Trends in Drug Addiction Treatment

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Drug addiction treatment must keep up with current trends in drug use in order to remain effective. As the trends evolve, treatment methodologies must do the same. The 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that methamphetamine use is on the decline, but heroin is increasing dramatically. Drugs like molly, sizzurp, and krokodil are also seeing an alarming rise in popularity. What are these drugs and how can we treat these addictions?

New Trends in Drug Use


Molly is a potent type of MDMA, or ecstasy. It comes in a powder and is sometimes referred to as ‘brown sugar.’ Due to online drug stores, it is becoming easier to obtain. This is especially dangerous because we can’t know for sure what is in the powder, as many dealers may mix in cheaper synthetic ingredients to make a higher profit. Drug addiction treatment centers are seeing more and more cases of people using molly.


Although the name may sound like a type of juice, it’s actually a mixture of prescription cough syrup (used for codeine), soda, and candy. Sizzurp is particularly common among young people as the ingredients are easier to source. In fact, singers Justin Bieber and L’il Wayne are reported to be dealing with addictions to sizzurp. The effects of this drink can be fatal, especially when combined with other prescription drugs.


This drug isn’t necessarily in widespread use, but reports of it have been surfacing in the media lately. This is probably because of the frightening side effects when the drug is made with impure ingredients – it can actually eat the flesh. Krokodil is a heroin substitute that leaves green, scaly skin at the injection site, hence the name.

Drug Addiction Treatment for Drug Trends


Education is one of our biggest weapons in drug addiction treatment. The more we know about how certain drugs are made and their effects, the better equipped we are to design treatment plans. But it’s not just treatment professionals who benefit from education; we need to raise awareness in the public sphere as well. Many people, teens especially, are unaware of the potential consequences of using these drugs. They may see rappers or pop stars using them, which normalizes the drug and appears to diminish the risks. We need more education on what these drugs can do.

Personalized treatment

Treatment is always more effective when it caters to an individual’s need. There is no blanket strategy for drug addiction treatment. Some people will take prescription medication; some will not. Some people may focus more on individual psychotherapy, while others may find more success in groups. It may take time to establish a treatment program that best addresses an individual’s addiction to these drug trends, so their progress should be monitored by an addiction professional.

Drug addiction treatment is not a static process. It is dynamic, changing as needed and according to each person’s unique circumstances. Although some of these new drug trends may leave many questions unanswered in these early stages, treatment is still available, and it still works.