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Drug Abuse: Literature Review and Treatment Strategies

Info: 1893 words (8 pages) Nursing Literature Review
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: substance abusestrategies

Substance Abuse and Treatment


 Substance abuse is one of the primary concerns of every nation all over the world. The medical revolution has both advantages and disadvantages including the side effects of drug abuse. People try drugs to comfort mood like they are living in the unreal world. Gradually, it modifies their behavior by changing their brain and mental deterioration without recognizing. Since they are addicted to substance abuse, and no matter what happen or even death, it cannot resist their desirability to satisfy their demand. Moreover, the rate of criminal increase in the society which relate to drug addiction. The goal of drug abuse treatments is applied to help people overcome their addiction and raise their awareness by changing their perception.

Chapter One: Overview

 Substance abuse are psychoactive drugs which are used popularly for both legal and illegal activities to control mental, emotion, consciousness, and human behavior. The word substance refers to the result of negative effects and serious risks that all abusers have to face. The recent record indicates 31 million people have drug use disorders. A person among the age of 15 and older drink average 6.2 liters of alcohol per year. Moreover, the average death due to alcohol is 3.3 million people every year. In 11 million persons inject drugs, among 1.3 million are having HIV, 5.5 million have hepatitis C, and 1 million have both, (World Health Organization, 2018). Lots of people already know about these issues, but they could not keep their mind out of the trap that is called addiction. In medical definition, addiction as a chronic disease that produce side effects to human brain and alter their behavior, this is a stage of nonstop and it put their health in front of danger.

 There are many types of drug including narcotics, sedatives, stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabis and alcohol. When abused, it can cause various effects including anxiety, high body temperature, depression, paranoia, psychosis, heart failure and stroke.

Aware of serious consequences of substance abuse, many researchers develop variety of treatments to help addicted people stop using and seeking drugs. This paper will discuss the treatments are applied to prevent the addiction which depends on the patients’ need and what types of drugs they use.

Chapter Two: Review of Literature

 In the 19th century with the emerge of morphine, cocaine, and laudanum which were extracted to the ingredient of psychoactive drugs.  In the US, the morphine was applied onto wound treatment and relieved the pain for veterans during the Civil War. The drugs were popularly sold everywhere in the local areas. The industry of growing morphine became thriving and it was spread out around the United States, (Lambert, 2018).

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 In 1985, the legislator enacted the first law to prohibit the drug abuse after the outlaw was broken out in San Francisco. Until 1914, there were only physicians, pharmacists or who had medical license were legal for cocaine selling.  The Supreme Court inhibited the physicians to take the narcotics prescription because this was an addictive treatment. The narcotic substances were officially decreased, (Lambert, 2018).

 In 1930, the United States Federal began an anti-drug abuse campaign in many schools to educate and raise the young generation’s awareness. Many years later, the invasion of new ingredients: Marijuana, amphetamines, tranquilizer, and hallucinogenic were approaching and increasing drastically. Most of drugs were illegal except some states were discriminated of growing marijuana or cocaine, (Lambert, 2018).

 The laws tried to diminish the overwhelming of drug user. By 1995, the tobacco and any products contained alcohol were labeled with warnings, especially for pregnant women by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For those who violated or committed crimes relating to drug, they had to receive the penalty.  It was mean that the factories of distribution would stand for the penalties if they brake the laws, (Lambert, 2018).

Today, the National survey on Drug Use and Health reported 80% of American people who suffered from alcohol disorder in 2014. There was 7 million people who struggled with drug disorder. It was mean one per eight people who suffered from drug disorder. However, it costed up to 200 billion dollars to spend in healthcare, criminal justice and legal by American society, (Statistic on drug addiction, 2018).

 There were three typical causes of drug addiction: Inheritance from family, environment factors, and adolescent. Young teenagers have the high potential risks because the earlier drug taking, the more serious health impact. The group of young adults between 18 and 25 had the highest percentage was 16.3 percent. College students dominated 72 percent of substance and drug abuse, mostly alcohol disorder, the second was marijuana at 55.7 percent, and there was 31.6 percent from prescription drugs, (Statistic on drug addiction, 2018).

