Drug Addiction Treatment Plans


In order for a drug addiction treatment plan to be effective, it has to be formulated specifically for the drug involved and for the individual addict seeking treatment. For these reasons, it is hard to describe one general plan for addiction recovery.

Further complicating the issue is the variety of ways drug addiction treatment plans can be categorized. One way of defining them is by the level of participation they encourage in the addict’s family or from a group.

  • Individual Therapy
    This method of treatment uses a series of one-on-one sessions with a single therapist or counselor. Using various psychological methodologies, the therapist identifies the causative psychological conditions that lead to the addiction in the first place and then devises a plan to address them. Cognitive behavior therapy can also be used to help the addict learn self-monitoring skills and effective coping methods.
  • Group Counseling
    This is often used in conjunction with individual therapy. The emphasis is on the sharing of experience between participants, to the point that the facilitator is sometimes not a trained therapist. Group therapy generally increase the odds of full recovery.
  • Family Inclusion
    Treatment plans involving families were first created out of the understanding that addiction impacts not only the addict, but his entire family. The emphasis is on changing any destructive behaviors by any family members that may hamper the addict’s recovery.

Another way of categorizing treatment plans is by the location of treatment, whether in a person’s home or in a specialized treatment facility.

  • Inpatient
    Also called residential rehab, inpatient therapy involves the addict being admitted to a licensed clinic for a few weeks to several months. Here they learn how to live without their addiction, and are trained in various skills that will be useful when they are reintegrated into the wider world.
  • Outpatient
    Generally, the addict will come into the therapist’s office one or more times a week, and will use cognitive behavioral therapy to help the patient make better choices in day-to-day life. This approach is also more likely to involve the family, and places a strong emphasis on ongoing group support.

Finally, there may be some drug addiction treatment plans that are specially designed to address problems specific to only one drug or class of drugs. For example, opiate addicts (users of heroin, morphine, Vicodin, and OxyContin) are at higher risk of harm from shared needles, so a harm reduction plan might include needle exchanges and alternative medications designed to reduce the dangers of illegal opiate abuse.

Any treatment plan should only be initiated by a qualified medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor.


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