What is Drug Addiction And Abuse?

Drug abuse consists of the consumption of drugs or other substances for purposes other than those intended or in higher quantities, and despite the appearance of physical, psychological, or social complications.

On the other hand, the term addiction is related to dependence and can appear with or without symptoms of physiological dependence. This physiological dependence is characterized by the presence of signs of tolerance (more and more doses of a drug are needed to achieve the same effect) or of a withdrawal syndrome (a group of signs and symptoms that appear when suddenly stopping a drug or substance that has been consumed for long periods of time and in large quantities). Other materials cause a psychological addiction characterized by an intense desire, compulsion, or craving to consume the substance.

Multiple drugs or substances may be susceptible to abuse; from illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or marijuana; legal drugs such as alcohol or nicotine; or medications such as some tranquilizers, painkillers, sleeping pills, or even drugs commonly used to treat cold symptoms.

What Is The Treatment For Drug Abuse Or Addiction?

Treatment for drug abuse or dependence varies depending on the substance being abused and its characteristics, the needs of the individual, the patterns of consumption, and the available medical and therapeutic resources.

The first step of the treatment is to assess the consumption and its complications, as well as the motivation of the subject to initiate treatment. For this, along with the clinical history, the application of specific questionnaires or biological markers can be useful. In any case, proper evaluation and correct diagnosis of the seriousness of the problem and the associated complications are essential.

It is usually the family doctor or primary care physician in a drug treatment center [ศูนย์ บํา บัด ยา เสพ ติด, which is the term in Thai] who will perform the initial assessment and make the first recommendations about specific treatments. In a certain number of cases, the intervention of a specialist will be necessary.

No treatment is universally valid for all cases, the combination of pharmacological treatments with psychological and social measures being generally necessary.

Specific Areas Of Treatment Include

  • Identification of the demand made by the patient or his family
  • Information and guidance to patients about the alterations they suffer, the risks they run, and the possibilities of treatment.
  • Detoxification treatment
  • Treatment and prevention of physical, psychological and social complications
  • Relapse prevention
  • Treatment of relapse
  • Long-term rehabilitation.