Are There Effective Treatments for Drug Addiction?

Yes, although there is no cure for drug addiction yet. Addiction is a treatable, but often chronic disease. And just as with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease, people learn to manage their condition, sometimes with the help of medications. People addicted to drugs can do the same. Drug addiction can be effectively treated with behavioral-based therapies in which people learn to change their behavior; and, for addiction to some drugs, such as tobacco, alcohol, heroin, or other opiate drugs, medications can help. Treatment will vary for each person, depending on the type of drug(s) being abused and the individual’s specific circumstances. For many people with drug addictions, multiple courses of treatment may be needed to achieve success. Scientific research has revealed 13 basic principles that are the foundation for effective drug addiction treatment. These are discussed in NIDA's Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide.