As our post last week stated, addiction is a chronic disease—but it is treatable and manageable. There are medications that can help with the initial withdrawal period and prescriptions that can help fight cravings so a person can focus on getting better. But there’s no pill that can make addiction go away.
Can you get over it, though? Yes. But it takes treatment, support, and a lot of work.
Overall, treatment should be holistic meaning it should address the whole person. This means modifying the attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors that led to the addiction in the first place.
How do therapy programs help patients recover from addiction?
Addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life—his ability to work, function socially, maintain relationships—and health. So treatment needs to address all aspects of the person’s life— medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal— to be successful.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the term you’ll hear most when it comes to treating substance use disorders. CBT is a method of helping patients recognize, avoid, or cope with situations that will trigger them to use or abuse drugs.
- Contingency Management principles back the idea that tangible rewards provide positive reinforcement, or rewards or privileges, for remaining drug-free, for attending and participating in counseling sessions, or for taking treatment medications as prescribed. Studies have shown that CM-based programs are highly effective in increasing treatment retention and promoting sobriety.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a different kind of counseling approach. It works well for those people who are ambivalent about treatment and about abstaining from drug or alcohol use. It’s a faster approach where the therapist discusses the patient’s personal substance use and helps to build a plan for change. Coping strategies are included.
- Family therapy is especially helpful for younger addicts, as it approaches a person’s drug or alcohol problems in the context of family dynamics and relationships. Family therapy involves the patient along with either a parent or the addict’s spouse or significant other. Often, family treatment is used along with contingency management.
Yes, there are some rehab centers that insist alcohol and drug addiction can be permanently cured. At Horizon Health Services, we know that effective treatment can help people counteract addiction’s powerful hold on their lives and achieve lifelong sobriety. It is possible to lead a drug-free life. Call us today at (716) 831-1800 to find out how.