Drug addiction treatment has only one goal: to help addicts attain a life free of drug use. It achieves this goal in a variety of ways, but all of them are focused on helping addicts modify their existing destructive behaviors into healthier ones.
Many drug addiction treatment centers regard the use of drugs in treatment to be counterproductive; so their patients must detoxify without assistance from either sedatives or pain relievers. The one obvious, if uncomfortable, benefit to this approach is that the recovering addict will remember the pain of withdrawal and perhaps be dissuaded from returning to drug abuse.
Relapse prevention is a form of drug addiction treatment in which the addicts are taught self-control. Exposed to the kinds of situations in which they would previously have succumbed to their drug cravings, they learn ways to anticipate and avoid the situations. Becoming skilled at this type of avoidance will be one way addicts can deal with temptation away from the security of the treatment facility.
Studies have shown that those skills stay with recovering addicts who completed their relapse prevention treatment. One research study indicated that the majority of the addicts on whom follow-up information was gathered were successfully avoiding dangerous situations all through the year following their treatment.
Supportive-expressive psychotherapy is a drug addiction treatment found to be effective with heroin and cocaine abusers. It requires the addicts to learn interpersonal skills, develop their abilities to trust others, and look for support when struggling with their addictions.
The Matrix Model
The third drug addiction treatment is the matrix model, an extremely in-depth treatment in which the addict receives very close direction from a therapist, learns about available self-help options, and undergoes regular urine testing. The Matrix Model even includes an addict’s family in the recovery process.