About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Treatment for Drug Abuse

Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Jul 15, 2019
Font : A-A+

Treatment for Drug Abuse

Drugabuse treatment is intended to help addictedindividuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use.

Since drug addiction is usually a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. Drug addiction treatments include therapies such as counseling, addiction treatment programs and self-help group meetings that can help the individual to overcome the addiction and resist using the addictive drug again.


Counseling- It can help an addicted person to improve communication, relationship and parenting skills. This may be accomplished in individual, group or family sessions. Family counseling helps the addict in a better way in resisting the temptation to resume using drugs.

Treatment for Drug Abuse: Counseling

Behavioral Therapies- It can help motivate people to participate in drug treatments; develop ways to cope with drug cravings, suggest strategies to avoid drugs and prevent relapse, and offer suggestions on how to deal with a relapse if it occurs. Behavioral treatments help modify an individuals’ attitude and behavior related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills.

Self-help Groups- Since addiction is a chronic disorder with a danger of relapse, ongoing maintenance treatment; which may include medications, counseling and self-help group meetings is necessary to prevent a relapse.


Withdrawal Therapy- The goal of withdrawal therapy i.e. detoxification is to stop taking the addicting drug as quickly and safely as possible. It is only the first step in the treatment process. Detoxification involves gradually reducing the dose of the drug or temporarily substituting it with other substances that have less severe side effects.

Medications are used to help re-establish normal brain function and to prevent relapse and diminish cravings. Withdrawal from different drugs requires different treatment approaches-

  • Opioids (includes heroin, morphine, codeine, oxycodone etc.)- An artificial opiate, such as methadone or buprenorphine, may be substituted to reduce the craving for heroin during recovery. These drugs act on the same targets in the brain as heroin and morphine; thereby suppressing withdrawal symptoms and relieving cravings. Naltrexone is effective for some individuals with opiate addiction. It works by blocking the effects of heroin or other opioids at their receptor sites and should only be used in patients who have already been detoxified.
Treatment for Drug Abuse: Medications
  • Depressants (includes barbiturates, benzodiazepines etc.)- Gradually scaling back the amount of the drug and adding another medication to help stabilize the nerve cells during detoxification is helpful.
  • Tobacco- Various OTC formulations like patch, spray, gum, and lozenges can help nicotine replacement therapies. FDA has also approved the use of bupropion and varenicline for tobacco addiction. Both the medicines help prevent relapse in people trying to quit.
  • Alcohol- Three medications have been approved by the FDA for treating alcohol dependence- naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram. Also, topiramate, is showing encouraging results in clinical trials. Naltrexone acts by blocking opioid receptors that are involved in the rewarding effects of drinking and in the craving for alcohol. It reduces relapse to heavy drinking and is highly effective in some but not all patients. Acamprosate reduces withdrawal symptoms and is more effective in patients with severe dependence. Disulfiram interferes with alcohol degradation, resulting in the accumulation of acetaldehyde, which, in turn, causes flushing, nausea, and palpitations if the patient drinks alcohol.

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Vivekanand. (2019, July 15). Treatment for Drug Abuse. Medindia. Retrieved on Feb 07, 2023 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/treatment-for-drug-abuse.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Vivekanand. "Treatment for Drug Abuse". Medindia. Feb 07, 2023. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/treatment-for-drug-abuse.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Vivekanand. "Treatment for Drug Abuse". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/treatment-for-drug-abuse.htm. (accessed Feb 07, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Vivekanand. 2021. Treatment for Drug Abuse. Medindia, viewed Feb 07, 2023, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/treatment-for-drug-abuse.htm.

Do you wish to consult a Psychiatrist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Archana Pofale-mohare
Dr. Archana Pofale-mohare
7 years experience
Athshree Speciality Clinic, Tilak road, near cake studio , Pune
+ 1 more
Dr. Padma S
Dr. Padma S
MBBS, DPM, Certified Sleep Coach, Behavioral Sleep Medicine - Mini-Fellowship, Mindfulness Facilitation Training
14 years experience
Dr. N K Tak
Dr. N K Tak
12 years experience
Mann Neuro Psychiatric Clinic, Patrakar Colony, Jaipur
Dr. Sandesh Pasumarthy
Dr. Sandesh Pasumarthy
7 years experience
Jharmari, Near park hospital , Jharmari
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.



The information is good,simple and direct to the points,highly educative.but what are date of publication,especially reference purpose


THE EFFECTS ON THE SOCIETY Drugs and alcohol can cause effects on the society like:- illness… As a result of all these abuse of drugs in our planet earth today, there are so many economical problems as it can lead to mental illness like psychoses or neurological illnesses. From Engr. Spark Victory Ovadje 2347060834856


what about the social causes eg peer pressure


my daughter is intreatment as of this letter.she is a drug abuser of all drugs and she told me that she was born with an addicted personality.dont't we all have some kind of addiction be it coffee,video games etc?my probelm understanding this comment from her is that she used the drugs time and again,but had she never did these drugs,she would not have this addiction?


Hi, Drug rehab centers facility can be defined as unrestrained substance intake. It is uncontrolled substance consumption over a long period of time. Drug rehab centers facility may result in withdrawal tendencies and can lead to various mental as well as physical problems. It also places the drinker at risk of accidents, arrests, poor job performance or other social problems. It can create kidney and liver damage and high blood pressure and even heart disease. It can also bring about depression and in some cases lead to death. Studies indicate that over 100,000 people die in the United States per year of substance-related causes. The craving that a substance abuser feels for substance can be as strong as the need for food or water. A substance abuser normally continues to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems that he / she is facing. Substance addicts normally show few early signs and symptoms of substance abuse. ========= julie Problem With Drugs or Alcohol? This Drug Rehab has Helped Thousands of Individuals to Recover. Drug Rehab

Recommended Reading
Health Topics A - Z
Drugs for Drug Abuse
What's New on Medindia
Quiz on Zinc
Is Your House Making You Sick?
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close