The first step in drug addiction treatment involves pinpointing what exactly makes the patient want to use drugs. Drug abuse may have been a misguided tool for protecting oneself from a traumatic experience or a way to cope with loss. It is important to find out what circumstances or thought patterns lead to cravings so that the patient and therapist can work together to manage them in a healthy manner. Individuals will learn how to resist and even counter their urges with confidence and a positive self-perception.


The most essential part of drug addiction treatment is the elimination of any trace of the abused substance from the body. This may be a gradual procedure or it may happen overnight; the addiction to certain drugs, like heroin, often require substitute substances to assist the patient in the detoxification process. The end goal is to have a refreshed, drug-free body.


Detoxification may be done on an out- or in-patient basis, depending on the type of addiction and the situation of the patient. However, different drugs present different withdrawal effects, from anxiety and nausea to vomiting and diarrhea.


There are several different types of therapy that may be implemented in drug addiction treatment. Two of the most effective include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Group Therapy.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy combines the approaches of cognitive therapy with those of behavioral therapy. The therapist will attempt to identify negative thought patterns that may influence an individual to use drugs and teach the patient how to overcome those feelings. The patient will learn to live a drug-free life by following a personal, detailed regimen.


Group Therapy provides an opportunity for those who are undergoing drug addiction treatment to share their feelings and develop supportive relationships with each other. This reduces feelings of isolation that patients may experience, for they are presented with evidence that they have social support.


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