Is There a Cure for Drug Addiction?

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Is there a cure for drug addiction? There is no cure for drug addiction, but it is a treatable disease; drug addicts can recover. Drug addiction therapy is a program of behavior change or modification that slowly retrains the brain. Through treatment tailored to individual needs, people with drug addiction can recover and lead productive lives. The immediate goals are to reduce drug abuse, improve the patient's ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of drug abuse and addiction. The ultimate goal of drug addiction treatment is to enable an individual to achieve lasting abstinence by changing their behavior and adopting a more healthful lifestyle.

Untreated substance abuse and addiction add significant costs to families and communities, including those related to violence and property crimes, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, healthcare utilization, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care and welfare costs, reduced productivity, and unemployment.

An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed often and modified to meet the person’s changing needs. Recovery from drug addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment, including "booster" sessions and other forms of continuing care.

What does treatment consist of?

Treatment consists of a combination of the following:

  • Detoxification
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies that help patients engage in the treatment process, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. Behavioural therapy also seeks to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to abuse drugs.
  • Medications that can be used to help re-establish normal brain function and to prevent relapse and diminish cravings throughout the treatment process.
  • Medical management of withdrawal syndrome
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness

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Case Study

Jane is in her final year of secondary school and is addicted to alcohol.

Form two groups:Group 1 and Group 2

Group 1 discusses the following: What kind of future does Jane face if she does not go into treatment?

Group 2 discusses the following: What kind of future does Jane face if she decides to undergo treatment?

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If you were faced with an addiction problem what would you do? Give at least three reasons for your answer.