Can an Addiction Be Treated with Medication Alone?

Addiction is a condition that affects many families in many countries around the world. Growing access to illegal substances and prescription drugs make it difficult to seek help and even harder to stay sober. With many pressures and factors surrounding each individual’s journey through addiction, proper care and continued therapy is essential for recovery efforts. These aspects of care follow a typical regimen of applying several different kinds of therapy, support, medication and, perhaps, other intensive treatment options. Many clients ask, “can an addiction be treated with medication alone?” In short, “no,” and we will give you some reasons why.

Therapy is Required for Effective Recovery

Therapy is necessary for addiction recovery. This cannot be contested. Oftentimes, the thoughts and experiences that bring about addictive traits are not resolved or numbed through medication use solely, nor do many patients desire for that to be the case. Addressing the underlying issues that subject particular individuals to addictive habits is one of the most effective ways to initiate treatment and continued on a healthy path to recovery.

Treatment is Unique for Every Patient

Not every person responds to therapy in the same way. This is due to the beauty of our individual character and the ways our brain processes the information it takes in. While this is amazing in many aspects of life, it can make recovery that involves treatment efforts to be highly individualized and account for great variance in treatment plans. In fact, while maintenance medications may be ideal for one client, they may not have the same effect on another patient. The exact medication and dosage is often customized, as well. Information such as the patient’s health history, other medications that can cause drug interactions, type of addiction and intensity of addiction can greatly affect prescription drug adherence and variation for clients.

Treatment Should Be Comprehensive

Contrary to popular belief, treatment for addiction is complex and should address every aspect of the client’s life. While medication focuses solely on the physical aspects of addiction, other facets should be treated, maintained and monitored, as well. Mental trauma, physical pain from previous occurrences, family history, levels of support and unemployment/homelessness are all issues that must also be addressed in order to create and encourage a comprehensive treatment plan. As one can see, medication as a treatment for addiction is just one factor in this complex labyrinth of addiction recovery.

How Medication Aides in Addiction Treatment

Despite its negative connotation in the field of addiction treatment, medication can be help on many levels. One way that medication can be useful in the treatment of addiction is to assist with physical pain that occurs during the period of withdraw. In order to initiate an effective treatment plan, individuals must be clean and free of all mood- and brain-altering substances. As one can imagine, this is extremely uncomfortable for patients, at times. Medications can assist with making the process a bit easier for clients with addiction, though pain and discomfort in its entirety cannot be eliminated completely. In addition, medication in addiction treatment can be helpful for clients who have mental illness that has gone undiagnosed. Determining each patient’s unique mental needs can provide insight as to the medications that might be helpful for managing underlying conditions that have contributed to addiction. In treating these mental illness or conditions, clients undoubtedly have a better chance at recovery when these issues are addressed promptly.

How Different Facets of Treatment Interact

As previously discussed, medication for addiction is just one facet of an overall treatment plan. However, it is an important part, at that. Aiding in the control and treatment of underlying mental conditions, medications can provide a clear mind for patients to consider and process trauma and conditions that led to the initiation of their addiction. Keeping mental conditions at bay is essential for continued addiction treatment success. Proper medications and levels to control physical pain can also aide in addiction recovery efforts. Individuals who are victims of substance abuse may have painful, underlying health conditions that initiated their addiction. Keeping this pain under controls, getting second opinions from medical professionals and monitoring medication type and dosage are all useful tools in addiction recovery for patients. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, you are not alone. Call us today at 833-762-3739 to discuss potential treatment plans and options. We would love to speak with you, and get your journey to recovery started on the right path.