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Drug abuse

​Drug abuse and addiction are serious problems that require professional help.

Treatment is a process that continues for a lifetime.

The Behavioral Health professionals at Marshfield Clinic provide a complete range of mental health services in a caring and confidential manner.

Treating Drug Abuse and Addiction

Treatment for addiction to drugs varies with your needs. Some people go through treatment only once. Others return to it off and on throughout their lives.

Support group of adults, sitting in a room talking.

Recovery is a lifelong process

Recovery begins when you seek help for your drug abuse or addiction. Then, you’ll slowly start to build a new life and lifestyle. It may not always be easy. But with the support of others, you can succeed.

During recovery, you’ll go through 3 stages. How long each one lasts varies with each person.

Early recovery

During this stage, you’ll focus on stopping your drug abuse or addiction. Most likely, you’ll get help from a therapist, addiction counselor, or doctor. You may also go to self-help groups on a regular basis.

You’ll avoid people or places that might tempt you to use drugs.

Middle recovery

During this time, you’ll work on changing your life. You may change your values, move, or go back to school. You might start new, healthy relationships. And you might end ones that aren’t as healthy.

You may even try to make up for harm you caused others while using drugs. You will continue the lifestyle changes and strategies that support your sobriety and access doctors or addiction counselors when you are concerned about a slip.

Late recovery

This stage will last for the rest of your life. You’re feeling stronger and healthier. Now, you may look for a greater sense of purpose. You may focus on the things that matter to you most.

These may include your family, your beliefs, or lending a hand to others. You will continue to use the lifestyle changes and strategies that support your sobriety and seek help from doctors or addiction counselors when you are concerned about a slip.

Types of drug treatment

  • Residential treatment. You live in a drug-free setting with others who have the same problem. Often, your stay in community residential treatment lasts about a month, but it could last up to 6 months. During this time, you see a therapist or addiction counselor.

  • Outpatient therapy. You see a therapist, or addiction counselor while living your normal life. You may see your therapist by yourself. Or you may be part of a group. In some cases, your family may see your therapist too.

  • Self-help groups. These offer you support and encouragement. There are also support groups for the loved ones of people addicted to drugs.

  • Medicine. Your treatment may include certain medicines, such as methadone, disulfiram, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.

  • Alternative treatments. These may include acupuncture, hypnosis, or biofeedback. Ask your healthcare provider about them.

When times get tough

Drug addiction is never really cured. Sometimes, no matter how well you’re doing, you may be tempted. If so, you can:

  • Call your sponsor. This is someone in your self-help group who watches out for you.

  • Talk to your therapist, healthcare provider, or someone else you trust.

  • Make a list of how much you’ve achieved.

  • Find something to distract you. Go to a movie, go out for a walk, or call a friend.

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Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

What Do You Know About Substance-Use Disorder?

Substance-use disorder is also called drug addiction. It affects more than just the person using the drugs. Substance abuse can break apart families, ruin personal relationships, and make it difficult to keep a job. Learn more about substance-use disorder and its effects by taking this quiz. It is based on information from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

1. People who abuse drugs are weak-willed. They could control their craving for drugs if they tried.
2. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the U.S.
3. "Club drugs" got their start at all-night dance parties among teens. These illicit drugs have moved into mainstream culture.
4. Over the last few years, the number of people abusing controlled prescription drugs in the U.S. has grown.
5. Anabolic steroids are the same as corticosteroids. Both drugs have the same dangerous side effects.
6. A single time of repeated "sniffing" of an inhalant can cause heart failure and death.
7. Different drugs cause different symptoms, so it's not always easy to tell when someone is abusing a substance. One possible sign of substance-use disorder in teens is when grades slip and school attendance becomes irregular.
8. If you suspect that a loved one is abusing drugs, wait to discuss the issue with the person until he or she is not high.
9. Most people who are treated for substance-use disorder need to stay in treatment for at least 3 months.