Drug abuse has been, and still is, a great challenge facing the human society. In spite of the efforts that have been made to curb the vice, it is still impossible to completely phase out the issue of drug abuse from the society.
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Measures are thus being taken to reduce the use of drug abuse in the society, mitigate the effects that drug abuse has on its patients and also try to cure people who are completely addicted to drugs.
Drug abuse and mental illnesses are, in a way, interconnected and thus psychotropic medications are usually used in the treatment of drug abuse patients.
It is common knowledge that most drug abuse patients start abusing drugs due to mental illnesses. Thus a person who has a certain mental problem will be more likely to abuse drugs than another person who does not have a mental problem.
For instance, a person who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be prone to drug abuse because he/she may reason that if he/she uses drugs, he/she will be able to forget the incident that made his/her succumb to PTSD.
This also applies to other categories of mental patients because they seem to take drugs as their haven from the trauma that they go though due to the mental illness.
It is thus apparent that the use of psychotropic medications in curing these patients will be effective since it will be easier for the patients to quit taking drugs when their mental condition is healed.
This is because the mental illness is, literally, the one that sustains the abuse of drugs and thus after it is healed; the patient will have no reason to continue abusing the drugs. On the other hand, if a person is a drug addict, he/she is very susceptible to mental illnesses.
It thus follows that some drug addicts end up developing mental illnesses that they did not have prior to drug abuse. Therefore, a doctor wishing to treat the drug addiction will find psychotropic drugs very useful.
This is because the drugs will be able to reduce or completely treat the mental illness and thus making the patient able to listen well to counsel (“Drug Abuse”, 2009, p. 1).
In the two circumstances discussed above, a number of psychotropic medications can be used. This is because in both cases, mental illnesses co-exist with the problem of drug abuse.
The drugs may not have the capacity to impact on the issue of drug abuse intrinsically but they are very helpful because, as stated above, they make the patient willing to attend counseling sessions and listen to the counselors attentively.
This, in turn, makes it easier for the addict to be healed through counseling. Some of these psychotropic drugs include lithium, Neuroleptics and tricyclic antidepressants may prove to be very useful for specific conditions (Millman, 2005, p. 75).
As evidenced in the discussion above, psychotropic medications have a very great role to play in the treatment of drug addicts. This is because of the aforementioned co-existence of drug addiction and psychological problems in the patients of drug abuse.
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Despite their usefulness, the doctor making the prescriptions should be very careful when prescribing these medications since most of them work for certain mental illnesses.
For instance, antidepressants are effective for patients with depression while MAO inhibitors and tranquilizers may cause undesirable effects on drug addicts.
Millman, R. (2005). Substance Abuse: a comprehensive textbook. Philadelphia. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Youth and the United Nations. (2009). Drug Abuse. Web.