There are many approaches when it comes to treating drug addicts. Some patients are treated with medication and some may need detoxification. The first important thing while deciding the treatment for drug addiction is to identify the root cause of addiction. Some addicts may be suffering from other addictions, mental disorders and physical illness as well. After finding out the cause of addiction, the treatment plan is devised to eliminate or curb the root cause of addiction. Next important thing guiding the treatment process is the extent and degree of addiction in the patient. It helps to decide, which treatment approach will be suitable for the addict.

The optimal mix of medication and behavioural therapy is considered as one of the best treatment approaches. The treatment may start with detoxification. Detoxification is a process in which through medication and complete abstinence of drugs body is freed from any drug residue in it. Then patient is treated for other mental or physical disorder through medicines or behavioural therapy. One of the most important aspects of treatment for drug addiction is prevention of relapses. An addict is highly prone to relapses through urge of just one shot. It is natural that some patients may suffer episodes of relapse. They need continuous treatment, so that these episodes decrease and ultimately stop. Patients also require follow ups to check their improvement. Let’s check how each component of treatment helps in getting rid of addiction.


Medicines are required in different phases of treatment and help in different aspects of treatment too. Medicines help in suppressing the withdrawal symptoms as well as treatment of different related physical and mental problems. They are used to restore the brain functioning so that urge for drugs lessens and ultimately addict is freed from it.


Medicines are used to control withdrawal symptoms. Every addict suffers withdrawal symptoms after being deprived from drugs. During detoxification, addicts have to follow complete abstinence of drugs, which could trigger withdrawal symptoms. Some addicts may have bearable withdrawal symptoms and some may suffer from fatal withdrawal symptoms. It depends on degree and extent of the addiction and body’s dependence on the drug. Thus patients are prescribed with medication to check withdrawal symptoms along with detoxification.


Medicines are also used for treatment of other physical and mental problems associated with addiction. They also help in restoring brain function to get addict free of his addiction. Medicines are used to lessen the urge for drugs and preventing relapse episodes. There are medicines available for treatment of some addictive drugs such as opioids like heroin and morphine and tobacco or nicotine. These medicines suppress the desire for addictive drugs and help in keeping the treatment on track.


Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is used for correction of attitudes and behaviors related to drug addiction. It helps the addict to develop healthy life skills. Patients are treated with counselling on individual basic or a group of similar addicts. There are many approaches of behavioural therapy.

Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy

It helps patient in identifying, avoiding and coping with situations leading to drug addiction.

Multidimensional Family Therapy

It tries to address the problem of addiction by improving overall family functioning.

Motivational Therapy

It assesses readiness of addicts for treatment and offers positive reinforcement to encourage addicts to get rid of addiction.

Residential Treatment

Residential programs are also used for some addicts. These programs such as therapeutic community allow the patient to live in an environment, which is quite helpful in getting rid of addiction problems. Generally patients with long histories of drug addiction are referred for these programmes.