However, as a chronic disease, addiction is difficult to treat and requires on-going care.
Counseling and behavioral therapies
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people recognize and change ways of thinking that have associations with substance use.
- multi-dimensional family therapy, designed to help improve family function around an adolescent or teen with a substance-related disorder
- motivational interviewing, which maximizes an individuals willingness to change and make adjustments to behaviors
- motivational incentives that encourage abstinence through positive reinforcement
- Short-term residential treatment: This focuses on detoxification and preparing an individual for a longer period within a therapeutic community through intensive counseling.
- Therapeutic communities: A person seeking long-term treatment for severe forms of addictive disorder would live in a residence for between 6 and 12 months with on-site staff and others in recovery. The community and staff serve as key factors in recovery from and changes in attitudes and behaviors toward drug use.
- Recovery housing: This provides a supervised, short-term stay in housing to help people engage with responsibilities and adapt to a new, independent life without on-going substance use. Recovery housing includes advice on handling finances and finding work, as well as providing the connection between a person during the final stages of recovery and community support services.
- Naltrexone: This prevents the action of opioid receptors in the brain that produce rewarding and euphoric effects when a person consumes alcohol and reduces the risk of relapse. While not effective for all people in recovery, it has a considerable impact on abstinence in some people.
- Acamprosate, or Campral: This might reduce long-term withdrawal symptoms, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and a general feeling of unhappiness known as dysphoria. This has a more beneficial effect in people with severe substance-related and addictive disorders.
- Disulfiram, or Antabuse: This is a medication that disrupts the breakdown of alcohol, leading to adverse effects including facial redness, feeling sick, and an irregular heartbeat should the person in recovery attempt to consume alcohol. It acts as a deterrent for people who have high motivation levels toward recovery.