Exploring the World of Drug Addiction Therapies
Do you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse? Drug addiction affects a person’s physical and mental state. As a result, it affects relationships and can result in workplace conflicts, environmental damage, and increased crime rates.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), at least 1.16 million Americans are arrested yearly for drug-related offenses.
Fortunately, there is a range of interventions, substance abuse treatment programs, and aftercare plans available to assist you in living a life free of addiction, such as a combination of inpatient or outpatient treatment, psychiatric approaches, and medication, depending on an individual’s needs.
These specialized drug addiction treatment programs are also tailored to resolve substance abuse and touch other aspects like job concerns, social relationships, and other medical conditions.
Each one offers different types of treatment and therapies, so in this guide, we’ll explore the different kinds of addiction therapy, learn more about how to find a qualified treatment provider and know how to determine which treatment option may be the most effective and applicable based on an individual’s condition.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Treatment Programs for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
- 2 Evidence-Based Drug Addiction Therapies
- 3 Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- 4 Group Therapy and Individual Counseling
- 5 Family Therapy and Support
- 6 Relapse Prevention Strategies
- 7 Tailoring Drug Addiction Therapies to Individual Needs
- 8 Conclusion
Types of Treatment Programs for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
An inpatient treatment program is an intense therapy that entails living at a treatment center while undergoing treatment, which may include counseling, support groups, and ongoing monitoring of medical/addiction healthcare experts.
The level of outpatient treatment varies based on the type of outpatient program selected. You will live at home while receiving addiction treatment and other services at an outpatient facility during an outpatient program.
Detox is the process of removing drugs and alcohol from the body. It should be noted that detox is typically simply the first step in a substance misuse treatment strategy. The goal of detox is to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.
Evidence-Based Drug Addiction Therapies
Evidence-based treatment paired with a holistic approach to healing is a winning combination for addiction recovery.
Evidence-based drug addiction therapies refer to the tailored psychological approach in dealing with individuals suffering from substance misuse disorder. Evidence-based treatment treats addiction by giving you the tools to manage withdrawal, cravings, and triggers. In contrast, a holistic approach heals your mind and body to ensure a successful recovery.
These scientifically proven methods help to recover individuals and improve their thoughts and behaviors. At the same time, they’re essential in keeping people with substance misuse disorder committed to the treatment process.
The Delivery and Goals of Evidence-Based Drug Addiction Therapies
Appropriate use of evidence-based drug addiction therapies requires clinical expertise, and the American Psychological Association strongly recommends this.
That said, a clinician’s level of expertise is integral to the safe and effective delivery of psychotherapy.
Aside from the clinician’s expertise, it’s as vital to consider the history and presentation of the patient. Clinicians should also consider other factors like cultural considerations, preferences, and other medical conditions, especially coexisting mental health issues.
Furthermore, evidence-based therapy promotes and implements safe, consistent, and cost-effective treatments. At the same time, evidence-based therapies aim to enhance health and well-being while promoting accountability.
A. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychological treatment used to treat people who have depression and anxiety at the same time.
Because people with SUD commonly have co-occurring mental health illnesses, treating them concurrently rather than separately is usually best.
Dual diagnosis therapy may be integrated into your treatment plan to address a drug use issue co-occurring with mental health conditions.
This approach aims to change the individual’s negative mindset and behavioral patterns because negative thought patterns are considered fundamental sources of psychological problems.
Through this approach, people suffering from addiction and other mental disorders can adopt positive coping mechanisms to relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Techniques and Effectiveness
Several successful addiction treatments exist, but the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) believes that behavioral therapy and counseling are critical components of the recovery process.
The delivery of CBT may include efforts that help the patient develop positive coping strategies. Therapists use a combination of approaches that may include the following:
- Identifying one’s negative thinking patterns and reassessing them
- Recounting particular issues or problems in one’s life
- Practicing new habits or behaviors that will give an individual a sense of direction or accomplishment
Furthermore, your therapist will help you adapt techniques or strategies to help combat your harmful thinking. Examples of these are:
- Journaling, which is one way to help with acknowledging one’s thoughts, moods, or triggers
- Guided discovery, where your therapist helps you expand your thinking which can help you develop new goals
- Relaxation techniques which may include breathing and muscle relaxation exercises
- Role-playing, which helps with enhancing problem-solving skills and improving communication skills, improves relationships and social interactions.
B. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
The fundamental goal of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is to help patients give value to their life and acquire a sense of meaning. At the same time, this therapy aims to promote change and acceptance among persons with substance misuse disorder.
Consequently, this approach applies to individuals with self-harm or suicidal tendencies.
For those with drug use disorders, dialectical behavior therapy also strives to achieve the following goals:
- Reduce substance use
- Limit urges, cravings, and attempts of substance abuse for recovering individuals
- Increase community involvement and improve social relationships
Techniques and Effectiveness
The delivery of DBT can be through individual or one-on-one therapy, group skills training, and teleconsultation.
Teleconsultation or phone coaching is a form of additional support that can be handy when persons suffering from substance misuse disorder suddenly experience overwhelming negative emotions or self-harm tendencies.
Additionally, the effective incorporation of dialectical behavior therapy helps to recover individuals develop these four skills:
This skill gives individuals a sense of awareness and acceptance, especially in acknowledging their feelings and emotions with no judgment.
Consequently, mindfulness allows people to focus on the present, become more rational, and overcome beliefs or habits that challenge mindfulness (like doubts and sleepiness).
This skill allows an individual to communicate effectively, enforce healthy boundaries, and maintain or establish relationships.
Emotional regulation enables individuals to recognize and manage emotions to avoid a cascade of negative feelings. For example, feeling sad may lead to feelings of anxiousness and depression if mismanaged.
During difficult moments like the death of a loved one or failure in the workplace or school, individuals may be subject to harmful coping mechanisms.
The distress tolerance skill helps individuals overcome challenging situations by using coping strategies that don’t involve negative actions like drug misuse or self-harm.
C. Motivational Interviewing (MI)
The primary goal of motivational interviewing is to encourage people with substance misuse disorder to abstain from using drugs.
Understanding the motive of drug abuse is critical in fostering approaches to help build motivations to change. At the same time, motivational interviewing focuses on strengthening an individual’s commitment to overcoming addiction.
Techniques and Effectiveness
Motivational interviewing occurs in two phases. First, the therapists focus on OARS in Phase I of motivational interviewing.
OARS stands for open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summarizing. These methods are essential to build rapport with the individual and establish a sense of trust. Moreover, it allows therapists to explore the patient’s motivations and strengths.
Second, goal setting and negotiating a course of action to help direct a person to overcome substance misuse occurs in Phase II.
During this phase, therapists will highlight advantages, optimism, and intentions for change. The therapist also boosts the individual’s confidence and desire for change in this phase.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Counseling and psychological therapies alone may not be sufficient to manage substance misuse. Combining them with medication-assisted treatment is a wholesome approach that helps support and speed up recovery.
A. Opioid Addiction
According to the National Library of Medicine, at least 3 million US citizens have had or are currently suffering from opioid use disorder. Heroin is the most abused opioid, with more than 500,000 Americans dependent on it.
Methadone is an FDA-approved drug that functions as an opioid agonist. It’s proven effective in reducing opioid cravings and helping manage withdrawal. This medication is most commonly prescribed for most age groups.
Meanwhile, methadone may present side effects like vomiting, itchy skin, heavy sweating, and mood changes.
This drug works as a pain reliever but is proven to manage opioid addiction as well. Usually, this drug helps relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms. It has weaker efficacy, so it’s suitable for mild to moderate opioid dependence cases only.
Buprenorphine is usually combined with naloxone and administered in sublingual pill form. Common side effects include dizziness, headaches, constipation, and nausea.
This medication is also helpful in managing alcohol use disorders. Naltrexone works by blocking opioid receptors, therefore stopping its euphoric effect. Side effects may include joint and muscle pain.
Moreover, naltrexone doesn’t pose potential abuse or overdose. At the same time, naltrexone is most effective in injectable form. Administering naltrexone should be done after completing the detoxification process for seven to 10 days.
B. Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a significant concern in the US. According to NSDUH, 14.5 million people aged 12 and older had alcohol use disorder in 2019.
Furthermore, alcohol-related deaths are becoming rampant. CDC reports that more than 95,000 people die due to alcohol-related causes.
