Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a widely used approach for treating addiction to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers. This type of prescription drug works to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, reduce physiological cravings, and restore body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a valuable treatment tool for many different types of addictions, including food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction. CBT helps individuals recognize their unhealthy behavior patterns and learn to identify triggers and develop coping skills.
It can also be combined with other therapeutic techniques, such as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) which helps individuals recognize their negative thoughts and combat feelings of self-defeat. Contingency management (CM) is another effective treatment for a wide variety of addictions, including alcohol, narcotics, and tobacco. This type of therapy reinforces positive behavior by providing tangible rewards. It has been successfully used to prevent relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs into five distinct categories or programs based on their acceptable medical use and potential for misuse. Treatments for prescription drug abuse are similar to those for illicit drugs that affect the same brain system. Drug abuse changes brain function and many things can trigger the desire to use drugs in the brain.
The use of psychoactive drugs without medical supervision is associated with significant health risks and can lead to the development of drug use disorders. The UNGASS marked a shift in the overall discourse of drug policy to highlight the public health and human rights dimensions of the world drug problem and to achieve a better balance between supply reduction and public health measures. Scientific research since the mid-1970s has shown that drug abuse treatment can help many drug offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors towards drug abuse; avoid relapses; and successfully exit a life of substance abuse and crime.