Six Behavioral Therapies Used in Drug Addiction Treatment

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The path to drug addiction usually starts with curiosity or peer pressure but unfortunately results in the downward spiral to darkness, despair, and hopelessness not only to drug addicts themselves but among those who surrounds them. No matter the type of illicit or addictive substance a person falls heavily dependent on, seeking professional treatment is a must and should be a priority to minimize the damages that are known to be caused by extended use of drugs, including marijuana, meth, cocaine, and many more.


Besides the obvious physical signs and symptoms, addiction has devastating effects on brain function. The habitual use of drugs directly affects the regions of the brain that are linked to learning, memory, motivation, control, and reward. A drug user’s behavior is influenced heavily by these brain centers; hence it becomes all the more crucial to obtain professional behavioral therapies to increase chances of recovery while reducing chances of relapse.


The Importance of Behavioral Therapies in Effective Recovery of Drug Addicts


Behavioral therapies delivers a host of benefits for the recovering drug addict. They help encourage people to communicate their thoughts and feelings, provide opportunities to maintain sobriety, change destructive or negative behaviors as a result of drug dependence, and further improve their life skills to cope with stressful situations and external cues that may trigger intense craving for drugs which may pave the way to yet another vicious cycle of abuse.


Addiction recovery isn’t just about keeping an addict away from easy access to drugs. In essence, drug rehabilitation programs are about making positive mental and behavioral changes that allow dependents to return to a normal way of life. By modifying the ways by which a drug dependent thinks and behaves, the more likely they are to practice positive learned behaviors in everything that they do. Learning how to deal with stress, potential triggers, and the high-risk situations, it becomes easier for recovering users to keep focused on their path to sobriety. Here are proven behavioral therapies that professional counsellors include in their respective rehabilitation programs.


  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


This treatment is commonly used in managing various types of substance abuse. Individuals who undergo cognitive behavioral therapy are taught how to identify and modify their maladaptive behaviors. Through various coping skills, drug abusers master various coping skills, help deal with high-risk situations, and prevent relapse for the long haul.


It’s an effective approach to drug addiction as it can be implemented with other behavioral therapies and traditional rehabilitation treatments, too. Cognitive behavioral therapy is flexible in that it is also proven helpful in managing co-occurring mental and physical health conditions.


  1. Contingency Management


Contingency Management is an excellent behavioral therapy solution for drug addicts suffering from habitual and impulsive use of illicit substances, including alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and marijuana. Its main goal is to reinforce an individual to remain sober. Using this approach, a drug addict is given material rewards as a form of encouragement and praise for showcasing positive behaviors. One of the main selling points of Contingency Management is that it reduces the likelihood of patients from suffering a relapse or dropping out of their rehabilitation program.


  1. Motivational Interviewing


This behavioral treatment approach aims to resolve the feeling of ambivalence among recovering addicts, so they can appreciate their own efforts of staying away from habitual drug use and making positive changes to live a normal, drug-free life. As Motivational Interviewing is facilitated by a therapist, individuals are a part of their own recovery plan. Changes can be made every session to ensure that goals are realistic, measurable, and attainable. This gives them a renewed sense of confidence and responsibility, which further encourages them to adhere to their rehabilitation program.


  1. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy


The goal of Dialectal Bahavioral Therapy is to help recovering addicts to focus on treating serious personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder that resulted from their compulsive and habitual drug use. Therapists teach addicts ways to reduce or eliminate their cravings, provide ways to avoid opportunities to relapse, and help in giving up habits that encourage drug abuse in the long run.


  1. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy


This behavioral therapy provides patients the chance to understand and process their own thoughts which in turn helps them change bad habits and develop desirable ones instead. During Rational Emotive Behavior sessions, recovering addicts are taught how to establish and develop a more rational way of thinking, optimism, and help them gain healthier emotions.


  1. Matrix Model


The Matrix Model is a behavioral therapy that utilizes various therapeutic techniques to help individuals quit their stimulant addiction. The main focus of this treatment method is to reward positive behaviors and teach patients to have more confidence, self-esteem, respective, and dignity within themselves.


There is no one formula to effective and speedy recovery from drug addiction. To find out which one will work best, it is recommended to seek the expertise of drug rehabilitation professionals.