Upon exiting treatment, a patient may be prescribed a drug like disulfiram, which prevents the body from chemically processing alcohol, causing an unpleasant reaction if the patient relapses or attempts to relapse. Because of disulfiram’s toxicity, it has to be taken under the supervision of a doctor, as unregulated usage can cause strong, even fatal reactions.
Once used as a diagnostic label, substance abuse typically refers to behavioral patterns of drug use that involve impairment and physical and mental distress. Some people may use the term “drug abuse” to reference a marked physical and mental dependence on drugs. Today, drug abuse typically refers to misusing substances, not necessarily being addicted to them. However, drug abuse can often lead to a physical dependence or addiction associated with a focus on obtaining and using drugs and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners can provide effective alcoholism treatment by combining new medications with brief counseling visits. To aid clinicians, NIAAA has developed two guides: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much, and for younger patients, Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide. Both are available at www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/clinical-guides-and-manuals
Substance abuse therapy: Used as a part of many inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy is one of the cornerstones of drug addiction treatment. Individual, group and family therapy help patients and their loved ones understand the nature and causes of addiction. Therapy teaches coping strategies and life skills needed to live a productive, sober life in the community. For individuals with a co-occurring mental illness, intensive psychotherapy can also address psychiatric symptoms and find the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Inside Shalom House, Australia’s ‘strictest’ drug rehabilitation | Australian Story