No single treatment is right for everyone. The best treatment addresses a person's various needs, not just his or her drug abuse.
Matching treatment settings, programs, and services to a person's unique problems and level of need is key to his or her ultimate success in returning to a productive life. It is important for the treatment approach to be broad in scope, taking into account a person's age, gender, ethnicity, and culture. The severity of addiction and previous efforts to stop using drugs can also influence a treatment approach.
The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet a patient's needs. In addition to drug abuse treatment, a patient may require other medical services, family therapy, parenting support, job training, and social and legal services.
Finally, because addictive disorders and other mental disorders often occur together, a person with one of these conditions should be assessed for the other. And when these problems co-occur, treatment should address both (or all conditions), including use of medications, as appropriate.
Currently, medications are available to treat opioid, tobacco, and alcohol addictions:
- Methadone, buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone), and naltrexone (including the long-acting formulation Vivitrol) are used to treat people addicted to opiates (e.g., heroin, prescription pain relievers);
- Nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, nasal spray, and the medications varenicline (Chantix) and bupropion (Wellbutrin) are used to treat tobacco addiction; and
- Disulfiram, acamprosate (Campral), naltrexone, and topiramate (Topamax) are used for treating alcohol dependence.
Looking for Treatment?
Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator or 1-800-662-HELP.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.