How Do Behavioral Therapies Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help people in drug addiction treatment modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. As a result, patients are able to handle stressful situations and various triggers that might cause another relapse. Behavioral therapies can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people remain in treatment longer.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy seeks to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they’re most likely to use drugs.
- Contingency management uses positive reinforcement such as providing rewards or privileges for remaining drugfree, for attending and participating in counseling sessions, or for taking treatment medications as prescribed.
- Motivational enhancement therapy uses strategies to make the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment.
- Family therapy helps people with drug use problems, as well as their families, address influences on drug use patterns and improve overall family functioning.
- Twelve-step facilitation is an individual therapy typically delivered in 12 weekly session to prepare people to become engaged in 12-step mutual support programs. 12-step programs, like Alcoholic Anonymous, are not medical treatments, but provide social and complementary support to those treatments. TSF follows the 12-step themes of acceptance, surrender, and active involvement in recovery.
Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options
Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:
Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.
Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.
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Motivation: Activating Your Desire To Quit
The simplest answer to the question When do people change? is When they want to. No amount of science, therapy, and brain scans is ever going to change this truth.
3.1. The Role of Motivation in Change
AA considers willpower to be utterly ineffective. The idea that people have the commitment and power to be able to change on their own is anathema to the group. Yet what is it, if not willpower or motivation, that makes some people join, stay with, and succeed in AA?
Wanting, seeking, and believing that you can change do not necessarily translate into immediate success. The fact that Uncle Ozzie could do it in one shot does not mean that you will do it that way. It is much more common for people to make several attempts before successfully quitting their addictions. Indeed, this persistence is a sign that you really want to quit.
It is true that repeated failures are demoralizing and may signify that you need to try something new. It can also mean that you have simply not been in the right place in your life to change, and that you need to do more groundwork. The Life Process Program can help you begin to lay that groundwork.
3.2. Stages of Change
Stages of Change
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Maturity Growing Into Self
ADDICTION is a search for immature gratificationsit is an over-concentration on oneself resembling that of a dependent child. As a result, overcoming addiction requires growing up and assuming adult roles. In this process you learn to take responsibility not only for yourself and your own behavior but for other people in your life. One natural outgrowth of this mature outlook is that you may no longer see yourself as powerless or label yourself an addict. You may no longer feel any need for the addiction, so it ceases to have any presence in your life.
The addiction field has an evocative term for this phenomenonmaturing out. Many people once addicted to heroin or other so-called hard drugs often use this term. The typical reason former heroin habitues give for outgrowing their addiction is that they are tired of the lifestylebeing on the outside, being cut off from normal life, the constant hustling and evading the law, the absence of anything new or better stretching out before them.
Certainly, maturing out is not limited to heroin it happens with all addictions, including alcohol, sex, and gambling. As you mature, you become dissatisfied with your limitations. You develop more connections to life, through marriage, parenthood, or career accomplishments. While undergoing these external developments, you simultaneously experience critical internal emotional changes. At the same time, your self-image and identity change.
7.1. Gaining a Positive Identity
B Avoid Replacement Addictive Behaviors
Instead of finding addictive behaviors to replace your addiction, you should focus more on healthy strategies to support your long-term recovery.
The problem with those replacement behaviors is that they create rewarding feelings and sensations, just like your drug addiction. You will have achieved nothing in the end.
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Rule : Dont Bend The Rules Or Try To Negotiate Your Recovery
Your addiction has given you the opportunity to change your life. Changing your life is what makes recovery both difficult and rewarding. Use this opportunity. Dont resent your addiction. Dont try to negotiate your recovery. Embrace your recovery, and you will be happier in life.
Recovery is difficult because you have to change your life, and all change is difficult, even good change. Recovery is rewarding because you get the chance to change your life. Most people sleepwalk through life. They donât think about who they are or what they want to be, and then one day they wake up and wonder why they arenât happy.
Your addiction has given you an opportunity, and if you use this opportunity correctly, youâll look back on your addiction as one of the best things that ever happened to you. People in recovery often describe themselves as grateful addicts. Why would someone be grateful to have an addiction? Because their addiction helped them find an inner peace and tranquility that most people crave. Recovery can help you change your life.
