It might seem counterintuitive to some, but the use of various drugs to treat addiction to drugs is a common and in many cases necessary practice. However, the nature of the disease of addiction means that one addiction can be easily transferred to another – it's not about the substance so much as it is the behavior. And while a great deal of this can be attributed to the fact that some addiction treatment drugs are actually habit-forming, the fact of the matter is that an addicted individual will do what is necessary to feed their addictions, and sometimes this means abusing the very drugs that were meant to treat their disease.

Opiates are a class of drug manufactured from the poppy plant that are widely considered to be among the most addictive substances known to man. Addictions to opiates like morphine, heroin and Oxycontin are often severe and can sometimes lead to fatal overdoses, suicide and even homicide. In an effort to treat individuals who are addicted to these substances, drugs like methadone and suboxone are being employed in various social and public health programs. However, the trouble with these drugs is that they are also made from opiates and have a strong potential for abuse. Methadone and drugs like it work by suppressing the "feel good" effect of getting high and in theory eliminates the motivation to use. Nevertheless, addictions to and abuse of methadone are widespread in the United States and in many parts of Europe.

Alcoholism is treated quite differently – especially in the early stages – than opiate addictions. In the past a class of drugs known as barbiturates were used to treat alcoholism, but the drugs were partly discontinued because of difficulties in regulating dosage. Today the drug of choice to treat alcoholism is Valium, Xanax and other benzodiazepines early in treatment, and new drugs like Topiramate and Acamprosate during later stages of treatment. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines, like alcohol and opiates, are also extremely addictive but help to reduce the symptoms of Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. Acamprosate and Topiramate, on the other hand, are not considered clinically addictive, but nevertheless alcoholics that abuse these drugs are likely to become dependent. According to the Wikipedia entry for Acamprosate;

"Abuse of Acamprosate can easily occur if the drug is taken too long or in too high of doses. The withdrawal process can be life-threatening if it drives the individual back to intense alcohol intake."

In effect, any drug used to treat addiction or alcoholism can in turn lead to addiction transference to the treatment medication. This is why these types of drugs must be used in strictly managed programs under close supervision of an addiction therapist. However, even under the best care addictions to treatment drugs do still occur. If this is happening to you or someone you love, it is critical that you get help right now. Abuse of treatment drugs can have serious, lifelong consequences and in some cases can be fatal.

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Author's Bio: 

Ron has been professionally writing for the web for nearly 15 years and has evolved a style guaranteed to get results.