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Treatment for Substance Abuse and Dependence in VA and Washington D.C, 

Substance abuse and dependence treatments are uniquely tailored to each individual, as there is no universal solution. Recognizing this, treatment plans are meticulously crafted, considering the patient's specific symptoms, medical history, and the duration of their substance abuse.

Treatment for Substance Abuse and Dependence at Grace Health Services
Understanding Individual Needs at Grace Health Services

Substance abuse and dependence treatments encompass a variety of approaches, tailored to the individual's needs and the specific substances involved. Research has led to the development of effective methods that enable individuals to cease drug use and resume productive lives, also known as recovery​​. While there is no cure for drug addiction, treatment options can help people overcome addiction and remain drug-free​​.

Understanding Individual Needs



  • Medical Assessment: Patients undergo a thorough medical examination to determine their physical and mental health. This includes evaluating the level of substances and their metabolites in the bloodstream.

  • Psychological Assessment: A mental health assessment helps understand any co-occurring mental health conditions.


  • Medical Stabilization: This involves using medications to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and any medical complications.

  • Psychosocial Support: Patients receive psychological and emotional support during this challenging phase to help stabilize their mental state.

Withdrawal Management

  • Managing Symptoms: Medications and therapies are used to alleviate the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

  • Monitoring: Continuous monitoring ensures the patient’s safety and adjusts treatment protocols as needed.

Transition to Treatment

  • Preparing for Rehabilitation: Detox is only the first step; preparing patients for further addiction treatment is crucial.

  • Referral to Ongoing Treatment: Patients are often referred to inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs for comprehensive addiction treatment.

Detox is the initial step in freeing the body from the influence of drugs or alcohol. This process is carefully managed in a medically supervised environment to safeguard the patient's health and safety. The duration of detox varies, typically ranging from a couple of days to over a week, depending on individual needs.

Here are the common types involved in detox:


Therapy in substance abuse treatment is a journey of self-discovery, healing, and growth. It's about finding the strength within oneself and learning to navigate life’s challenges without reliance on substances. This holistic approach, combining different therapeutic methods, ensures that the treatment addresses all facets of an individual's life, paving the way for a sustainable and fulfilling recovery.

Medications in Substance Abuse Treatment

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Easing Discomfort: Medications can alleviate the physical and psychological discomfort of withdrawal, making the detox process more manageable and humane.

  • Medical Supervision: Withdrawal management is typically conducted under medical supervision to ensure safety and adjust treatment as needed.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Addiction:

  • Methadone: Reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing the high associated with opioid abuse.

  • Buprenorphine: Similar to methadone, but with a lower risk of abuse, addiction, and side effects.

  • Naltrexone: Blocks the euphoric effects of opioids and helps prevent relapse.

Treatment for Alcohol Dependence:

  • Disulfiram (Antabuse): Causes unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed, deterring drinking.

  • Naltrexone: Reduces the urge to drink alcohol.

  • Acamprosate (Campral): Helps restore the natural balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and reduces the physical distress and emotional discomfort people might experience when they stop drinking.

In some cases, medications play a pivotal role. They may be used to prevent relapses or to manage symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders, thus supporting a more comprehensive treatment approach.

Addressing Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders:

  • Antidepressants: Used to treat co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety, which are common in individuals with substance use disorders.

  • Mood Stabilizers: Beneficial for patients with bipolar disorder or other mood disorders.​

Relapse Prevention:

  • Naltrexone for Opioids and Alcohol: Helps reduce cravings and the rewarding effects of use.

  • Varenicline (Chantix) for Nicotine Addiction: Reduces the pleasure of smoking and eases withdrawal symptoms.​

Supporting Overall Treatment Goals:

  • Medications in Conjunction with Therapy: Medications are often most effective when used in combination with behavioral therapies.

  • Customized Medication Plans: Medication plans are tailored to each patient’s specific situation and needs.​

The use of medications in substance abuse treatment is a complex and nuanced aspect of the recovery process. It requires careful monitoring and adjustment by healthcare professionals. The goal is to support individuals through the initial withdrawal phase, prevent relapse, and address any underlying mental health conditions, ultimately leading to a more successful and sustainable recovery.​

Medications in Substance Abuse Treatment at Grace Health Services

Substance Abuse 

Substance abuse, also known as substance use disorder, involves the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. This condition is characterized by an individual's persistent use of these substances despite clear evidence of health and social consequences. Substance abuse can lead to addiction, a more severe form of the disorder marked by a physical and psychological reliance on these substances.

Substance Abuse  at Grace Health Services

Find support and healing through Support Groups

substance abuse group therapy sessions, designed to foster a supportive and healing community for individuals on their recovery journey. Our sessions, led by experienced and qualified therapists, create a confidential and nurturing environment where participants can openly share their experiences and challenges with substance abuse. This unique setup not only allows for personal expression and mutual understanding but also provides a platform for accountability and collective growth.

Let’s get you the care you deserve!

​Our certified providers at Grace Health Services in VA & D.C. are dedicated to understanding and treating a variety of mental health challenges. Drawing from both modern research and years of hands-on experience, we aim to provide nothing but the finest care from the moment of diagnosis.

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