How Can Doctors And Mental Health Care Professionals Can Treat Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is another term for drug and alcohol addiction. People who suffer from this disorder struggle to control their substance use. They may rely on substances in order to feel pleasure or even to relieve anxiety. Over time, chronic substance use can have negative effects on the brain and body. That's why getting help for substance use disorder is a wise choice for people who would like to get sober. Here are some ways that doctors and mental health care professionals can treat substance use disorder:

1. Counseling

Counseling is an effective tool for helping people with substance use disorder. The ability to talk to an understanding professional about their problems and feelings can help substance users understand the full impact of their addictions. Many people with addictions hide the extent of their problems, which can prevent them from getting the help they need. Drug addiction counselors provide a safe and non-judgmental place where patients can express their feelings and talk about their substance use without fear of legal trouble or moral judgment.

2. Medication 

Some people continue to use drugs despite wanting to stop. This is especially true for people whose brains have stopped producing an adequate amount of dopamine due to their drug use. Certain medications can help patients regulate their neurochemistry until their brains can heal. Antidepressants, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can elevate the number of serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain. This can help recovering drug addicts combat the sense of depression and anxiety that can arise from drugs cessation.

3. Detox Services

For many people with substance use disorder, the first few weeks of discontinuing drug use are the hardest. Many patients experience a period of withdrawal when they stop using drugs and alcohol. Depending on the severity of their addiction, patients can experience symptoms like hallucinations, tremors, and even seizures. Many drug treatment facilities offer detox services to patients. Medical supervision during detox can help patients stay safe and comfortable until the drugs are out of their bodies.

4. Ongoing Outpatient Treatment

Acute treatment for substance use disorder is necessary for many people. However, addiction is a chronic mental health condition that most people will struggle with for the rest of their lives. Ongoing treatment can prevent relapses. Ongoing outpatient treatment can allow former drug users to receive the support they need to continue to stay sober for years to come. 

If you need substance abuse treatment, call a counseling center, such as Comprehensive Counseling Services.