Drug Addiction Treatment Methods

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Humans are complex beings comprised of a mixture of unique outside influences and individualized internal activities. Why does one person end up with cancer and their sister does not? Why is one person more susceptible to mental illness than their coworker after being triggered by their hours being cut? Why does someone take one hit of a drug and continue down the path of addiction and their friend can successfully remain a casual user? Many answers exist in the way that the brain functions as it goes through a lifetime of internal and external stimuli. This means that different treatments and prescription medications help people in vastly different ways.

It is no different when someone is facing the difficult task of choosing the most effective method of drug addiction treatment. The goal is to pick a program that coincides with their interests, beliefs, and goals for their life. If an inconsistency is found, they will lose faith and veer back down the addictive path from which they came. Research has found that a combination of different therapies is the most effective treatment for any addict, and they can be found in both group and individual settings. Let us analyze the various drug addiction treatment methods that exist.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Counselors who are trained in this technique help their clients learn to recognize that they have a difficult time adapting to their surroundings and do not cope with stressors in healthy ways. They are taught how to change their unhealthy behaviors and thought processes so that they can handle what future issues may arise. The goal is to maintain a long-term sobriety and prevent relapses. The skills learned here are beneficial when dealing with substance abuse, physical health conditions, and for treating co-occurring mental health issues long after leaving their drug addiction treatment program.

Contingency Management (CM)

This method of therapy attempts to achieve the desired behavior, which is sobriety, through providing material rewards as motivation. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of using incentives to deter patients from dropping out of treatment and promoting abstinence from drugs. Some ideas that have been used include:

Motivational interviewing (MI)

This is one of the best methods used when someone has been forced into a drug addiction treatment program. Patients who do not want to recover and are resistant to therapy have a lower success rate than those who put forth the effort. MI helps to resolve someone’s ambivalence at being coerced into being there and facilitates the process of them embracing the treatment that can help them heal. One of the most positive aspects of MI is that individuals in recovery tend to find their own motivation and create a plan for to change their behavior.

Dialectal behavioral therapy (DBT)

This method of therapy was originally established to be incredibly useful in treating severe personality disorders, like BPD (borderline personality disorder). It teaches the patient to recognize and avoid situations that may trigger them to use while helping to reduce their cravings. They can learn healthy coping mechanisms and how to alter negative behaviors that lead to substance abuse.

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

This is a short-term therapy that encourages individuals to acknowledge and replace negative thinking with more productive thoughts. Some core goals of REBT include:

It can help people face and resolve common emotions, such as anxiety, guilt, anger, and depression. It focuses on the present techniques that someone is using to handle issues that arise. It helps them change how they react to problems.

Matrix Model

This method has been useful in the treatment of those who abuse stimulants, instituting a combination of various therapeutic techniques. The therapist creates a positive, encouraging relationship with the patient. It is direct but not confrontational. It has been shown to increase the self-esteem and self-worth that declined dramatically as their addiction became more severe.

12-Step Addiction Treatment Support Groups

These are peer support groups that help individuals trying to recover realize that they are not alone in the process. Groups meet in various locations. Their premise is based on steps that help those recovering to focus on overcoming their urges to use drugs, as well as righting the wrongs that have occurred in relationships with friends and family due to their drug usage. People attend group meetings that provide a non-judgmental environment in which someone can voice their concerns about their own sobriety, as well as learn from others’ experiences.

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

A number of medications have either been discovered or designed to help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings when someone is trying to recover from drug addiction. They are not a cure when used alone; however, when they are used in conjunction with a sound plan that includes counseling and behavioral therapies, they are quite effective at combatting a variety of addictions, such as:

Complementary Treatments

Treating an addict as a whole person is an essential part of helping them to achieve and maintain sobriety. Focus must be on mind, body, and spirit as they go through their journey. They will come out the other side a different, and better, person. Some ways to help oneself during these stressful times include:

Whether someone has enrolled in an inpatient or outpatient drug addiction treatment program or has chosen one among the varieties available — including women only, teen only, holistic, luxury, short-term, or long-term — the above mentioned therapies used in combination offer the best chance of someone truly benefitting from their rehabilitation. Giving in and being vulnerable is necessary when someone wants to find their way back to the fulfilling life that they once lived.