Addiction is a very common struggle for many Americans and many people across the entire globe. It is an epidemic that is eating away at individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. Addiction can come in many forms and there are many things that an individual can become addicted to. Addiction is not limited to simply drugs and alcohol. There is a plethora of various addictive behaviors that can hinder a person’s existence as well as those around them.
The first thing that we should all remember about addiction is that it can happen to anyone, and these people need our love and support more than anything else. It can be easy to cut an addict out of our life when it has gotten to a certain point, but sometimes these people do need outside intervention and, more than anything, they need to know that they have a good support system of people around them who care. There are many different kinds of treatment for addiction ranging from twelve step programs to intensive inpatient therapy. Specific addiction treatments have been divided into two categories which are pharmacotherapies and behavioral therapies. Here are some of the evidence based pharmacotherapy approaches to drug addiction treatment:
- Pharmacotherapies for opioid addiction – Methadone is the longest standing and most effective pharmacotherapy for opioid addiction. It is a long lasting synthetic opioid that can help to reduce the intense and dangerous symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It can also block the effects of various elicit opioids. This type of treatment is available in 47 states through licensed opioid treatment programs and/or methadone maintenance programs. Research shows that this method of treatment is more successful when it is combined with counseling as well as other psychiatric, psychological, medical, and/or social services.
- Pharmacotherapies for tobacco addiction – One pharmacotherapy for tobacco addiction is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). This can come in the form of a patch, spray gum, and lozenge. There are also medications that can be prescribed for smoking cessation like Chantix or Buproxin, which was originally prescribed as an antidepressant. Each of these pharmacological methods are recommended to be combined with behavioral approaches.
- Pharmacotherapies for alcohol addiction – This type of treatment also involves prescription medications. Some of the available medicines for alcohol addiction are Naltrexone, Acamprosate, Disulfiram, and Topiramate.
Evidence based behavioral therapies for addiction include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This kind of therapy has shown to be effective for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and nicotine addiction. The main focus of CBT is foreseeing likely problems and enhancing patients’ self-control through effective coping methods/stretegies.
- Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives (CM) – This behavioral treatment is effective for alcohol, stimulant, opioid, marijuana, and nicotine addiction. CM involves utilizing tangible rewards for positive and acceptable behavior like abstinence.
- Community Reinforcement Approach plus Vouchers (CR) – This method of treatment has been shown to be effective with alcohol, cocaine, and opioid addiction. CM involves utilizing tangible rewards for positive and acceptable behavior like abstinence. CR employs an 24 week intensive outpatient therapy.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy – This therapy is effective with alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine addiction. MET is focused on rapid and personally motivated change. It aims to resolve patient ambivalence towards abstaining from drug use and getting treatment.
- The Matrix Model – This treatment has been shown to be effective for stimulant addiction. The Matrix Model aims to enhance the therapist to patient relationship, making it more encouraging, trusting, and positive, in order to reinforce change of behavior.
- 12-step Facilitation Therapy – This behavioral approach is effective for alcohol, stimulants, and opiates. Most of us have heard of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which employ 12-step facilitation therapy. The main focus of this approach is to employ acceptance, surrender, and active involvement.
- Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) – This method aims to address, not only, problems with addiction, but also co-occurring disorders or problems as well. FBT involves the patient as well as at least one family member or significant other.
- Behavioral Therapies for Adolescents – Often times, treatment that have been examined with adults need to be changed or modified for adolescents. One such adolescent treatment is Multisystemic Therapy (MST). This method addresses antisocial behaviors that are common in teens who suffer with addiction.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, do not be afraid to reach out and get help. It could save a life.