Drug addiction is a treatable disorder. Through individualized treatment, people can gain the strength and will power to overcome the addiction to drugs. This treatment may include: counseling, support groups such as NA, psychotherapy, and various medications to help suppress the withdrawal syndrome.
The purpose of this treatment is to sustain a lasting abstinence, but the immediate goal is to reduce the patient’s use of drugs. Today, there currently exist several types of treatments for drug addiction: Short-term residential methods, medicated therapy, outpatient drug-free treatment, and therapeutic communities.
Short Term Residential Treatment
Short-term residential treatment involves a 3 to 6 week inpatient phase ending with outpatient therapy. The outpatient therapy, through the 12-step program, often includes support groups such as: Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.
Outpatient drug-free treatment utilizes clinic visits rather than the use of medications. This program is for those who have relatively stable and well-integrated lives, with the exception that they abuse drugs. For opiate abusers, this type of maintenance therapy is not recommended.
Therapeutic communities are residential programs. Patients reside in a residence between 6 to 12 months. This treatment is encouraged for those whose abuse have driven patients to create criminal acts or become highly introverted due to the addiction. The goal of this treatment is to create a drug-free, crime-free, and secure social environment.
Methadone, a potent synthetic narcotic drug, C21H27NO, that is less addictive than morphine or heroin and is used as a substitute for these drugs in addiction treatment programs. Methadone programs are usually more successful with patients that have an opiate dependence. The best results come from programs that also provide counseling and medical care.
Drug addiction can have a serious impact on the abusers life and those around them. If you or someone you know abuses drugs, contact your local Narcotics Anonymous organization for help.
Started in 1947, Narcotics Anonymous sprouted from the Alcohol Anonymous movement in the early 1940’s. Based in Los Angeles, California, NA nearly holds twenty thousand meetings a week in over sixty countries. A pamphlet called, “the White Booklet,” describes Narcotics Anonymous as “a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem . . . recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.”
Much like its predecessor, Narcotics Anonymous derived much of its success from a similar twelve-step program. Similar to A.A. meetings, people meet and are encouraged to share their personal experiences with one another and to guide each other towards a solution.
The program encourages its members to participate with complete abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol. Studies have shown that by observing strict abstinence, members are more likely to succeed in dealing with his or her addiction.
If you are interested in joining NA, the only requirement to join is that you “have a desire to quit.” Please contact your local NA organization if you or someone you know currently struggles with an addiction to drugs.