The treatment of addiction requires a comprehensive approach that includes detox and rehabilitation. Included within both detox and rehab programmes, however, is the use of medication where appropriate.
Treatment for addiction is different for everyone and depends on the type of substance being abused, how severe the addiction is, and other factors such as mental and physical health. For some, a combination of medication and behavioural therapies can be the most effective form of treatment.
In the first instance, a medically-assisted detox may be needed. The use of medication at this stage is typically intended to minimise the effects of withdrawal but can also help to reduce cravings, therefore making the detox more effective and easier to sustain.
Once detox has been completed, a programme of rehabilitation can begin, which may also include the use of medication. Certain medications used at this point can help the addicted individual avoid a return to drug or alcohol use and therefore preventing a relapse.