What Is the Most Effective Drug Addiction Treatment?

Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2022

5 most effective drug addiction treatments

What is the most effective drug treatment
The most effective drug addiction therapies combine behavioral therapy and medications that are personalized to the patient's needs.

The most effective drug addiction therapies combine behavioral therapy and medications that are personalized to the patient's needs and, in the long term, avoid relapse. The finest treatments are tailored to the unique needs of each patient.

Numerous treatments are available to assist patients suffering from drug addiction, such as these five options:

  1. Medication
  2. Counseling
  3. Treating coexisting mental and physical health conditions
  4. Withdrawal treatment using technology (medical devices and applications)
  5. Preventing relapse in the long term

Drug addiction treatment strategies

These treatment strategies may be tailored to the following rehabilitation or detox programs:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation treatment
    • This is when a patient is temporarily housed in a rehabilitation institution.
    • Inpatient treatment can be beneficial for people who have serious addictions, lack a strong support system, and suffer from mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression.
    • They typically provide both individual and group therapy.
    • Patients who have previously relapsed may benefit from inpatient care.
  • Outpatient rehabilitation treatment
    • Not everyone needs inpatient therapy. Outpatient therapy is preferable for some people, such as those with strong family support.
    • Outpatient treatment, however, might be a second step for patients who have finished inpatient therapy.
    • Outpatient treatment does not provide round-the-clock care, but it ensures enough care and motivation to help the person get over the addiction.
  • Detox programs
    • Detox programs are beneficial because they help people safely detox from narcotics.
    • They are an excellent starting step for people suffering from mild to severe drug addictions.
    • These treatments can be very beneficial for people suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms.
    • They can taper down a patient's usage of medicine until their body can withstand not having drugs in it.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a chronic disorder that compels you to pursue and use drugs obsessively, even when they are harmful to your health.

  • The first time you take a drug may be by choice, but recurrent use can cause brain alterations. These changes reduce your self-control and make it more difficult to resist the desire to consume drugs. These brain changes might be difficult to correct or even permanent.
  • Even after years of abstinence from a habit, these changes may enhance the desire to relapse and use the substance again.

Drug addiction is treatable and manageable. Individualized treatment programs that treat co-occurring mental health illnesses and addiction can result in long-term recovery.


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5 important steps toward effective drug treatment

  1. Continuum of care:
    • Addiction treatment should encompass a comprehensive continuum of care. This method enables specialists to assist clients through multiple stages of treatment based on their specific needs.
    • Clients may begin therapy with intense inpatient treatment and detox before progressing to outpatient treatment and aftercare assistance.
    • Generally, a rehab clinic evaluates individuals to determine where they should start their recovery path. A client can be admitted once that determination has been reached.
    • Select a rehabilitation clinic that provides continuum care and employs evidence-based treatment.
    • This signifies that the center’s treatment plan is based on scientific research and study.
    • When treating individuals, research has reported that a combination of medication-assisted treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy is the most beneficial.
  2. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT):
    • Medication is one of the most common ways clients are treated for addiction. It can be beneficial when administered as directed by doctors, nurses, and clinicians.
    • Medications may:
      • Reduce the symptoms of withdrawal
      • Discourage the use of addictive substances
      • Treat coexisting mental health issues
  3. Talk therapy:
    • Individual and group sessions are both beneficial in rehabilitation and can assist clients to recover.
    • The fundamental goal of talk therapy is to provide patients with the tools they need to deal with environmental triggers and cravings without resorting to drugs or alcohol.
    • Individual therapy allows clients to discuss with their counselors and doctors about crucial issues that may have led to their addiction, as well as plan ways to avoid those situations in the future.
    • Group sessions are especially beneficial because they help participants form friendships and get support and motivation.
    • People observe that others are going through similar problems (or struggles) and gain new perspectives on the healing process.
    • Many friendships formed in group therapy last beyond rehabilitation and are critical for accountability during recovery.
  4. Cooccurring mental health disorders:
    • During the first assessment of a client, it may become clear to the physician that one or more co-occurring mental health disorders led to the development of addiction.
    • Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia are common examples of mental health disorders.
    • If a co-occurring disorder is present, the recovery clinic must be equipped to treat it alongside the addiction.
    • If depression or anxiety was a contributing component to the addiction and the mental health problem was not treated, there is a high likelihood of relapse. It is not uncommon for co-occurring disorders to be diagnosed alongside addictions.
    • The client has a good chance of success with integrated treatment that treats both the addiction and the client's mental health through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.
  5. Technology for long-term recovery:
    • The optimum therapy includes a combination of all the steps and treatments listed. However, one of the most crucial aspects of this process is providing patients with the tools they need to stay off drugs in the long run and avoid relapse.
    • When patients are being treated for addiction, they must communicate with their therapist via technology.
    • Therapists might send questionnaires to patients to see how they are doing: whether they have any side effects due to the medications and what kind of assistance they require at the time. This benefits both the patient and the clinician.

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Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2022
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National Institutes of Health. Treatment approaches for drug addiction drug facts. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

Cleveland Clinic. Drug Addiction. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16652-drug-addiction

Help Guide. Overcoming Drug Addiction. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/overcoming-drug-addiction.htm