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A Medical Treatment of Addiction


Medically, addiction can be defined as the abnormal dependence of substances which cause the body to poorly respond to stimuli that are naturally available. It starts as a repeated craving of substances and urge to get the substance leading to continuous use (Dorsman 12). This eventually causes intoxication to the body system and finally tolerance and abnormal behaviors which are characterized by a patient experiencing very low self esteem. Addiction not only include abuse of drugs but also psychological dependence of activities like gambling, computer, eating, sex, work among others which have withdrawal symptoms like shame, anxiety, hopelessness among others.

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Types of addiction

Addiction can be categorized into three types: the positive, neutral and the negative addiction. The positive addictions are those with beneficial behaviors like exercise, eating healthily among other activities and behaviors that outnumber the costs. Neutral addictions are behaviors in which it is not clear if the victim really benefits from such kind of behavior like driving a bike. On the other hand, negative addiction includes habits and practices such as sexual, drug, pornography addictions among others that are detrimental to a person. The benefits are lesser than the costs (Dorsman 39).

Causes of addiction

Addiction can be either biological (genetic) or psychological disorders although some cases it can be a combination of both psychological and psycho-social phenomenon. The brain finds itself in a position that it can not be able to do anything on its own without regular intake of the abused substance.

Prescription Vs therapy

Prescription treatments are laid down steps that govern the medical practitioner or patient in order to treat the patient. It includes use of medical drugs, clinical assessments, imaging studies among other studies. While therapy Treatment is a method of addiction treatment which is also called as a talking cure since it mostly involves communication with the patient.


Use of medication

In prescription, the doctor is the one who prescribes a drug that will help the patient in withdrawing from the abused substance. Improper use of prescriptive drugs caused by non-medical use whereby a patient self prescribes a drug based on the experience and the feel he has towards the use of a certain drug. Misuse which can be defined as the wrong use of drugs for a purpose other than the one the drug was meant for or going against the dosage prescription by either taking too much or too little or frequently than prescribed or taking it for longer periods than the one prescribed can lead to many effects like psychological dependence a condition whereby a patient experiences withdrawal effects when the drug is discontinued, pseudo-addiction state whereby the drug becomes incapable in alleviating the pain, toxic reactions and many more drug interactions which can jeopardize the patient’s life.

Use of the abused substance

In prescription, the patient is given small amounts of the drug that they are addicted to help in downplaying the withdrawal effects. The use of marijuana in the US has proven to prohibit the use of hard drugs like cocaine and heroine even alcohol addiction (Dorsman 98).

Substance replacement therapy

Prescription involves using of drugs that will imitate the effect of the abused substance in the body (Dorsman 12). However, this substance does not have the addictive effects like the real abused drug. It does not have the adverse side effects and the major withdrawal syndromes. For example, to substitute cigarette smoking, researchers have come up with a ‘chantix’ if chewed reduces a patient’s craving for the tar and nicotine in cigarettes. This has aided many addicts to break their psychological attachment towards the abused drug.

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In non-medication therapy, one is helped to stop substance abuse through behavior change, hypnosis, acupuncture and motivation.

Non-medication therapies


This involves taking oneself in a state of deep relaxation and having an open mind that receives advice that will help one to strengthen their resolve towards quitting substance abuse (Prentiss 112). A person is taken through hypnosis by a hypnotherapist who aids in seceding substance abuse through developing negative feelings towards the substance.


This is one of the most vital parts of the traditional Chinese medicine (Prentiss 52). This is a very powerful form of therapy that helps one to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms of drug abuse. This form of therapy helps the body to release natural pain relievers which make the body to go into a relaxation state.

Behavioral Therapy

This is used to break habitual behaviors that are associated with addiction. They help one to recognize and mange any behavior that is related to addiction. One is helped to learn skills that help them to cope and break the addictive habits. Behavioral change greatly helps people to withdraw from addiction. One is also counseled to change their behavior so that they can do away with drugs.

Motivational Therapies

This involves ways that one can motivate himself or herself in a way that they will quit addiction. One way is telling someone to calculate the monetary value of the drug or substance consumed in a year. If the person stopped using that substance, then they see the amount of money they can save and use it one another useful project like buying insurance or going on vacation.

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy has been one of the successful therapies around. Doctors argue some people are addicted to some drugs as result of chemical imbalance a syndrome commonly known as reward deficiency syndrome which may prevent a patient from experiencing pleasure and happiness which may affect the body (Larson 6). Nutritional therapy approaches like the use of amino acid therapy and use of vitamins therapy help the body to fight this chemical imbalance in the body and improve the patient’s health comes handy in solving this type of situations. The other one involves drinking of lots of water to flush out toxins from the body.


In treatment of addiction, non-medicated therapy has always been taken to be the better one because it does not involve substance abuse (Larson 6). Use of medication to treat addiction has proven to be more expensive because addicts find themselves “hooked up’ to the prescription that is meant to help.

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Works Cited

Dorsman, Jerry. How to Quit Drugs for Good: A Complete Self-Help Guide. NY: New York, Three Rivers Press. 1998.

Larson, J. Mathews. Seven Weeks to Sobriety: The Proven Program to Fight Alcoholism through Nutrition. NY: New York, Ballantine Books. 1997.

Prentiss, Chris. The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery. NY: New York, Power Press. 2005.

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