The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the foremost authority on drugs of abuse and its effects. The term, drug, is used to refer to any chemical or substance that has the capacity to alter normal bodily function after being absorbed by the body. Pharmaceutical drugs are substances used to treat, cure, or prevent a disease, often prescribed by a doctor, but not always. As long as taken in proper dosage or amount, prescription drugs are generally considered to be beneficial, because they are helpful in improving the condition of the body. If misused or abused, drugs can cause harm and may even be fatal.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, established by Congress in 1974, is a federal scientific research institute under the National Institutes of Health, which was then a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Through scientific research, they help us to have a better understanding about drug addiction and its treatment. The research done by NIDA is provided to policy makers, health care professionals, and of course the general public.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that the substances most commonly used by addicts are tobacco, alcohol, cannabinoids, opioids, stimulants, club drugs, and hallucinogens. To be able to stop people from being dependent on these substances, NIDA has established the 13 fundamental principles of drug addiction treatment.
A Typical NIDA Town Meeting
Six of the 13 Fundamental Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment are:
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated in their first principle that addiction is a complex but treatable disease which affects brain functions and behavior. This principle has become the basis for the following principles.
- Since this is a complex disease, in which each client has a unique case, there is no single treatment appropriate for all of them. However, even though treatment is different for each client, it must be readily available for them. Treatment must address, not only on their drug abuse, but to their multiple needs as well. Aside from addiction treatment, issues which involve the client’s psychological, social, vocational, and even legal problems must also be given attention.
- In order for treatment to be effective, the National Institute on Drug Abuse also stated that time is a critical factor. A period of at least 3 months is needed to produce a visible result. The longer the duration of the treatment, the better the outcome is expected to be. The first step of treatment, which is detoxification, is not enough. It may help the client reduce the amount of substance in their body, but it is only the beginning of treatment that the client will undergo.
- During treatment, medication and counseling, combined, is an effective combination to help clients free themselves from addiction. Because this disease is complex and chronic, treatment must also be continuous. It must be continually assessed and modified as needed to adjust to the changing needs of the client. It is also very important to have some way to monitor the client to ensure there is no drug use or relapse.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse also stated that drug addiction often co-occurs with other psychological disorders and these comorbid disorders must also be addressed and treated for successful recovery. Drug addiction can also be associated with other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV/AIDS. The presence of these conditions must also be checked. A person willing to accept treatment is a big help, especially to therapists, though treatment does not necessarily need to be voluntary for it to be effective, as stated in one of the thirteen principles.
- Behavioral treatment is also another important aspect of a successful recovery program. Residential treatment programs are effective, especially if severe problems are involved. These programs involve clients staying in a residential community for usually six to twelve months. The focus of these therapeutic living centers is to help clients gain a better quality of life through addressing, both, addiction and other behavioral issues.
NIH Will Not Merge With NIDA – On the Web
The GenomeWeb says The National Institutes of Health has scratched a plan it had been considering to pull its two research institutes that focus on the abuse of and addiction to drugs and alcohol into one single institute that would focus on addiction and substance abuse. NIH made the decision two years after a review board had recommended that they be molded into one institute. NIH Director Francis Collins said on Friday that the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism will stay separate. But, he added that some “functional integration of existing research resources” at the two institutes will take place. Click here to read more…
If you are looking for a new environment, there is a therapeutic living center located in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii known as Hawaii Island Recovery. Taking into consideration the principles set by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this facility is an addiction rehab, which aims to treat each client uniquely with their custom-designed approaches.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please call Hawaii Island Recovery at 866-906-9611 for help or more information.