While there is no cure for drug addiction, there are effective treatments that can help you manage it. The most common forms of treatment are medications, therapy, or both.
Treatment will vary depending on which drug, or drugs, you are misusing. Treatment can take place at a hospital, rehab center with overnight stays, or while living at home.
No matter your situation or the treatment type you are considering, it is a good idea to discuss your options with your doctor.
Drug addiction is a real disease, and people with drug addiction need treatment just like people with any other disease. If you’re worried about your drug use, see your doctor.
Why should you talk to your doctor?
Doctors can prescribe medications to ease the symptoms of sickness associated with withdraw that you will experience when you stop using drugs.
If opioids are your drug of choice, doctors can actually prescribe you medications to help you stay off of them. Some of these medications work by reducing your cravings, and some work by blocking the high you would feel from using the drug.
Behavioral therapy is another option. This method can help you learn healthy ways to cope with stress and challenges within your life. Therapy is crucial to help you stay in treatment and avoid misusing drugs.
How do you have the conversation?
Get a medical checkup. Ask to see a doctor or nurse who can screen you for drug addiction.
The doctor or nurse may also check to see if you have any other health conditions (like depression) that can make it harder to stop misusing drugs. Getting help for other health problems can make a big difference in treating your addiction.
If you’ve injected drugs, talk with the doctor or nurse about getting tested for HIV and hepatitis. Injecting drugs can put you at risk for these conditions.
What about cost?
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover mental health and drug addiction treatment. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get treatment at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to find out more.
Medicare may also cover certain services related to drug addiction at no cost. If you have Medicare, learn about Medicare coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services.
If you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to get free or low-cost mental health and drug addiction treatment. Find a health center near you that offers mental health and drug addiction treatment and make an appointment.
Remember, drug addiction is an illness — and having this illness isn’t your fault. Asking for help may seem scary, but it’s the first step toward getting your addiction under control.