Relapse is rare after 5 years of abstinence. A study followed young adolescent men with and alcohol addiction who were in recovery. Some were Harvard University undergraduates, and some were non-delinquent inner-city adolescents. The men were followed, every two years by questionnaire, and every 5 years by physical examination until the age of 60. The study concluded that after 5 years of abstinence relapse is rare. Recovery is possible.
How To Overcome Feeling Lonely In Recovery
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 | By Lisa Downing
We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.
Dalai Lama XIV
Addiction is often the result of feeling lonely or depressed. Turning to drugs or alcohol is a way for many individuals to escape that isolating emotional pain. But when the self-medication turns into substance abuse, the addict suddenly finds him or herself lonelier than ever. Finding a supportive community is a vital part of the addiction recovery process.
Social support plays a powerful role in empowering you to face obstacles and overcome challenges. With the support of family, friends, therapists, counselors, and other individuals in recovery, you can tap into strength beyond your own. You can rely on a community of support.
The importance of social support includes:
Read Also: Prayers For Healing From Addiction
What Happens If Willpower Is Lacking
Recovering from addiction takes a leap of faith, backed by the willingness to admit theres a problem. Once you take responsibility for your actions and decide to put recovery first, you can start the process. Youll need to make many changes in your life, including your eating habits, exercising more, and making time for sober fun that helps you stay in tune with yourself.
Fortunately, for those lacking willpower and losing interest in their recovery, therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy are designed to change your thought process and learn how to cope. Its vital that you also create a social support network made up of your peers or family members. This way, if your motivation is lacking one day, you can rely on them to pick you up.
Although willpower wont cause your addiction, it also wont be your way out. If you were experiencing asthma or any other medical conditions, youd be expected to make some lifestyle changes to manage your condition. The same is true for addiction, and you must find new ways to cope and educate yourself to stay sober.
A Expect Your Relationships To Change
During your addiction, your harmful behavior may alienate you from your family. You might end up hurting them however much theyve wanted to help. The best thing is that your recovery efforts will help you win them back.
It will take a while, however, to appreciate the new normal. But strengthening a positive relationship with family and friends will go a long way in helping you attain full sobriety.
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Natural Detox At Home: What Are The Dangers
Quitting drugs and alcohol is a challenging process, and self-detoxification without professional care is even more difficult. It is possible to manage withdrawal symptoms with over-the-counter medications during home detoxification, but this does not mean that kicking addiction independently is entirely safe.
So What Are the Dangers of In-Home Detoxification Treatment?
The Benefits Of Professional Addiction Treatment
If you are addicted, the chances are that you have already made many attempts to try and control it by yourself. Lets be clear here addiction recovery cannot be controlled or moderated. As a progressive illness of the brain any attempts to self-moderate or manage usually have only a short term impact
You may have tried to stop drinking and drugging on your own, and dont know how to beat alcohol cravings, only to end up back at square one and then worse. This is a widespread problem faced by those who suffer from this deadly disorder.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Are Addicted
Does Relapse To Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed
No. The chronic nature of addiction means that for some people relapse, or a return to drug use after an attempt to stop, can be part of the process, but newer treatments are designed to help with relapse prevention. Relapse rates for drug use are similar to rates for other chronic medical illnesses. If people stop following their medical treatment plan, they are likely to relapse.
Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesnt mean treatment has failed. When a person recovering from an addiction relapses, it indicates that the person needs to speak with their doctor to resume treatment, modify it, or try another treatment.52
While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for some drugs, it can be very dangerouseven deadly. If a person uses as much of the drug as they did before quitting, they can easily overdose because their bodies are no longer adapted to their previous level of drug exposure. An overdose happens when the person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, life-threatening symptoms, or death.
Tip 2 Beating Addiction With A Beginners Mind
There is discomfort that is experienced as the beginner. The addict has become accustomed to treating discomfort with their addiction. This is just one of many changes that will be necessary to beat addiction. It is critical to recovery that the addict approaches recovery with child-like curiosity and fearlessness. When discomfort sets in, rather than reaching for the quick fix, the addict must be prepared to try a new approach with the mind of a beginner.
