Methods of Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction

Nearly one third of all Americans over the age of 18 report having abused some type of prescription medication in the past 12 months. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States where more than half of all pharmaceuticals produced in the entire world are consumed. Unfortunately, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, rates of abuse continue to rise despite efforts of law enforcement and health officials. For those who become addicted, a number of treatment options are available to help.

Types of Prescription Drug Addiction

Each method of treatment for prescription drug addiction is based on the type of drug that a patient is addicted to. For instance, opiate addiction such as an addiction to Oxycodone or Hydrocodone, is often treated using:

  • Medications such as Methadone or Suboxone
  • Behavioral therapy to reduce adverse reactions to cravings
  • Supportive care

Likewise, an addiction to Xanax or another benzodiazepine is often treated using:

  • Slow tapering of the drug to reduce the effects of withdrawal on the organs
  • Behavioral therapy including CBT to reduce the anxiety
  • Supportive care
substance abuse help

Therapy is a big part of all substance abuse treatment.

Users most often become addicted to opiates or benzodiazepines but barbiturates and other prescription medications can also cause problems in a user’s life.


While medications such as methadone and similar drugs provide a solid foundation for early treatment of an opiate addiction, therapy is the backbone to recovery from a prescription drug addiction. Many different types of therapy including behavioral therapies, psychotherapy, family therapy and talk therapy can be used to help an addict overcome the psychological aspect of addiction and reduce his or her risk of relapse later on. The most common methods that you will find in prescription drug addiction treatment include:

  • CBT
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Motivational Rewards
  • Matrix Model
  • Emotional Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Talk Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Contingency Management

Each of these methods of treatment for addiction works to get to the bottom of a user’s decisions to partake in prescription drug abuse and to provide continued care that will minimize the overall risk of relapse later on.

Alternative Treatments

In addition to medications and therapy, a number of alternative treatments may also be used to assist the patient in feel at ease, coping with pain and otherwise avoiding the use of various prescription medications while in treatment. The most commonly used alternative treatments include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Stress management
  • Hypnosis
  • Nutritional meals
  • Exercise
  • Biofeedback