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Where can I get drug addiction treatment?

Learn about drug addiction treatment and where to find a facility.

Narcotics Anonymous is the most widely known drug addiction treatment organization. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Narcotics Anonymous is the most widely known drug addiction treatment organization.

Drug addiction is a serious problem that can have emotional, psychological and physical components. It is very difficult for drug addicts to overcome the addiction on their own, and finding quality drug addiction treatment offers the best chance for success. 

Successful drug addiction treatment is made up of two parts: withdrawal therapy followed by continuing treatment. Withdrawal therapy, also called detoxification, helps addicts trough the withdrawal they’ll experience when ceasing to use an addicting drug. 

Continuing therapy takes place after detoxification, and often in the form of counseling, treatment programs or self-help groups. Before beginning drug addiction treatment, it is important to understand the different types of treatment available, which depend on the type of addiction. 

A starting point – and life-long touchstone of support -- for many addicts can be Narcotics Anonymous, a 12-step program designed to provide fellowship and anonymous help to those suffering from drug addiction.

Agonist Maintenance Treatment

Agonist Maintenance Treatment is intended for people addicted to opiates, such as heroin, morphine and codeine, and is generally provided at out-patient clinics called methadone treatment programs. This treatment uses synthetic opiates, such as methadone, to prevent withdrawal symptoms and treat addiction.

Narcotic Antagonist Treatment Using Naltrexone

Narcotic Antagonist Treatment Using Naltrexone begins with a brief period of residential detox for opiate users, followed by outpatient administration of Naltrexone, a non-addictive synthetic opiate with few side effects. This treatment has better rates of success among patients who are also undertaking counseling or therapy.

Outpatient Drug-Free Treatment

Outpatient Drug-Free Treatment frequently emphasizes group counseling and works best for employed people with the support of family and friends. This drug addiction treatment can be more affordable than other treatments and offers different levels of intensity, from simple education to intensive day treatment. Outpatient Drug-Free Treatment can be tailored to the needs of people who have additional medical or mental health issues. 

Long-Term Residential Treatment, which lasts between six and 12 months, is often a good option for people with severe drug addiction problems or people with medical or mental health issues in addition to drug addiction. The most common type of Long-Term Residential Treatment is a model called the Therapeutic Community, or TC, which aims to “resocialize” people suffering from drug addiction. 

Short-Term Residential Programs work with a similar approach to that of the 12-step alcohol abuse program with a residential stay of a few weeks followed by outpatient counseling. 

Medical Detoxification treats physical drug addiction under the inpatient or outpatient supervision of a doctor. This treatment does not address emotional and psychological addiction, and is not likely to have long-term effects without additional treatment. 

In addition to these different models for treatment, there are also various scientific approaches to drug addiction treatment. You can read more about these approaches on the Web site for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In order to locate a drug treatment facility, speak to a health care provider for advice or a referral, or log on to the facility locator through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Once you have narrowed your search on this site by selecting a state and city, you can view information on local treatment facilities, the services they offer, and whether or not payment assistance is available. The site provides a Web site, address and phone number information for the drug addiction treatment facilities so that you can contact the treatment facility directly.

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