Substance abuse has been a societal problem as far back as humans have recorded history. In modern times, there are more drugs than ever before. This provides more opportunities for substance abuse. People from all walks of life are becoming drug abusers and in need of help. However, due to the social stigma and fear of pain in recovery, entirely too many drug abusers avoid seeking the treatment they desperately need.
Fortunately, modern medication has provided effective options for recovering from substance abuse issues. While recovering from drug abuse will not be a walk in the park, medication has both reduced the pain of reaching recovery and minimized social stigma associated with doing so.
A Revolution in Drug Abuse Treatment
Recent advancements in drug abuse treatment have greatly reduced the stigma associated with seeking help. In the past, in order to receive any sort of drug abuse treatment medication, the abuser would have to visit a treatment facility. While this is still the standard for many cases, medication has provided an alternative solution.
The first revolutionary change in the world of drug abuse treatment was altering the classification of drug addiction from a social problem to a medical problem. This made access to treatment much easier for those seeking help. Instead of having to suffer the stigma of being a drug abuser that often accompanied a long term stay at a facility, certain abusers were able to receive medication to help them stop using.
This reclassification paved the way for modern advances in medication for drug abuse. For example, Suboxone, a medication prescribed for painkiller and heroin addiction, has greatly assisted those seeking treatment it becoming clean.
Perhaps the biggest change is that drug abuse treatment medication is now much easier to obtain for those in need. Any family doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe most treatment medications, making helping those in need easier than ever before.
Other Methods of Medication Usage in Drug Abuse Treatment
While some people are able to lead a clean life thanks to medication from a family doctor, other patients still must check into a drug abuse treatment facility to receive comprehensive care in order to fully recover. This type of care typically involves counseling, medication and life coaching. Medication is a helpful tool in this process as well.
The first step of any type of recovery effort is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms vary based on the substance or substances being abused. Withdrawal symptoms range from uncomfortable, to painful, to life threatening. As the patient withdraws from drug abuse, the body and mind both struggle to re-establish themselves.
Making use of the right medications help assist this process by minimizing physical pain and helping balance out mental functions. While withdrawal will still be difficult, especially for serious cases, it won’t be nearly as painful as drug abusers going through withdrawal in the past.
Making it through withdrawal is not enough on its own, however. In fact, The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that abusers who only make it through withdrawal and receive no further treatment are likely to show the same abuse patterns as those who never try to quit. That is why treatment must follow withdrawal.
Medication can help provide the long term treatment required to establish a healthy, clean lifestyle. Various types of medications are used depending on the substances that were abused. The goal of most of them is to help reduce drug cravings and restore the body and mind to a healthy state.
Anyone experiencing drug abuse issues now has more solutions than ever before. Medication is a helpful tool on the road to lasting recovery.
- Colette Bouchez, New Prescriptions for Addiction Treatment, http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/new-prescriptions-for-addiction-treatment
- DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction, DrugAbuse, September 2009, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction