Drug Addiction Treatments: Avoiding Treatments That Don't Work

A summary of evidence into the best and most effective drug addiction treatents.

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This is a short excerpt of summary of the most effective treatments for substance use disorders.

This is for you if you or someone you care about might have a substance use disorder.

A substance use disorder is roughly when someone uses a substance in a way that negatively impacts their health/life/other people.

RollSafe is about harm reduction - and if you think you might have a substance use disorder and might like to change it, that’s certainly harm reduction for you.

The good news is that there are often pretty effective treatments.

The first step is to ask:

Do I believe it’s a good thing to change? What might be the benefits of changing my substance use? What might be the cons?

Alcohol Use Disorder 1

One of the following medications:

  • Naltrexone- oral or extended release [my note: it seems important to follow the Sinclair method of taking the naltrexone only 1hr before drinking, and not at other times]
  • Topiramate

Note, extremely important if getting a pharmacotherapy to make sure your prescribing physician checks for any contraindications before you start.

And, one of the following psychosocial treatments:

  • Behavioral Couples Therapy for alcohol use disorder
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for substance use disorders
  • Community Reinforcement Approach
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Opioid Use Disorder 1

One of the following medications:

  • Buprenorphine/naloxone
  • Methadone in an Opioid Treatment Program

Cannabis Use Disorder 1

One of the following psychosocial treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Combined Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Stimulant Use Disorder 1

One of the following psychosocial treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Recovery-focused behavioral therapy
  • General Drug Counseling
  • Community Reinforcement Approach
  • Contingency Management in combination with one of the above

General Resource and More Reading

I highly recommend reading through this guide by the VA/DoD/US Government. Particularly the section VI “Recommendations.”

References

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