Types of Addiction Treatment Therapy

Addiction treatment typically involves the use of both psychotherapeutic options and medications. Through these treatments, you can now work through your substance abuse and addiction, and eventually achieve full recovery from these conditions.

One of the aspects of addiction treatment, therapy is considered to be effective in dealing with substance use disorders. It comes in a wide variety of forms - and some may be more effective for you than others. In particular, the type of addiction treatment therapy used will largely depend on the severity of your substance use disorder as well as the specific type of addiction that you are struggling with.

Understanding Addiction Therapy

Addiction treatment therapy refers to the wide variety of interventions used to rehabilitate substance use disorders. Through therapy, you can get the help that you need to address your particular patterns of drug and alcohol abuse.

Some of the options that are available through therapy could address addiction directly. They can also provide you with new coping mechanisms so that you can deal with your triggers and drug cravings without suffering a relapse.

Most of these therapies would be centered on providing you with the help that you need to form effective relapse prevention strategies. As a result, you may be able to continue safeguarding your sobriety over the long term.

There are also other types of therapy that are focused on dealing with the issues that might be underlying your addiction. These issues could either worsen or continue contributing to your substance use disorder.

For example, trauma is a common underlying cause of alcohol use disorders. If you are diagnosed with alcoholism and you have experienced trauma in the past, you may require therapy options for the specific type of trauma that you are struggling with. These options might include EMDR - eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, which is effective in dealing with post-traumatic stress.

Essentially, addiction treatment therapy is split into two broad categories - alternative therapies and evidence based treatments. Evidence based interventions, as the name suggests, are supported by scientific research. Alternative therapies, on the other hand, have been shown to have some level of success even in the context of addiction treatment. This is even though they are yet to be verified through scientific study.

It is essential that you choose addiction treatment therapy that is evidence-based. However, you might also benefit from alternative treatments in other situations, and depending on your needs and preferences.

Importance of Addiction Therapy

Addiction is defined as a chronic and relapsing condition. As such, it affects the human brain in a variety of complex ways. Due to these effects, addiction can contribute to your uncontrollable and compulsive use of intoxicating and mind altering substances.

Although the mass media waters down the gravity of addiction treatment therapy, you can be sure that there is more to it than meets the eye. For instance, you might not always be able to recover immediately after leaving a detox center - even if it involves medically managed and supervised services.

Often, you may find that you still struggle with triggers and cravings for many years after you stopped abusing your favorite drugs and alcohol. This is because there is more to addiction than simple physical dependence. Further, it is pegged on more than just your biology.

As your addiction treatment therapy session will inform you, the limbic system is the epicenter of the development of addiction. Responsible for the reward mechanism of the brain, the limbic system links and regulates the brain. It also deals with the segments of the brain that are responsible for feelings of pleasure. By so doing, it motivates you to repeat particular activities.

Typically, the limbic system causes you to experience a pleasure response from good food, comfortable sleep, and social interaction. After that, it will teach your brain to continue repeating these activities - some of which are essential to your survival.

When you take psychoactive substances, they can elicit similar effects in the limbic system. It is for this reason that you will experience pleasure from abusing these substances.

After that, your reward center will teach your brain to continue repeating this behavior. As a result, you will continue experiencing a desire for the intoxicating and mind altering substances you abused.

When you are actively addicted, the brain will learn to start seeking drugs and alcohol. This could be for various reasons, such as to feel good, or to relieve anxiety, pain, and stress.

At some point, you might realize the harm that these substances are causing in your system. However, you would have developed such a severe substance use disorder that you will not be able to resist the pull of these drugs.

Through addiction treatment therapy, you can learn how to rewrite the adverse effects of these substances in your brain. Therapy can also teach you how to cope with any negative and stressful feelings that you experience. In the long run, it could prove useful in helping you deal with and avoid drug cravings.

Further, addiction therapy might be useful in addressing the problems that have been contributing to your initial and continued substance abuse. This is useful because addiction often tends to co-occur with other medical and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

For instance, you might have started abusing intoxicating substances while trying to self-medicate the negative symptoms of your mental health disorder. Through addiction treatment therapy, you can address all these disorders. As a result, you will no longer have to self-medicate yourself. Therapy will also reduce the risk that your mental disorders could trigger a relapse in the future.

How Addiction Therapy Works

Today, you can access a wide variety of addiction treatment therapy when you enroll in an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program. However, most of them will have similar goals.

For example, therapy would be designed in such a way that it can increase your ongoing ability to deal and cope with your negative circumstances, thoughts, and emotions in healthier ways instead of resorting to mind altering and intoxicating substances.

Even after you have been through a medically managed detoxification program, you may still experience cravings for these substances. These cravings could increase your risk of relapse unless they are properly addressed.

Through therapy, you will gain the tools that you need to continue coping with your stressors and cravings for drugs. It can also address all the issues that underlie your addiction, and which might worsen or have contributed to your addiction.

Some of these therapies might be applied at the same time to address multiple issues. For example, you can use CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with the way your thoughts influence your behavior. This could prove useful in treating both your substance use disorder as well as any other mental health disorder that you might have - such as depression and anxiety.

Other options in therapy would be aimed at dealing with specific addiction-related issues. For example, you can use EMDR therapy to reprocess trauma that you experienced in the past.

That said, the following are the most common types of addiction treatment therapy used today, as well as their respective goals:

a) Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Develop coping strategies for dealing with high-risk situations
  • Develop strategies to avoid all high risk scenarios that could trigger your addiction
  • Identify high-risk situations
  • Increase self-efficacy

b) Family Therapy

  • Help family members understand enabling as well as non-enabling behavior
  • Allow the addict to understand how their actions continue affecting their family
  • Give all family members a chance to communicate their grievances and feelings
  • Build a support structure that the addict can use when they return home after treatment

c) Motivational Interviewing

  • Increase your awareness of the issues caused by addiction
  • Ensure that you understand the consequences of your addiction
  • Improve your understanding of the risks that you could face if you continue abusing intoxicating substances

Getting Help

The reason there are many different types of addiction treatment therapy is because addiction is a chronic and complex condition. To deal with it, addiction treatment specialists have to use a multi-pronged approach.

For instance, they would have to come up with unique therapy models to address your drug cravings so that you do not relapse. Further, the treatment program will be required to help you understand all stress factors and triggers that might cause you to start abusing drugs and drinking alcohol after you leave the rehabilitation center.

To this end, drug rehabs use a wide variety of addiction treatment therapy to address substance use disorders. The types of therapy that will be applied in your particular case will depend on a wide variety of factors, such as:

  • All the different intoxicating and mind altering substances that you used to abuse
  • The duration of your addiction
  • The existence of any co-occurring mental health disorders
  • The presence of an unsupportive and unloving environment back at home
  • The severity of your substance use disorder
  • Your progress in recovery

In the long run, it is essential that you take your addiction treatment therapy sessions seriously. The more you focus on these sessions, the easier it might be for you to start achieving full recovery from your substance use disorder.

CITATIONS

http://www.williamwhitepapers.com/pr/__books/table_of_contents/Slaying%20the%20Dragon%202014%20Table%20of%20Contents.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/evidence-based-approaches-to-drug-addiction-treatment/behavioral-therapies

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.2007.9971

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323468.php

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323468.php#counseling-and-behavioral

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230395/#_ddd00106_

https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=180293

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