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Drug addiction is a major problem that includes intense and uncontrollable craving for drugs or a given drug. The addiction is accompanied by a compulsive drug-seeking and uses behavior which persists despite its association with devastating consequences (Durrant, Adamson, Todd & Sellman, 2009). It is noted that although drug addiction begins with voluntarily consuming drugs, with time one’s ability to decide when to take them gets out of control. Hence, taking such drugs becomes compulsive. The behavior develops out of the adverse effects of prolonged drug use, which interferes with the functioning of the body. It is noted that addiction is a multiple problem that influences a number of brain circuits such as those responsible for reward and motivation. Current paper holds that the method (single chemical dependency or dual diagnosis) to adopt in treating depends on the status of a patient.
O'Donohue and Ferguson (2006), noted that drug addiction has many adverse conditions and its treatment remains a complicated affair. In order to carry out effective treatment, incorporating many components that are directed towards a given aspect of the drug problem is advised. The treatment for addictions should help victims quit using drugs, avoid drug-lifestyles and become productive in their daily lives. Given that addiction is a chronic disease, it is difficult for victims to quit and be cured immediately. Thus, patients require long-term care to overcome addiction.
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It is noted that there is no single approach that works for treating all people with a single or dual addiction problem/s. However, medication or behavioral therapy is deemed the best combination to treat an addiction (O'Donohue & Ferguson, 2006). The two are seen as critical in a therapeutic process that commences after detoxification, treatment and the prevention of relapse. Overcoming relapses is necessary because they might necessitate revisiting the initial treatment process. Hence, obtaining a continuum of care model alongside with a treatment regime that addresses individual life aspects, such as mental and medical health, accompanied by follow-up options is critical.
Medication is used to help in treatment of various ailments, such as single chemical addictions. In practice, medication suppresses withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process (Durrant, Adamson, Todd & Sellman, 2009). However, it is noted that medication should not be confused with treatment. Nonetheless, it is taken as the first step towards controlling individual diseases like addiction. Patients, who undertake a procedure, where medical withdrawal assistance is not accompanied with treatment, are likely to depict results similar to those who never went through the exercise.
Medications are employed in a bid to help in the reestablishment of normal functioning of the brain and preventing relapses with a view to diminishing cravings (Durrant, Adamson, Todd & Sellman, 2009). At the moment, there are medicines that inhibit cravings for morphine, heroin, nicotine and alcohol addictions. The development of medications for other addictive substances, such as marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine, are underway. A disturbing trend is that addicts are abusers of more than a single drug or substance. Polydrug abusers require to be treated for all substances they use.
For addicts of Opioids, buprenorphine or naltrexone are some of the effective medications. According to O'Donohue and Ferguson (2006), the drugs, such as morphine, methadone and heroin, target the brain suppressing withdrawal symptoms. Hence, using the above medications is crucial in relieving cravings. On the other hand, naltrexone functions by blocking the adverse effects of opioids or heroine at the receptor sites (O'Donohue & Ferguson, 2006). Hence, the latter drug should only be used on patients that have been detoxified.
As already indicated, treating a single addiction using medication is more effective when combined with behavioral approaches. In practice, behavioral approaches help victims engage in the treatment process, alter their attitudes, as well as behavior that is related to unacceptable drug use (O'Donohue & Ferguson, 2006). Overall, behavioral approaches focus on improving healthy living. Thus, the methods are significant as they enhance the effectivenesss of other treatments, such as medication. Behavioral therapy also improves the chances of patients to stay in treatment longer and comply with other requirements. For a single addiction, such as alcohol abuse, one of the following approaches is useful: cognitive behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational incentives and motivational interviewing. The cognitive approach which concentrates on helping patients recognize, avoid and handle the situations that predispose them to drug abuse is proposed.
In medicine, comorbidity focuses on the presence of one or many disorders/diseases (Mansour, Aylin & Bottle, 2012). The disorders co-occur with the primary effects or those of the additional disease. Often, additional disorders may be mental or behavioral. Using medical terms, the term comorbid refers to a medical condition(s) that occur simultaneously, although independently with another one. The term can also capture a medical condition related to the initial one. Based on psychiatric diagnoses, it is argued that the use of vague language leads to an imprecise thinking.
The treatment of comorbid requires a proper diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. The overall effect of comorbid is seen on influencing the life prognosis and fatality among patients. As Mansour, Aylin and Bottle (2012) observed, comorbid disorders increase the chances of disability, bed days, reduced rehabilitation, increased number of complications and overall total health decline.
The presence of comorbidity is critical when selecting the diagnosis and treatment plan (Valderas, Starfield, Sibbald, et al., 2009). In the first place, enquiring about comorbid patients, the extent of functional disorders and anatomical statuses of the diseases should be identified. When new and mildly notable symptoms appear, conducting an in-depth examination is necessary to uncover the causes. Since comorbidity precedes polypragmasy, which entails simultaneously prescribing many medicines, it might prove difficult to control a given therapy’s effectiveness. Besides, the need to buy many drugs becomes expensive, an aspect that increases the possibility of non-compliance.
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