Disulfiram helps discourage alcohol consumption by making individuals experience adverse effects when drinking alcohol while using the medication. Unpleasant effects such as flushing, nausea, and headaches occur for about an hour or more.
This drug is effective in limiting alcohol consumption by decreasing cravings. However, this medication isn’t safe for individuals suffering from liver problems. You can’t use it alongside opioid medication, either.
Acamprosate helps reduce alcohol cravings but can harm people with kidney disorders due to dangerous side effects. Acamprosate can alleviate kidney problems through swelling, urination problems, and shortness of breath.
Group Therapy and Individual Counseling
Counseling is an integral part of specialized substance addiction treatment programs.
Addiction therapy counseling can be done either individually or in groups. It can also be delivered in a residential or outpatient setting by healthcare providers.
With the help of counseling, persons with substance use disorder may improve stress management and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Integrating individual and group counseling helps expand interpersonal skills and build a support network among recovering individuals.
A. Benefits of Group Counseling in Addiction Treatment
Group counseling may involve up to 12 members. It promotes community support and encourages participants to open up too.
It allows sharing of different perspectives and experiences, which may help participants learn from each other’s successes. At the same time, group counseling enables participants to share and evaluate coping strategies and build empathy. Therefore support groups help increase the chances of sobriety and reduce relapse.
Furthermore, it gives participants a sense of belonging. It opens opportunities for social connections and friendship opportunities too. At the same time, group counseling promotes emotional support, vital in therapy commitment.
B. Benefits of Individual Counseling in Addiction Treatment
Individual counseling provides a more focused approach to individual needs, experiences, and motivations. Therefore, it allows a more rooted understanding of a person’s behavior and struggles.
People who get anxious or face challenges opening up in group discussions are good candidates for one-on-one counseling. To add, it offers the advantage of confidentiality.
Individual therapy promotes self-awareness and helps develop coping strategies specific to a person’s needs. These strategies enable stress management during situations that may trigger a relapse.
Family Therapy and Support
Substance addiction can affect personal relationships firsthand, impairing communication and empathy among family members and affecting the family’s overall function. Most treatment programs these days include family therapies.
Addressing conflicts and issues that may hinder recovery is vital during family therapy sessions. In return, it encourages support and improved understanding. In essence, family therapies contribute to sustaining an individual’s recovery and preventing relapses.
Core Principles in Family Therapy
Family therapies include core principles that encourage the successful delivery of the program.
For example, it uses a non-blaming collaborative approach to encourage empathy and openness.
Plus, it focuses on reducing harm and acknowledging the value of relationships to uphold positive behavioral benefits to the affected individual and the entire family.
Relapse Prevention Strategies
According to NIDA, the relapse rate for people with substance use disorders is 40 to 60%. To close this gap, efficient monitoring, and continuing programs are vital.
To support recovering individuals and prevent relapses, a combination of the following strategies can be helpful:
- Therapy: Including evidence-based drug addiction therapies like motivational interviewing and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training)
- Medication: Using a variety of drugs to limit cravings
- Monitoring: Including urine drug screens or testing to detect possibilities of substance usage
- Peer Support: Programs and services that assist recovering individuals through mentorship or group meetings
Tailoring Drug Addiction Therapies to Individual Needs
When choosing the right addiction treatment program, you need to consider the following factors:
- Cost and Duration
- Individual needs and preferences
- Additional amenities
- Involvement of doctors and experts
Ongoing assessment and adjustments to treatment plans based on a person’s needs, like socioeconomic status, gender, and cultural preferences, help ensure the program’s success.
Taking pre-existing conditions (mental or physical disorders) into account is also the best approach to recovery.
Drug addiction therapies explicitly tailored to meet a person’s unique needs, like other medical or social conditions, are vital in the successful treatment and preventing relapses.
With the proper treatment approach and consistent support from loved ones, achieving a drug-free and functional life is possible.
If you are looking for the best drug and alcohol treatment center in New York, Long Island Interventions is the place to go!
Long Island Interventions is the top provider of addiction treatment programs in New York, with reputable rehab centers around the state. Major insurance carriers recognize us for our addiction treatment leadership, best practices, research, support, training, and inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs and services.
Now is the best time to begin the recovery process and learn new habits or skills of sober living. Please don’t put it off any longer. Contact us right now to learn more about the treatment options that are best appropriate for you or a loved one.