Types of PharmacotherapyAntimetabolites, Antimitotics, Antitumor Antibiotics, Asparagine-Specific Enzymes, Biosimilars, Bisphosphonates, Chemotherapy, DNA-Damaging Agents (Antineoplastic) and Alkylating Agents. The main interventions available for substance use disorders include drug therapy, behavioral therapy, and participation in support groups. The use of behavioral therapies is the most common form of intervention performed on people with substance use disorders followed by medication use. In addition, social support groups offer long-term opportunities for people in recovery to stay focused on their commitment to living a sober life.
Patients may use medications to help restore normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for the treatment of opioid addiction (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol. Scientists are developing other drugs to treat addiction to stimulants (cocaine, methamphetamine) and cannabis (marijuana). People who take more than one medication, which is very common, need treatment for all the substances they use.
Drug therapy involves the administration of drugs to treat or prevent diseases. It is used to treat a variety of diseases and illnesses ranging from psychiatric illnesses to cancer treatment. Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive or uncontrollable search and use of drugs despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long-lasting. Pharmacological stimulating and blocking actions are non-permanent effects that only occur when the drug is taken and activated in the body.
For more serious mental illnesses, medication is the most appropriate and effective treatment; for example, schizophrenia should be treated with an antipsychotic drug and severe depressive illness with an antidepressant. In the treatment of addiction, medications are used to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs, and reduce the likelihood of specific drug use or relapse by blocking their effect. Drug abuse changes brain function and many things can trigger the desire to use drugs in the brain. As the name suggests, mixed agonist-antagonists have a dual action; both stimulate neurotransmitter receptors in the brain and, at the same time, block the activation of neurotransmitter receptors by a specific drug or classes of drugs.
For a broad discussion of the principles of drug therapy, including the choice and optimal use of drugs and drug resistance, see the respective chapters of this manual, textbooks and monographs (Shorvon, 2000; Levy et al. Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that drug abuse treatment can help many drug offenders change their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors toward drug abuse; avoid relapses; and successfully exit a life of substance abuse and crime. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to manufacture them into five distinct categories or programs, depending on the acceptable medical use of a drug and the potential for misuse of a drug.
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