Different types of treatment work for different people. It depends on how sick a person is and what drugs the person is addicted to.

It also depends on the person. Each person is different. What works for one person might not work for someone else. It's important for people to talk with their doctor about a treatment plan that's just right for them.

Some treatment happens in hospitals. People might stay there for days, weeks, or months. Other treatment happens during the day at doctor’s offices or clinics. People do not stay overnight. Doctors and counselors should use counseling and/or medicines to treat an addiction if possible, depending on the drug that is being misused.


Talking about your feelings with counselors is an important type of treatment. It can help people with any type of drug addiction. Sometimes sessions are just between you and a counselor. Sometimes family members will join a counseling session. Or you might talk with other people in treatment, in a group led by a counselor.

Talking helps people with drug addictions:

  • understand why they got addicted
  • see how drugs changed their behavior
  • learn how to deal with problems so they won’t go back to using drugs
  • learn to avoid places, people, and situations where they might be tempted to use drugs

Counseling can be hard to do at first, but can be a necessary part of treatment.

Even after treatment ends, people still may need help. People can go to support groups, use programs on their phones or computers to talk to counselors, or live in recovery housing.


People with an addiction to some drugs can take medicine to help with uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal can feel different for different drugs. Going off a drug can make a person feel like they have a terrible case of the flu, might make them feel really sad and worried, or cause the shakes and lots of pain in the body.

After withdrawal, there are other medicines that can help people who use certain drugs. Medicines can help people stop using alcohol or tobacco. They can also help with addictions to opioids, like heroin and prescription pain relievers.

If someone gets treatment with medicine, it’s best to also be in counseling.

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