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What is Drug Addiction Treatment Like?

Drug addiction in the U.S. accounts for 8.1 percent or roughly 21.7 million people, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. As a chronic disease, addiction can be challenging to treat, but once someone realizes it has gotten out of control, or a loved one intervenes, they may start seeking treatment. 

Discover what drug addiction treatment is like in today’s blog.


Addiction Treatment

There are various types of drug addiction treatments available for people to consider, and depending on the severity and length, it can range from short-term to on-going treatment. The goal is not only to get an addict clean but to change their lifestyle, so they stay clean for life. This includes detoxing, counseling, rehabilitation, self-help groups, and, if needed, medication. 

Let’s go further into what drug treatment is like for the mild to severely addicted.



The most unpleasant but necessary first part of treatment includes detoxing, meaning clearing a substance from the body, and reducing withdrawal reactions. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), states that for around 80 percent of cases, a treatment clinic will use medications to help with withdrawal effects, minimizing the symptoms a person experiences.

A person addicted to more than one substance often needs medications to help reduce withdrawal symptoms for each one.


Counseling & Behavioral Therapies

The most common form of treatment after detoxing is counseling and behavioral therapies to help the person with their mental and emotional health. Therapy may include individual or family involvement, depending on the individual’s needs. In the beginning, treatment is invasive, with the number of sessions gradually decreasing over time as symptoms improve.

Types of therapy include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people recognize and change their ways of thinking with the association of substance use
  • Multidimensional family therapy designed to help improve family relationships around a teen or adolescent with a substance-related disorder
  • Motivational interviewing that maximizes an individual’s willingness to change and adjust behaviors
  • Motivational incentives, which encourages abstinence through positive reinforcement

The goal of counseling is helping people change behaviors and attitudes around using a substance, along with bolstering life skills and supporting other treatments.


Rehabilitation Programs

These programs, whether short or long-term, can be highly effective against substance-related and addictive disorders. They typically focus on staying drug-free and ensuring the person can resume function within social, professional, and family relationships. 

Rehabilitation programs can include hospitals, rehab centers, or in-patient treatment centers, highly individualized, and offering various methods of treatment. All of the above can be done in a recovery treatment center, with other treatment elements, depending on the programs offered.


Self-Help Groups

Group therapies can help someone going through treatment feel like they are not alone and serves to boost determination and motivation while reducing feelings of isolation. They offer a useful source for information and education, as well as a sense of community. Some self-help groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). People can search online for groups or ask their doctor in their community.



As stated above, some people may need medication to help reduce withdrawal symptoms; this may need to be taken regularly while recovering from drug addiction and in preventing relapse. Taking medication should be in conjunction with other management methods, including psychotherapy. For those with alcohol withdrawal, medications may include Naltrexone, Acamprosate or Campral, Disulfiram, or Antabuse. Each of these medications does different things in helping combat cravings and symptom withdrawal.


Call Ardu Recovery Center

Treatment for drug addiction begins with calling a recovery treatment center and asking questions and gathering information. As a center that focuses on the whole person in treatment, we are here to speak with you about you or a loved one’s addiction or substance abuse disorder. Please get in touch with our staff today to schedule a consultation and begin getting your life back.