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There is concord among specialists and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supporting the notion that there are several treatment therapies available for individuals struggling with addiction. The purpose of these therapies is to facilitate the success of the recovery process of the individual. While there are so many treatment therapies to choose from, the bottom line is to select the one that best caters for the individual’s situation, increasing the odds for relapse, while giving the person another chance at living the best life possible. Some of these therapies are medical, while others are more cognitive-based.
With a large number of therapies available, an individual searching for treatment may be at a loss what option to take. There is, therefore, a need to learn a little about the options available to know which may be best suited for a particular individual. Even the NIDA acknowledges the fact that not all therapies may be suited for a particular individual. In light of this, this article aims at providing insight into top 5 treatment therapies for addiction.
The connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavioural pattern is the prime focus of the CBT. The cognitive-behavioural therapy aims at helping patients realize the underlying negative thoughts and feelings that lead to negative behavioural patterns, which in turn may lead to the use of substances. It is these negative thoughts which contribute to drug abuse and even relapse after treatment. When these negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours have been accessed, then there is a better success of addressing and replacing these with positivity. This therapy is also often used for people suffering dual-diagnosis.
In CBT, the therapist acts as a coach to the patient and tries to determine and understand the underlying mechanism in the individual that triggers these thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In substance dependency issues, the therapist does not only try to find out the thoughts that trigger the use of the substance but also tries to determine the resulting feeling and thoughts generated after the substance has been used.
CBT therapists also try to look out for cognitive distortions in the patient. These distortions or thought patterns appear logical to the individual like the right thing to do, but in reality, such thoughts are quite irrational and flawed. For example, a person may feel completely worthless and hopeless simply because they failed in a racing competition. They fail to realize that they could be better at something else, and that failure is a part of life. They fall into depression and then resort to the use of drugs for suppressing negative feelings. If these distortions and negative thoughts can be addressed, then the patient is on their way to recovery.
This therapy targets people living with borderline personality disorder and chronic self-deprecation. Some people think so badly of themselves and resort to harming themselves, and such thoughts may spore from being unappreciated, unaccepted, and unrecognized by one’s family and friends.
To counter this problem, the patients go through special treatment in a conducive environment where they are taught to develop skills to create in them a feeling of self-worth. The four basic skills thought include:
All these help to identify what produces those negative, debilitating thoughts and to reduce them through positivity.
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As opposed to the psychoanalytic school of thought that believes every individual to be driven by greed, sex, power and aggression, the humanistic school of thought perceives every human to have innate goodness in them. This goodness will only manifest when given a supportive environment, positive regard, and acceptance.
Victims of drug abuse and alcoholism are often found battling with toxic environments and situations affecting their self-esteem. Violent people are produced from violent environments. So when taken to a more positive environment where they are accepted and loved, their goodness can be made to manifest.
This therapy was created at the same time as CBT and uses almost the same approach. But instead of focusing more on the thoughts of the individual like the CBT, REBT places more emphasis on the views of the individual. REBT perceives the irrational and unrealistic beliefs of the individual as the centre of mental issues.
Some of these delusional beliefs include thinking everyone ought to love and accept you, or you must be perfect, but the reality is never truly so. When a person thinks like this, they fall into psychological problems even before the perceived situation presents itself.
To counter these beliefs, the individual is made to understand the fallacy in their beliefs, and then a new logical belief system based on reality is imbibed in the individual.
Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic approach targeted at individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring problems. The therapy seeks to help the individual change their negative thoughts from within, without trying to force them into believing new things. The idea is to allow the individual to make their own decisions, and this will help them stay committed to their path of recovery. A motivational interview does this through collaborating with the individual rather than challenging their beliefs, and offering them autonomy to change their beliefs, make their own decisions, and help them stay committed and consistent with the new-found beliefs and decisions.
The therapist has the responsibility to foster change in the patient by showing empathy, managing the patient’s resistance, and letting them understand what they truly want and the best way to reach their goals without the use of substances. MI has been proven to be very effective in:
Besides the therapies explained above, there is a host of other highly effective therapies recognized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The therapy selected should be individualized based on the patient’s situation, and this helps in making the therapy even more effective.
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DRUGABUSE.COM (n.d). Types of Addiction Treatment Therapies. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from https://drugabuse.com/treatment-therapy/
Addiction Center (n.d). What Are My Addiction Treatment Options? Retrieved February 25, 2020, from https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/
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