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What Is The Difference Between Treatment and Therapy?

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the difference between treatment and therapy. There is, in fact, a subtle distinction between the two terms. The term ‘therapy’ is used to refer to the process of rehabilitating someone. The term ‘treatment,’ on the other hand, is used in the meaning of ‘cure.’

What Is Addiction Therapy?

Alcohol and drug addiction therapy is a broad term that encompasses a variety of approaches to treating substance use disorders or changing drug use behaviors. Addiction is addressed directly in certain therapy alternatives, and coping techniques are provided to help you avoid relapse. Many of these therapies are geared toward teaching you ways to avoid relapsing into drug or alcohol abuse in the future.

A drug abuse disorder can be treated with other therapies that focus on the root causes of the problem. For example, trauma is frequently related to the development of alcoholism. The use of therapeutic alternatives that explicitly target diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, may be required to effectively cure alcoholism in someone who has suffered trauma (EMDR therapy).

In addition to evidence-based treatments and alternative therapies, there are two subcategories of addiction therapy. Alternative therapies have shown some effectiveness in clinical settings, but their efficacy has not been studied in any depth to verify whether or not they are evidence-based. The evidence-based nature of therapeutic interventions is important, but there may be a time and place for alternative therapies in specific circumstances.

Addiction Treatment

Inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs are designed to help people with drug addictions break the cycle of compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can take place in a number of venues, take on a variety of forms, and endure for a range of timeframes. Short-term, one-time treatment for drug addiction is often ineffective because of the frequent relapses that define the condition. Multiple treatments and continuous monitoring are necessary for many people in the long-term treatment process.

There are several components to comprehensive treatment for drug misuse. These include a thorough evaluation and treatment planning, medication and behavioral therapy as well as substance use surveillance, case management, and peer support groups.

Addiction can be treated in a number of ways that are backed by scientific evidence. Cognitive-behavioral or contingency management therapies, medicines, or a mix of the two can be used in addiction treatment. Depending on the patient’s particular demands and, in many cases, the medicines they are taking, a specific treatment or mixture of treatments may be necessary.

Addiction treatment options for opioid and tobacco addiction include drugs such as methadone (methadone hydrochloride), buprenorphine (buprenorphine hydrochloride), naltrexone (naltrexone hydrochloride), and bupropion (bupropion hydrochloride). There are drugs available to treat alcohol dependency, which frequently develop in conjunction with other substance addictions, including prescription medication addiction, such as disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

Medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, or a mix of the two are all options for treating drug addiction. Treatment for prescription drug misuse is often quite similar to those for illicit substance abuse since they both affect the same brain systems and have the same side effects. As an example, the drug buprenorphine, which is commonly used to treat heroin addiction, may also be used to combat opioid painkiller use and dependence as well. Prescription stimulant addiction can be treated using behavioral therapy, as there are no pharmaceuticals to treat this sort of addiction.

Behavioral therapy can help people participate in drug treatment, cope with cravings, avoid drugs and relapse, and assist people to recover from relapse. People can also benefit from behavioral therapy by improving their communication, interpersonal, and parenting abilities, as well as their family dynamics.

Many programs combine individual and group therapy. Group therapy can also establish social norms that support abstinence and a drug-free lifestyle. Combining behavioral therapy with pharmaceuticals (where available) appears to be more beneficial than either technique alone.


Finally, those who are addicted to drugs typically have additional health (e.g., depression, HIV), work, legal, family, and social issues that need to be handled at the same time. Some of the better programs provide a variety of therapies and services to fulfill the specific requirements of each patient. Psychoactive drugs including antidepressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics might help patients with co-occurring mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders (including PTSD), bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Also, most addicts take many drugs and need therapy for all of them.

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