Substance Abuse Therapy

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Addiction is a complex disease that often results in the need for substance abuse therapy.

An estimated 20.7 million Americans needed treatment for substance use disorders last year.

Despite this only 2.5 million received substance abuse treatment.

When addiction occurs, individuals require treatments that can properly address the all symptoms and causes of their disease.

It is important to understand that substance use will cause many consequences in different areas of a person’s life.

Whether this includes the ability to socialize, physical and mental health, or other consequences at work, home, school, or with the law.

Having said that, there are many types of behavioral therapy available to effectively treat addiction.

Different Types of Behavioral Substance Abuse Therapy

Addiction treatment will consist of a combination of group and individual substance abuse therapy sessions.

These should focus on teaching you skills that you will need to stay sober and navigate life without substances.

Behavioral therapy is the most commonly utilized substance abuse therapy component.

Different behavioral therapeutic approaches used in substance abuse therapy include

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Referred to as CBT, this form of substance abuse therapy is used to treat many different forms of substance abuse. People treated with CBT techniques are able to begin to recognize and change maladaptive behaviors. CBT can help people with coping skills, and to understand what to do in triggering situations. Overall CBT is used to prevent relapse.
CBT can also be used with other techniques to make a complete program. The skills learned in CBT are able to benefit far after the initial therapy, and can also be used to treat co-occurring mental disorders.

Contingency Management

This form of treatment is known to be effective at treating alcohol, opioid, marijuana, and stimulant use disorder. It is often used to reinforce sobriety by offering material rewards as motivation.
When the person in recovery makes desirable behaviors, such as continuing to be sober, there will be rewards. Contingency management is able to reduce use and reduces the risk of both dropping out of treatment, as well as relapse.

Motivational Interviewing

Typically motivational interviewing is used to push those in recovery to embrace treatment efforts. This should push the user to avoid problematic substance use behavior. Motivational interviewing is a form of substance abuse therapy facilitated by a therapist and can help those in recovery to develop their own motivation. It can also provide more of a sense of control over their treatment.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Sometimes combined with CBT, DBT can be used to treat many substance abuse disorders. It is often used in treating severe personality disorders. This might include borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder.
DBT is thought to reduce cravings, help avoid substance use situations or opportunities to relapse. It can also assist in giving up actions that will reinforce substance use.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Referred to as REBT, this form of substance abuse therapy helps patients understand their own thoughts. It will also help them to develop good habits. REBT can also help you to think in more positive or rational ways. Rather than turning to substances due to your emotions, you can learn that rational thinking comes from within and that external situations are not what will give you the feeling of happiness or unhappiness.

12-Step Therapy

12-Step therapy works to promote abstinence by bringing people together who all suffer from substance abuse issues. This might include Alcoholics Anonymous, known as AA, or Narcotics Anonymous known as NA.

Medication and Substance Abuse Therapy

When combined with both counseling and behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment can be extremely helpful in substance abuse therapy. This treatment is often referred to as MAT.
There are many different medications that can be used to help reduce cravings, but also to manage withdrawal. Typically these withdrawal symptoms are due to opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives.

Opioid MAT

Opioid agonist medications include buprenorphine and methadone but can also include naltrexone. These might be used to help those with an addiction to opioids.

Alcohol MAT

If you are in recovery from an alcohol use disorder, then medications like acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone can be used to decrease continued drinking behavior. There are additional medications as well that may be used off-label for symptomatic support during withdrawal and substance abuse therapy. These are typically used to address any co-occurring mental or medical health issues as well.

Other Compliments to Standard Substance Abuse Therapy

There are many different alternate types of therapies that can be used to complement substance abuse therapy. Although these techniques should not serve as substitutes for substance abuse treatment programs themselves, they can help to promote recovery through stress management and overall well being.

  • Exercise: This is an incredible way to reduce stress and release uncomfortable emotions. Some substances cause weight gain when you first quit, but exercise can help to offset this.
  • Meditation: Since recovery can be extremely stressful, meditation can have a positive impact on both anxiety, depression, and overall health. Using mindfulness meditation is one way that you may be able to maximize the benefits of your substance abuse therapy. It is also something you can continue after therapy.
  • Yoga: There are many gentle styles of yoga that focus on breathing and relaxation. Yoga offers many benefits, including stress reduction and reduction of physical tension. It can also help you feel more self-aware, peaceful, stronger, and physically fit.
  • Massage: It is a wonderful way to relax without using substances. This can be a part of your self-care routine. Although it is an investment, it can be used to reward yourself for small milestones during your recovery journey. Some studies show that massage can help in managing various symptoms associated with different types of substance withdrawal.
  • Equine-assisted therapy: It is a different form of therapy, but equine therapy uses horses with the substance abuse therapy process. It has been shown to offer better outcomes for participants, but people in these programs may stay in treatment longer, and be more likely to finish. Many people who go through equine-assisted therapy state that it lets them feel like less of a “patient” and more of someone who is accepted, and emotionally supported.

Signs of Substance Abuse

It is important to be able to recognize the signs of drug and alcohol abuse. Recognizing the signs of drug or alcohol misuse is also considered to be any excessive or inappropriate use of a substance. People’s opinions, values, and beliefs may vary significantly on the topic.
For some, any use of an illegal drug or any use of alcohol in order to become intoxicated technically constitutes abuse. For others, abuse of a substance is indicated by different negative and recurring consequences. These might include:

  • Failure to meet obligations and responsibilities
  • Physical injury due to drug or alcohol use
  • Illness because of substance abuse
  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated, or possession of illegal drugs
  • Relationship problems with friends and family
  • Impulsivity, which might include spending money excessively
  • Loss of interest in activities you once loved
  • Short-term memory loss or blackouts

Looking to Start Substance Abuse Therapy?

If you have considered getting help from a Substance abuse therapist for your addiction, we can help.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we offer free insurance verification for treatment, and a highly trained staff to help you through.

Contact us today to learn more.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.