Chambless Johnston Discusses How Medication Can Help with Substance Abuse Disorders
There are various forms of treatment available to those suffering from substance abuse disorders. The most effective therapy options offer an integrative approach. An integrative approach typically includes medication-assisted therapy, a strategy that uses medication and psychological therapy to address the complex issues related to addiction. But how, and to what extent, does medication help with recovering from substance abuse?
Chambless Johnston of Johnson City, Tennessee, is familiar with the impact that medication can have on those recovering from addiction. As a doctor who works with individuals suffering from addiction, he provides integrated substance abuse treatment that includes the use of medication. Johnston offers his services at the East Tennessee Recovery Center. All treatment administered at East Tennessee Recovery involves an integrative approach to addiction, looking at the social, mental, and physical aspects of substance abuse. Johnston shares his insight into the ways that medication can help those recovering from substance abuse disorders.
Recovery typically begins with a period of detoxification. This can be particularly difficult for patients, and many will be inclined to return to their old habits due to the unpleasant nature of the withdrawal effects that they experience. However, with the help of medication, these withdrawal symptoms can be minimized. This can significantly impact the early stages of recovery by helping patients to remain drug and alcohol-free. Chambless Johnston notes that by using medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms, patients are more likely to sustain their participation in treatment and ultimately experience long-term recovery.
Once a patient has overcome the withdrawal period and as they continue to undergo treatment, medication can also be used to help prevent relapse. This may be especially helpful in the initial stages, as many patients find it difficult to abstain from using early on. During this time, the medication helps by reducing cravings. By alleviating cravings, drug-seeking behaviors are reduced and patients often become more inclined to participate in cognitive behavioral therapies. Chambless Johnston explains that medications approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms by altering functions and chemicals in the brain. Various medications are available, including those that can assist with opioid, tobacco, and alcohol addictions. The wide variety of approved medications offered means that many addictions can be treated with the help of medication-assisted therapy.
Chambless Johnston on Co-Occurring Mental Health Conditions
Dr. Chambless Johnston notes that many individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders also experience co-occurring mental health conditions. These mental health disorders can play a significant role in promoting substance abuse. With the help of an integrated treatment plan that involves the use of medication, mental health concerns can be addressed. In many cases, attending to these contributing factors will significantly increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. For example, depression and anxiety are commonly found alongside substance abuse disorders. These mental health conditions are known to considerably contribute to addiction. However, many medications can be used to treat depression and anxiety. By doing so, patients can relieve these compounding factors and significantly improve the probability of sustained recovery.