Psychosocial treatments for substance use disorders


Authors: Muhammad Ather, Nehdia Hashemi, and Ahsan Nazeer Muhammad Waqar Azeem
Page Range: 113-124
Published in: International Journal of Chile Health and Human Development, 16#2 (2023)
ISSN: 1939-5965

Table of Contents


Worldwide use of illicit drugs is increasing, and substance use disorders (SUDs) have become a significant mental health problem in the West. Although the majority of young people do not use illicit drugs and of those who do use illicit substances, only a minority will develop serious problems; however, substance misuse can still be damaging to the developing brain. Continued use of illicit drugs can trigger or exacerbate developmental problems, particularly in those who are at risk or have a pre-existing develop-mental, physical or mental health conditions. The increased recognition of SUDs, its changing patterns, the impairment it causes and its cost to the society has promoted the interest to evaluate the effectiveness of available treatments. During the last thirty years, numerous pharmacological as well as psychosocial treatments have been developed and validated. Pharmacological treatments usually target withdrawal symptoms while psychosocial treatments are directed at drug use behaviors in general. There is a significant and growing evidence in support of psychosocial therapies on its own as well as in combination with pharmacological treatments for SUDs. In this discussion, we have described the various psychosocial treatments as well as reviewed the available evidence for such treatments and recommendations.

Keywords: Childhood, adolescence, substance use, substance abuse, illicit drugs, treatment

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