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Addiction Therapy

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Addiction Therapy

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What is Addiction Therapy

Addiction is a complex and often misunderstood disease. Although substance abuse is a common psychological disorder, many are tempted to blame the disease on the individual. Some may also place blame on the failures of parents or the influence of peers.

However, addiction is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrollable substance abuse, where seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. In many cases, addiction to the substance is not only physical but psychological too.

Everyone is unique, as are the mental, emotional, and physical characteristics of their addiction. This is why there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment. The most successful routes to recovery are paved by individualized care plans, combined with the recovering addict’s determination to get and stay clean.

Fortunately, there are many types of therapies and treatment plans available to combat addiction effectively.

Types of Addiction Therapy

Typical therapies used in comprehensive substance abuse treatment:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a classic substance abuse treatment method that addresses most challenges resulting from addiction. CBT focuses on exploring the patterns of thinking that lead the patient to self-destructive behavior. As part of their treatment plan, people who attend CBT develop techniques to recognize and change their self-harming behaviors. The skills acquired during CBT set the patient up for success by improving their ability to identify risky situations, cope with negative self-talk, and adjust their outlook on life.

Contingency Management

Also known as Motivational Incentives, Contingency Management is characterized by the practice of incentive-based interventions. Therapists employ tangible rewards to reinforce positive behaviors and motivate the patient to maintain sobriety. The primary benefit of these material incentives is the patient’s amplified desire to continue treatment and prevent relapse.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) addresses ambivalence in patients and enables them to feel proud of their recovery efforts and newfound sobriety. Through sustained MI treatment, the recovering patient is guided into developing their own plan for lasting change. MI is believed to be successful because it allows the patient to feel in control of their recovery. This can be very appealing to individuals who despaired at having no control over their lives when they were in the throes of their addiction.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) approach emphasizes complementing behavioral change, emotional regulation, and problem-solving capabilities with validation, mindfulness, and acceptance. Though this treatment model can be used in many substance abuse cases, its main focus is addressing substance abuse that co-occurs with a severe personality disorder, also known as co-disorders. DBT helps reduce drug cravings, keeps the client away from situations with a high probability for relapse, and replaces harmful urges with healthy coping skills.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) helps foster awareness in the patient so they can identify the nuances of their motivations, shortcomings, and personal desires. With a deeper understanding of their thought patterns, the recovering individual can develop healthy habits and rewire their mind to respond positively and rationally to challenges. REBT’s core is the idea that true happiness comes from within and is not the result of external situations.

The Matrix Model

The Matrix Model combines a range of therapeutic techniques. This model was initially developed to address the challenges of overcoming stimulant addiction. With a range of approaches on hand, therapists can reward good behavior and restore the patient’s self-worth, dignity, and self-esteem.

The Matrix Model can include:
  • Relapse prevention
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Drug education
  • Self-help participation

12 Step Programs

12-step programs are among the first treatment methods that come to mind when people consider addiction recovery. Large organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) use the 12-step recovery program and have helped millions reclaim their lives.

A 12-step program can often be a lifelong commitment to abstinence maintained by regularly engaging with other sober individuals in support groups.

Supplementing your Treatment

Addiction recovery is most successful when complemented by alternative forms of therapy. When combined with traditional forms of addiction therapy, these complementary treatments can help the recovering individual manage stress, promote overall wellbeing, and give their life a much-needed sense of renewed purpose.

Complementary therapies and activities include:
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Massage
  • Painting
  • Volunteering
  • Short courses to further education or career studies

It is important to remember that the recovering patient is always evolving. Successful comprehensive treatment plans are adaptable to change when the challenges of recovery shift

Barriers to Seeking Therapy

A 2017 study revealed that an estimated 20.7 million Americans required treatment for various substance use disorders (SUD). However, only 8% of those individuals received the addiction therapy they needed.

The varying approaches to treatment and inadequate access to the right information can be overwhelming. In addition to this, most people who struggle with addiction are afflicted with other co-occurring mental health issues. Addiction can upend relationships, and those who want to seek treatment might resist due to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt.

All these factors contribute to most addicts failing to seek and receive the help they need.

By understanding the treatment options available, and the therapies involved, more people will seek help to combat their addiction and lead healthy, successful lives.

Assessing your Options

The road to recovery is characterized by varied forms of obstacles and advantages for each affected person. A one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment, therefore, would be incredibly unsuccessful. The best way to find the right addiction recovery plan is to call our Treatment Navigators. They will help you find a qualified substance abuse rehab facility and help you determine what options are best for you. Reach out today and take the first step on the road to recovery.

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