Also Check: Mental Health Parity And Addiction Act
What Are My Addiction Treatment Options
To understand which level of treatment is most appropriate for your needs, you should consult with a physician, a therapist, or other treatment professional, who can assess your situation and make treatment recommendations. Often, people begin their recovery efforts with a period of supervised medical detox and then, depending on their needs, progress through additional rehabilitation. Treatment is sometimes initiated at a relatively intensive level of care but, as recovery progress is made, becomes gradually less intensive as individuals move through their continuum of care. The broad levels of care as outlined by the American Society for Addiction Medicine include:17,18
Learn more about the levels of care offered at American Addiction Centers nationwide treatment centers.
Curious about whether your insurance will cover the entirety of your addiction care? Fill out the form on the page below and an American Addiction Centers admissions navigator will inquire with your insurance company to discover your benefits.
Ways To Deal With Loneliness In Recovery
Defining loneliness is difficult because it is such a subjective feeling usually accompanied by other powerful emotions such as anxiety, depression or panic. Further complicating the concept of loneliness is the fact that many people say they feel alone even when surrounded by family and friends. This could be due to a fear of being alone or certain psychological problems.
Recovering addicts often state that overcoming loneliness in addiction recovery is sometimes harder than detoxing. While in medical detox, addicts receive medications to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In recovery, loneliness cant be treated with medications. Instead, ex-addicts must learn to be comfortable with themselves without escaping into drugs or alcohol. They must learn to take advantage of solitude and enjoy being with the human being they are and have always been.
Instead of dwelling on feelings of loneliness in addiction recovery, take advantage of your solitude. The notion of solitude as beneficial may strike recovering addicts as totally unfamiliar, since they may have spent the last few years high on drugs to avoid being alone with their thoughts, feelings, and memories.
The next time you feel loneliness in recovery, replace that feeling with the joys of solitude. Be aware it isnt loneliness you feel. Its simply your soul telling you it needs replenished and enriched by you and you alone.
Recommended Reading: How To Quit Alcohol Addiction
What Are The Principles Of Effective Treatment
Research shows that when treating addictions to opioids , medication should be the first line of treatment, usually combined with some form of behavioral therapy or counseling. Medications are also available to help treat addiction to alcohol and nicotine.
Additionally, medications are used to help people detoxify from drugs, although detoxification is not the same as treatment and is not sufficient to help a person recover. Detoxification alone without subsequent treatment generally leads to resumption of drug use.
For people with addictions to drugs like stimulants or cannabis, no medications are currently available to assist in treatment, so treatment consists of behavioral therapies. Treatment should be tailored to address each patient’s drug use patterns and drug-related medical, mental, and social problems.
The First Step To Overcoming Drug Abuse And Addiction
Developing an addiction to drugs isnt a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems or how many times youve tried and failed before. With the right treatment and support, change is always possible.
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. Its normal to feel uncertain about whether youre ready to start recovery, or if you have what it takes to quit. If youre addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how youre going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. Its okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
- the way you deal with stress
- who you allow in your life
- what you do in your free time
- how you think about yourself
- the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take
Its also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know its causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.
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Introduction To New Activities
But when it comes to recovery, a person has a much higher chance of success with professional help and the types of environments often found in rehabilitation facilities.
These environments ease the transition from an unhealthy to a healthy lifestyle and give the patient a sense of belonging to a community that has healthy goals, contributing to positive changes in mindset.
Find Recovery Not Just Sobriety
Alexis Lexi Thomas serves as Admission Specialist for Burning Tree Programs. Holding a Bachelors degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona, Lexi lends passion, knowledge, and insight to the admissions process. Treating every inquiry with a sense of tenderness and empathy, Lexi knows first-hand what the family members experience of addiction feels like. After losing her own family member to addiction, Lexi dedicated her life to helping others find the freedom they deserve. A native of Tucson, AZ., Lexi is happily married and expecting a baby. She counts one dog and a cat amongst her growing family.
Patty Raymer serves as Sr. National Business Development Representative for Burning Tree Programs. Active in the national recovery community since 1992, Patty has enjoyed over 30 years of sobriety, service, and excellence in her personal triumph over addiction. Today she helps guide families and clients in their own quest for meaningful, individualized treatment solutions. As one of the most recognizable names in our industry, Patty believes that enrolling in ones own personal work is the best way for the family to heal from the wounds of addiction. Subscribed to the mantra of Trust God, Clean House, Help Others, Patty and her husband reside in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
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