Substance abuse is disruptive to all areas of an addicts life and health; as a result drug treatment incorporates many components, each directed toward a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Despite beginning as a voluntary choice, drug addiction is characterised by compulsive drug craving which persist despite severe consequences.

Drug exposure has damaging effect on the brain, altering an individual’s learning, memory, motivation receptors and inhibitory control, compromising any ability to operate successfully and self-regulate.

The chronic nature of the disease and complex chemical dependency mean one cannot simply stop using drugs. In fact, most addicts require a degree of medically monitored assistance to detoxify physically and mentally.

Depending on the addict’s drug use and psychological stability, treatments will vary dramatically to  achieve abstinence.

Therapy in Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment must assist the individual to stop taking drugs and move them in the direction of a drug-free life. After detox, psychological and social factors become powerful stimuli which put addicts at risk of relapse without a good treatment plan. Post treatment plans can consist of self-help groups, aftercare and/or therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy, family counselling, and psychotherapy will all promote sobriety as well as treating mental health conditions contributing to drug abuse. The goal of therapy,  is to bring an addict back to a productive, functioning place in the family, at work, and in society. The decisions a recovering addict makes after treatment will set the stage for the freedom from drug abuse they will likely achieve.

What happens after drug treatment

The role of a drug treatment program is to assist an addict in physically stopping drug use and to prepare them for leading a sober life. Staying sober within a treatment facility can be easy, but the challenge of a life sober rests with the individual. This is why it’s important for an addict to accept they had lost control of their ability to regulate substance use. No one need be alone in recovery, and a strong support system in sobriety will certainly be worth its weight in gold; but the decision to continue to seek help and stay sober is an independent one. Drug addiction is something which is never cured; no length of sobriety will render someone incapable of relapse. What treatment offers are the tools necessary for an addict to live without drug use, and the ability to live life with a sense of self determination and freedom.