chapter  29
10 Pages

Drug misuse

Pharmacological and psychosocial interventions
WithG. Hussein Rassool

The aims of this chapter are to outline the specific treatment strategies and pharmacological interventions and the detoxification of psychoactive substances. Specific psychosocial interventions are also included. There is a range of community-based and residential services which are provided solely for drug users in structured programmes of care and interventions. Services include advice and information, needle exchange facilities, day programmes, community drug and alcohol services, community prescribing services, inpatient services and residential rehabilitation. Drug treatment may include drug detoxification, methadone maintenance therapy, motivational interviewing and counselling, cognitive behaviour therapies, marital and family therapy, relapse prevention and 12-step approaches. In addition, self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous are also part of the package of care for the service user’s treatment journey. Both pharmacological and psychosocial interventions are used, often complemented by educational and vocational rehabilitation. The treatment of drug addiction is focused on three main components: dealing with detoxification and withdrawal effects; maintenance (also known as substitution or harm-reduction therapies) and total abstinence.