REASONING BEHIND DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENTS
Various types of treatments already exist for drug addiction recovery, but not everyone knows the logical reasoning behind each treatment and why those treatments were implemented into treatment for addiction. For drug addiction, there is group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), life-skills training, activity-based therapy, medication management, and detox. Alternative treatments include art therapy and psychodrama.
Newer therapies like meditation, “romantic love,” and virtual reality (VR) therapy are suggesting promising results for addicts, but are still in the works for discoveries. Naturally, all of these various therapies are broken down into three main categories: pharmaceutical therapies, behavioral therapies, and alternative treatments. Behavioral therapies include CBT, contingency management interventions/motivational incentives, community reinforcement with vouchers, motivational enhancement therapy, 12-step facilitation therapy, and family behavior therapy. Pharmaceutical therapies have their own subcategories that depend on the substance that was abused:
- Methadone – prevents withdrawal, reduce cravings, and inhibits effects of opioids
- Buprenorphine – lowers withdrawal symptoms
- Naltrexone – prevents effects of opioids
- Nicotine replacements – patch, spray, gum, etc.
- Bupropion – reduces cravings
- Varenicline – prevents effects of nicotine
- Naltrexone – blocks pleasurable effects of alcohol
- Acamprosate – reduces withdrawal symptoms
- Disulfiram – produces an unpleasant reaction to alcohol (nausea, etc.)
Though there are so many therapies options, we’ll focus primarily on 2: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Life Skills Training. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses specifically on negative, destructive thought patterns to train patients to develop alternative thoughts which decrease stressful emotions that lead to less impulsive behavior. Creating alternative thoughts and actions through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy means helping the patient develop positive coping strategies, which weeds out the harmful coping strategies like drug use. Coping strategies can range from writing poetry to jogging in a park and are kind of like hobbies, or distractions, that possess the ability to distract the individual from the negative aspects of their life. Drugs are an example of a negative coping strategy to deal with the problems of life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is called as such because this therapy focuses on the relationship between thoughts (cognition), behavior affected by those thoughts (behavioral), and feelings of the client (therapy). Patients can work with the therapist to modify thoughts and actions. After someone is already addicted to a drug, negative thoughts like, “I’ll never be able to quit,” are what lead to a failure in the client to overcome their addiction. Self-fulfilling prophecy, the notion that our beliefs create our future, plays a considerable part in negative thoughts affecting behavior. Bottom line, psychology knows that if an individual strongly believes they can do something, then that individual will accomplish that thing. That is why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is so prevalent when it comes to psychological problems like addiction.
Life Skills Training prepare individuals for real-life challenges that may come in up in their own lives. These include independent life-skills, coping with stress/emotions, and socializing with others. Being able to control emotions, especially stress, I key to avoid potential future relapses. The reason addiction treatments include Life Skills Training is because, for addicts, the lightest stress or negative emotion can trigger them to start using again. Relationships become strained when there is an internal battle with the drug and spending time with loved ones.
Asana Recovery offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Life Skills Training, and many other psychological techniques to help addicts successfully overcome their addiction. They provide a supportive, calm environment with detox and residential treatment programs because they understand the real psychological struggles that users experience when trying to quit a substance or overcome the adverse effects of drug use.
No one should have to face addiction alone. Contact 949-438-4504 to learn more about their treatment programs.