Introduction to Perspectives and Treatments Related to Substance-Related Disorders

What you’ll learn to do: examine various perspectives and treatment methods related to substance-related and addictive disorders

A person crouched on a sidewalk.

In this section, we will take a closer look at the various psychological perspectives and see how they explain addiction and substance-related disorders. Addiction is a complicated phenomenon, influenced by genetic, biological, environmental, and social factors, which also makes treatment programs more nuanced. Below are some key points to consider related to treatment:

  • Drug addiction can be treated, but it’s not simple. Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:
    • stop using drugs
    • stay drug-free
    • be productive in the family, at work, and in society
  • Successful treatment has several steps:
    • detoxification
    • behavioral counseling
    • medication (for opioid, tobacco, or alcohol addiction)
    • evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
    • long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
  • Medications and devices can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.
  • Behavioral therapies help patients to
    • modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use,
    • increase healthy life skills, and
    • persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication.