March 7, 2023 – The difficulty in treating dependence lies mainly in the fact that addictive behaviors tend to modify the structure and functioning of the brain. Reversing these modifications involves an enormous effort.

The road to recovery from addictions is usually a long and winding process, in which the patient may suffer numerous relapses. Therapeutic strategies comprise highly structured programs that integrate different psychological, physiological, behavioral, pharmacological, and social aspects.

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addictions, like other chronic diseases, are not curable, although they can be successfully treated. It is about achieving sustained recovery through avoidance of use leading to extended abstinence. In other words, to prevent relapses so that the patient overcomes the abstinence syndrome. The use of certain drugs, in combination with psychological therapies, is often the most effective way to achieve this end. However, relapse rates of people treated for drug use disorders reach, according to NIDA data, 60%.


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