Medical Devices and Applications

Medical devices can be used to control cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat any other side effects during treatments. They are usually engaged while the patients are undergoing detoxification to suppress their withdrawal symptoms. For instance, the NSS-2 bridge (which was approved by the FDA in November of 2017) is one such electronic stimulation device.

It is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms of patients suffering from opioid addiction. These medical devices are used in unison with a fusillade of other medications by doctors to undertake present and post-treatment measures for patients. Patients with chronic addiction may be subjected to heavy doses of these medicines, while others are able to recover without their help. 

Evaluation for Mental Health Issues

Depression and anxiety are some of the more commonly comorbid mental health conditions in those who struggle with substance abuse. For example, one scientific study found that around a third of adults who have a substance use disorder also suffer from depression.

Qualified health professionals can conduct a series of tests to evaluate patients for any such underlying mental conditions while they are in for addiction treatment. Depending on the nature of mental issues and the threat imposed by them, doctors will either choose to treat these conditions first or simultaneously along with other treatments. 

Long Term Follow-Up to Prevent Relapse

In order to recoup a healthy lifestyle and avoid relapse, a long-term strategy is heavily advised. Especially in the most severe cases of substance addiction, doctors will periodically need to follow up with their patients. In doing so, they will be better able to monitor their progress or look for any signs of relapse. 

However, the responsibility isn’t exclusively on the doctor. Patients must also be compliant and stick to their treatment plan and avoid high-risk situations, especially if it brings back their cravings. Ultimately, the chances of someone staying in a drug-free remission are much higher if they diligently follow the course of action laid out by their doctors and guidance counselors.