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6 Ways to Treat Addiction

Addiction is a chronic disease that robs a person’s ability to stop using drugs. The willpower that some people display when it comes to drinking or drugging is seemingly not present in someone who is suffering from a substance use disorder. Addiction treatment is vital if the person is to recover. The following components make up a healthy plan to treat drug addiction.

1. Detoxification

The detoxification process rids the body of the abused substances. Because drugs remain in the body of an addict, detox is needed to help them get off the drugs in a way that reduces pain and discomfort (some discomfort is unavoidable). Detox also helps the addict safely get off the drug(s) in question; sometimes, abruptly stopping certain drugs is dangerous, even deadly.

Detoxification is achieved with medication. Withdrawal symptoms are controlled  and managed. Detoxification is the first step of treatment, allowing for further treatment.

2. Individual Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy. It’s used to help identify and resolve the emotional and mental factors that cause an addict to use. People have reasons and triggers that lead to substance abuse—these triggers can include people, memory, events, or something else. Determining these triggers of substance abuse is vital in drug addiction treatment. In therapy, the addict can reveal personal triggers and traumas that need to be addressed. Psychotherapy approaches involve the following techniques:

  • Individual psychotherapy aims at addressing specific issues that trigger substance abuse. A therapist interacts with the addict to discover the causative agents leading to drug usage. A skilled therapist can teach an addict how to cope with sensitive personal issues, which might be family problems, past traumatic events, and complicated situations. The individual is trained to cope with such matters and abstain from drug usage.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) cultivates positive thoughts and behaviors. An individual examines the negative thoughts and practices leading to drug abuse, and once identified, the negative aspects can get replaced with positive ones.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) makes use of behavioral alterations to help an individual overcome triggers, hence improving the state of mind. DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic forms of therapy use the realization of unconscious thoughts and behaviors that are meant to develop new perspectives in coping with the causative triggers leading to substance abuse.

3. Family and group counseling 

Counseling can also be done in group settings and with the addict’s family members.

  • In group therapy, the patient receives feedback from peers, including motivation and encouragement. It helps them develop social and communication skills, as well as the ability to take constructive criticism as well as give it.
  • In family therapy, positive family behavior is cultivated. Families learn how to foster a positive environment toward their addicted member and how to engage in healthy communication styles.

4. 12-step programs

A 12-step program is comprised of a set of principles and actions designed to facilitate recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous was the original 12-step program, and over the years, dozens more have formed including Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Pills Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous. These programs have proven successful in helping people attain and maintain sobriety.

Not only do 12-step programs have a design for living that helps people recover, they also assist the addict in developing social skills, since the process involves interaction and sharing.

5. Residential housing

Residential housing (sometimes known as “sober living”) is a community of like-minded people who are all trying to achieve sobriety and learn new life skills to maintain that sobriety. The environment is structured—there are rules to follow—and peaceful, which offers a therapeutic form of healing. Residents help each other and provide support. Learn more about this type of housing in our post, “Sober Living in Phoenix.”

6. Healthy living

Healthy living is the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, involving regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, and having robust social interaction. Healthy living generates positive thoughts and suppresses triggers leading to substance abuse. Yoga therapy and nutrition therapy are important components of a healthy lifestyle, as are good communication skills and a strong support network.

Read more about the importance of healthy living with our article, “The Mind-Body Connection: Why Good Nutrition Is Important To Substance Abuse Recovery.”

Get treatment for addiction

Addiction treatment is a life-long process that requires diligence and patience. It’s hard work, but it is completely worth it—YOU are worth it. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, please contact us for help. Cornerstone Healing Center provides addiction treatment in Scottsdale, Arizona, and we can help you or your loved one lead a healthy, sober life.

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