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The diagnostic evaluation and comprehensive assessment provide the information a health care provider needs to develop an addiction treatment plan tailored to an individual’s needs. It is important to determine the appropriate medications and therapies, the best treatment setting—inpatient or outpatient—as well as the frequency and duration of care.
Often the first step in addressing addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs is helping an individual stop using the substance. This must happen before treatment can begin. In some cases medical supervision or hospitalization is required to help clear the toxic substances from the system. This process is known as detoxification or stabilization.
The most effective addiction treatment approach often includes a combination of medications and therapies.
Medications to treat addiction work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, reducing the highs or rewards associated with substance use and/or serving as a less harmful alternative. The following are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications to treat addiction involving:
Therapies, including individual, family and group therapy, help people learn to increase their coping skills, manage high-risk situations, avoid substance-use triggers and control cravings. Therapies that have demonstrated effectiveness include:
Treatment must be tailored to patient needs. Because addiction often co-occurs with a broad range of other health problems, effective treatment must also address other medical, including mental health, conditions as well as a patient’s nutrition and exercise needs.
The information contained on this site is designed to support, not to replace, the relationship between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician.