Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders: A Special Case

Summary

Addiction is often viewed as a chronic disease that rewires the brain. This helps explain why relapse rates tend to be high, around 40%–60% (McLellan, Lewis, & O’Brien, & Kleber, 2000). The goal of treatment is to help an addict stop compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. Treatment usually includes behavioral therapy, which can take place individually or in a group setting. Treatment may also include medication. Sometimes a person has comorbid disorders, which usually means that they have a substance-related disorder diagnosis and another psychiatric diagnosis, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. The best treatment would address both problems simultaneously.