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 America is one of the countries that has a long history of drug abuse. Although the researchers develop many treatments, but this still be a concern because the increase of abusers. The treatments are used to help people stop taking drugs and integrate back to the society. For example, the treatment including behavior counseling, medication, and medical devices.  The treatments are long term or short term which depends on the person’s drug abuse status, (Statistic on drug addiction, 2018).

Chapter Three: Treatment

 Drug abuse can be treated but it is not easy. First of all, the basic treatments can help patients include: Stop taking drug and bring them back to their family and society.

 Treatment with drug abuse various depending on the person’s status. There are many opinions which are successful in treating include: Detoxification, behavioral therapy, medication and medical device (opioid, tobacco, and alcohol), co-occurring mental problem (anxiety and depression), and short-term or long-term treatment. However, the best treatment should combine both medical and mental health service if necessary, (Treatment approaches for drug addiction, 2108).

 Medications and medical devices are used to control withdrawal symptoms, preventing relapse, and co-occurring conditions. Withdrawal is a detoxification stage to help decrease drug addiction. But drugs and alcohol withdrawal are normally making patients feel unpleasant and they usually resume to use drug after stop taking treatment.  Relapse prevention is using medications to help patients lessen craving and recover brain function. For example, Naltrexone help to prevent the opioids effects to the brain receptor. This medication help patients reduce drug taking and improves their behavior. Nicotine replacement therapy is available in every drug store to help patients avoid a relapse after quitting. There is variety choice of nicotine therapy such as spraying, chewing gum, and lozenges. The medications are used to reduce alcohol treatment which are Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram. Co-occurring is the treatment for mental health problem including: depression, anxiety, and another mental issue relating to addiction, (Treatment approaches for drug addiction, 2108).

  Behavioral therapy is used to help patients increase their healthy lifestyle by controlling their behavior, substance disorders, and persist with other medication treatment. Outpatient behavioral treatment is a program to help patients interact with health counselor during receiving the treatment. The program has many opinions such as: Cognition and behavior therapy which help patients avoid using drugs. Multidimensional family therapy is applied for family who have adolescents, this therapy help reduces drug abuse and improve function of every member in family. Motivational interview and motivational incentives which change patient’s behavior and encourage abstinence. Inpatients or residential treatment is applied for patients who have serious drug disorder. The treatment includes the intensive care and variety of therapy approaches. For example, therapeutic communities are approaching to a group with long term mental illness and drug addiction. Short term residential treatment provides the intensive care which focus on detoxification. Recovery housing supervises and helps people live independent such as: Managing their personal finances, job seeking and connecting to the community, (Treatment approaches for drug addiction, 2108).

Chapter Four: Summary and discussion

 Drug and alcohol that have a great impact to people life. For drug abuser, they control their behavior, interfere their physical health, and their social interaction. Although there are many different therapies for substance abuse treatment, drug addiction is a complicated treatment; so, it is better to choose the reliable and professional counselors that can help drug abuser to figure out the best treatment as possible.

The goals of drug addiction therapy aim to help and encourage patients to against their addicting, reducing the substance abuse, modifying healthy lifestyle, creating a plan, supporting a network, and helping them go back to their society. The patients are educated about the serious consequence of addiction, how to avoid a relapse, and develop a supporting network. However, the result depends on the patients know how to be responsible with their health, know to create goals and cooperate with their counselors. Have a specific plan will help their treatment become effective, reduce the time and expense, so the patient will improve soon and be productive to their community. Defending on the addiction treatment need, the program will support with different therapies.

Conclusion, when choosing the treatment program to follow. Everyone should find the program that have goals suitable for their recovery and setting their personal goals which is a key to help recover successfully.


  • World Health Organization. (2018). Facts and figures. Available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/facts/en/ 
  • Lambert, A. (2018, May 25). The History of Drug Abuse | Morningside Recovery in California. Retrieved from https://www.morningsiderecovery.com/addiction-blog/the-history-of-drug-abuse/
  • Centers, A. (2018). Statistics on Drug Addiction. American Addiction Centers. Available at: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/
  • Drugabuse.gov. (2018). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction/


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