Thanks to decades of quality drug addiction research, drug addiction programs today focus on providing tailored strategies to meet the needs of anyone who is seeking recovery. There are a variety of therapies and strategies available to help people with substance abuse.
Most addiction treatment programs will begin by taking a motivational approach with patients. By utilizing techniques such as motivational interviewing and motivational discussion, therapists seek to encourage patients to take a strong interest in their own recovery process.
Once the right level of motivation is achieved by the patient, the therapist will employ a therapy known as Contingency Management (CM). Research shows that CM is particularly useful in addiction recovery from alcohol, opioids, and cocaine. Using a system of simple rewards and consequences for how well a patient adheres to treatment, CM encourages as sustained recovery.
In drug recovery programs, CM will typically be paired with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT further enforces treatment adherence by teaching patients the skill to actually stick to treatment goals. By working on their coping skills for dealing with relapse-triggering situations, patients gain an increased sense of confidence and self-efficacy.
The scope of CBT extends beyond individual therapy, and into family and couples therapy sessions as well. A recovering addict’s significant other or family may be brought in for several sessions, as social ties very often have a strong bearing on treatment outcomes. Families and couples are taught how to work together to encourage an addict’s recovery.
Twelve-Step programs can be an additional and invaluable tool for achieving sustained abstinence. Based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step treatment model, there are a variety of other mutual-help groups available today, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.
These community-based treatment programs for drug addiction begin with emphasizing that drug addiction is a chronic disease. Like many other chronic diseases, the goal is to manage the symptoms. While addiction may never be entirely eliminated, the belief of 12-Step programs is that is can be controlled.
Studies over the years have shown that the patients who find success in 12-Step programs are the ones who follow all of the steps through to completion and who begin attending meetings while still receiving other psychosocial treatments. Successfully following the steps helps recovering addicts feel more in control of their lives.
Addiction recovery can also take place in more alternative addiction recovery programs. Patients sometimes turn to alternative medicine seeking a more balanced approach which can complement the mainstream treatments they are already receiving.
Exercise therapy in particular has received much attention in recent years. As an inherently rewarding therapy which activates the body’s pleasure pathways, exercise provides a drug- and alcohol-free alternative to enhancing one’s mood. Even light exercise can help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Yoga is another increasingly common alternative addiction treatment therapy used by people from all walks of life. Most often used as an aid to enhance other recovery treatments, yoga is used for its ability to bring down stress levels and improve anxiety and depression.
The benefits of yoga for addiction treatment have also been found to be due to an increased self-awareness and a greater ability to self-regulate. The goal-directed behavior which brings success on the yoga mat also seems to bring success in recovery.
Though they can differ substantially from one another, successful drug recovery programs share several important commonalities. One is that they use techniques to enhance a patient’s feelings of self-efficacy while teaching them better coping skills. They also offer patients rewards, as well as opportunities for inherently rewarding activities. Most important of all, addiction treatment programs offer much-needed structure, goal direction, and social support.
Programs that emphasize these and other strategies offer addicts of any background the chance to take their life back from addiction.
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