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The Use of Medications During Substance Abuse Treatment
Medications can be very helpful during detoxification for substance abuse because it helps to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. It's important to understand that medically assisted detoxification alone is just the first step in the treatment process. Research shows that when a patient goes through medically assisted withdrawal and doesn't receive any further treatment, their drug abuse patterns are similar to individuals that were never treated at all. In order for treatment to be successful, patients need to follow up with treatment when the detoxification process is completed.
When medications are used during treatment this helps to reestablish a person's normal brain function. Using medications during treatment also helps to decrease cravings and prevent relapse. Research continues every day looking for non-addictive or less addictive yet effective medications that are helpful during treatment for all drugs of abuse.
- Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are medications that can be used for treating opioid dependence such as heroin or morphine addiction.
- Medications like naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram are approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence.
At this time there is no medication that been approved by the FDA for the treatment of cocaine addiction but researchers continue working hard in order to develop a medication that will help with this addiction.
Medications used during detoxification and substance abuse treatment are extremely useful especially when combined with behavioral therapy. Medications are very helpful with easing withdrawal symptoms during detox and minimizing cravings during treatment and recovery because it helps patient focus on understanding their addiction, changing behaviors, and learning helpful positive skills that aid them in their recovery.
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