Treatment of Addiction

Addiction is a treatable condition. The first phase of treatment from is withdrawal from the problem substance/activity. There are both physical and psychological effects that occur when substance-taking stops, including such physical signs as nausea and vomiting, chills and sweats, muscle cramps and aches, sleeplessness, shifts in heart rate, even fever. Emotional effects include depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Withdrawal symptoms typically last three to five days. While they are rarely life-threatening, medical supervision is usually provided in residential treatment programs, and medications may be given to ameliorate the acute discomfort of withdrawal.

Behavioral therapy and counseling are important elements of treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to help patients identify, avoid, and cope with situations in which they are most likely to abuse drugs or activities. The technique of motivational interviewing is often employed to remind people of their values, as a way of avoiding use. Family therapy may be provided to help the patient maintain a supportive environment and improve family functioning.

Rehabilitation programs are often needed to help patients regain necessary job and other skills.

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