Maintaining drug therapy
Addiction is usually thought to be a compulsive physiological and psychological disorder characterized by the need and use of an addiction-forming substance, by the growing tolerance to this substance and by the presence of the well-defined symptoms of withdrawal in case of cessation using the drugs. Therefore addiction treatment and recovery from drug addiction can be defined as a process of returning to a normal, healthy state and maintaining a drug free life afterwards.
Effective and successful drug addiction treatment must include not only detoxification and treatment of mental dependency on drugs, but also a maintaining drug therapy aimed to fixation of achieved positive result from drug detoxification and mental addiction treatment with the help of combinations of medications and behavioral therapies.
Maintaining drug addiction therapy
Maintaining therapy must be readily available, matched to individual's needs and last for an adequate period of time to ensure its effectiveness. Usually it takes about 12 months of out-patient treatment, during which the maintaining therapy should be reviewed and revised to suit the patient’s evolving needs.
Psychoactive medications, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, antianxiety agents combined with long term Naltrexone protection are crucial for reliable drug addiction treatment success. Access to the abused substances must be monitored with the help of regular drug tests.
Counseling and behavioral therapy are also very important components of maintaining treatment. Behavioral therapies help patients to participate in a long process of recovery from drug addiction; eleborate strategies for coping with craving for drugs; show the ways to avoid the drugs, as well as, help people to improve their communication skills, family relationship and parenting skills. They also help the relapsed patients to deal with the situation if such occurs.
Due to work on different aspects of addiction, combinations of behavioral therapies and medications appear to be more effective than either approach used alone.
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