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Treating Addiction: Narcotic & Recreational Drug Treatment

Updated on June 30, 2010

There has been a vast amount of research conducted on the various aspects of Drug Rehab and much of these clinical studies have concluded in clearly demonstrating that the effective treatment of heroin and other forms of severe addiction to narcotics has a very positive cost benefit analysis when the overall economic considerations on the national scale are factored in.

Various studies on the economic impact of opiate addiction in the United States have estimated the overall costs to society of an untreated heroin user out in public was over $90,000 in various criminal offenses and emergency interventions. Furthermore, the overall cost of maintaining that same individual in a corrective institution was over $80,000 and the cost of maintaining that person in a drug-free program was over $30,000. Compared to these significant costs, the expenditures involved in one year of methadone maintenance Drug Rehab treatment was a much smaller sum: $6,000.

A significant number of medications have been utilized to treat individuals dependent on a variety of narcotics other than alcohol, but unfortunately there has not been a suitable number of controlled trials concluded to date. A considerable amount of research is currently underway in a number of clinical institutions all over the world. This research is directly focused in measuring and quantifying the efficacy of various medications which are commonly utilized in various forms of Drug Rehab to treat addiction to heroin.

One of these medications is buprenorphine, which is a partial opiate agonist with effects on the human body which act to reduce the craving for heroin. In order to minimize the potential for the abuse of this drug, the opiate antagonist naloxone is being administered alongside buprenorphine in tablet form. Buprenorphine has not been universally approved for use in a clinical Drug Rehab environment, and several major countries prohibit its use.

There are several medications that are currently being analyzed for their efficacy in reducing the craving for cocaine. Furthermore, a sequence of clinical trials are under way to develop a chemical compound which synthesizes the basic chemical structure of cocaine itself and could be utilized to immunize individuals against cocaine. There is a reasonable body of evidence to suggest that the antidepressant bupropion may also be implemented in a comprehensive therapeutic strategy since it has been proven to minimize cocaine use in patients who are moderately depressed and are habitual users of cocaine and crack.

There currently exist a wide range of various medications which are sometimes utilized in the Drug Rehab treatment of heroin addiction. These compounds include:

- Clonidine for the treatment of the symptoms of withdrawal
- Naltrexone which has the function of blocking the effects of various opiates
- LAAM (l-alpha- acetylmethadol) which acts as an opiate substitute
- Codeine which is a common medication generally used as an analgesic

These medications are utilized rather infrequently by Drug Rehab professionals and LAAM is not approved for use in many major nations. Indeed there are a number of countries where LAAM is actually listed as a controlled substance narcotic with heavy legal repercussions for its possession and use.

Continued In - Treating Addiction: Narcotic & Recreational Drug Treatment Part 2


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