The Importance of Individualized Treatment

Contrary to how many treat addiction, every addiction does not require or benefit from the same treatment. Each client is different and unique and their treatment plan must be also. There are numerous factors that must be considered, such as economics, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture, age, drug of choice, longevity of abuse, and religious beliefs. Another crucial consideration is if there is a dual diagnosis, meaning the client suffers from the disease of addiction in conjunction with a mental health issue.

This means that the initial assessment of every single client must be extremely thorough, taking all of these factors into consideration prior to creating an individualized treatment plan. Drug addiction is a complex illness that destroys the ability of the user to choose not to do the drugs and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive. Addiction affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior.

Drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions so it is impossible for treatment to be straightforward. To be effective, each treatment plan must incorporate many components to reach the final goal of understanding the disease, stop the drug use, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. For each individual, these components must be different.

Medication and behavioral therapy, combined, are important elements that need to be followed with treatment and relapse prevention. A continuum of care that addresses all aspects of an individual's life is critical to a person's success in achieving and maintaining a drug–free lifestyle.

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