PDF: EasyToRead_RecoveryTreatment_012017.pdf

You often hear about famous people with drug problems going into rehab, but it sometimes doesn't work the first time. Different types of rehab work for different people. It depends on how bad the drug problems are and what drugs the person is addicted to.

Some treatment happens in hospitals or in clinics where the person stays for days, weeks, or months. Other treatment happens during the day at clinics and doctor's offices, and the person can go home at night. But a person in treatment should not be around other people who are using drugs, even family members in the same home.

Medicines and therapy are used to treat drug addiction. Medicines can help people stop using alcohol, tobacco, heroin, and some prescription pain relievers.

  • Some medicines can help them feel less bad when they first quit.
  • Other medicines can help people stay off these drugs.
  • One medicine makes people throw up and feel sick if they drink alcohol. It helps them choose not to drink, since they know it will make them feel sick.
  • Other medicines make people want the drug less.
  • Some medicines block the high feelings people get when they take the drug. That can also make it easier to quit.

There are no medicines to treat addiction to other drugs.

Talking about your feelings with counselors (people trained to listen and help you solve personal problems), or behavioral counseling, is also an important type of treatment. It is often called "talk therapy." It can be just between you and a counselor. Sometimes family members will join the talk therapy session to help solve family problems. Or you might talk with other people in treatment, in a group led by a counselor. People taking medicines benefit the most when they combine the medicine with talk therapy.

Talking helps people with addictions:

  • understand why they got addicted
  • see how drugs changed their behavior
  • learn how to deal with problems so that they don't want to escape by getting high
  • learn to avoid places, people, and situations where they might be tempted to use drugs

Therapy is usually intense at first, but sessions become shorter and happen less often the longer the person is drug-free. After treatment ends, people often need ongoing support. There are many options, including drug-specific support groups, computer programs for remote therapy, and recovery housing.