Drug De-addiction (also known as substance use disorder) can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite the worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.
Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
Drugs that are commonly misused include:
- Club drugs, like GHB, ketamine, MDMA (ecstasy/molly), and flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®).
- Stimulants, such as cocaine (including crack) and methamphetamine (meth).
- Hallucinogens, include ayahuasca, D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote (mescaline), phencyclidine (PCP), and DMT.
- Inhalants, including solvents, aerosol sprays, gases, and nitrites (poppers).
- Opioid pain killers such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.
- Prescription drugs and cold medicines.
- Sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications).
- Steroids (anabolic).
- Synthetic cannabinoids (K2 or Spice).
- Synthetic cathinone (bath salts).
- Tobacco/nicotine and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or vaping).
While these drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction center of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not.
Treatments for drug De-addiction
Several therapies exist for treating substance use disorder. Even for a severe case, treatment can help. Often, you’ll receive a combination of these therapies:
- Detoxification: You stop taking drugs, allowing the drugs to leave the body. You may need healthcare supervision to detox safely.
- Medication-assisted therapies: During detox, medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioral therapies: Cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychotherapy (talk therapy) can help deal with addiction’s cause. Therapy also helps build self-esteem and teaches healthy coping mechanisms.