Treatments are available to help counter the powerful effects of addictions. Research shows combining addiction treatment medications with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success. Treatment can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug misuse. We can tailor treatment to your:
Drug addiction can be managed successfully. This is similar to other chronic, relapsing diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease. And like other chronic diseases, it isn’t uncommon for a person to relapse. Relapse, however, doesn’t mean your treatment failed. It means you should reinstate or adjust your treatment. Or that you need an alternative treatment to help you regain control and recover.
Research* indicates the following continue to impact the health of service members:
use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
high levels of alcohol intake
illicit drug use
misuse of prescription drugs
* The 2008 DOD Survey of Health Related Behaviors Among Active Duty Military Personnel
Principles of Drug Addiction
Scientific research has shown treatment can help you stop drug use, avoid relapse, and successfully recover your life. Based on this research*, there are 13 fundamental principles for effective drug misuse treatment.
* The National Institute on Drug Abuse's Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
Drugs alter the brain’s structure and how it functions. This results in changes that persist long after you stop using drugs. This may help explain why you’re at risk for relapse even after long periods of not using.
Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to your particular problems and needs is critical to your success.
Because you may be uncertain about entering treatment, treatment must be available the moment you are ready. Potential patients can be lost if treatment isn’t readily available.
To be effective, treatment must address your drug misuse. But also, your medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.
The appropriate duration for you depends on the type and degree of your problems and needs. Research indicates you need at least three months in treatment. This is to significantly reduce or stop your drug use. The best outcomes occur with even longer durations of treatment.
Behavioral therapies vary in their focus. These may involve:
addressing your motivations to change
building skills to resist drug use
replacing drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities
improving problem solving skills
facilitating better interpersonal relationships
For example, methadone and buprenorphine are effective in helping you reduce usage of heroin or other opioids. If you’re addicted to nicotine, a nicotine replacement product (like patches or gum) or an oral medication (buproprion or varenicline), can help.
You may need varying combinations of services and treatment components during treatment and recovery. In addition to counseling or psychotherapy, you may need:
social and legal services
A continuing care approach may provide the best results, with treatment intensity varying according to your changing needs.
Drug misuse and addiction are mental disorders. They often occur with other mental illnesses. If you have one condition, you should be assessed for others. And when these problems occur, treatment should address all of them. This includes the use of appropriate medications.
Detoxification can safely manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal. But it alone is rarely sufficient to help you stop using long-term. You should continue drug treatment following detoxification.
You may get sanctions or enticements from:
Family or friends
The criminal justice system
These can be effective. They can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and your ultimate success.
Knowing your drug use is being monitored can be an incentive. It can help you withstand urges to use drugs. Monitoring also provides an early indication of a return to drug use. This may show a need to adjust your treatment plan.
Targeted counseling can help you focus on reducing infectious disease risk. Treatment providers should encourage and support HIV testing. They should inform you that highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has proven effective in combating HIV.