Drug Addiction Therapy

By July 8, 2019Relapse Prevention
drug addiction therapy

Rehab Then Therapy

Drug rehabilitation and recovery is not always a single, linear journey. It can involve multiple treatments that address different topics. This is why drug addiction therapy is important, as it helps address other issues that need to be resolved. Drug rehab is not a “one and done” type of treatment. Often, it is a process which has complex cycles. Unfortunately, a portion of patients go to an inpatient rehab center and believe that it is enough to keep them sober. However, leaving rehab is only half the battle. Often times there are outpatient centers to go to for continued care, and meeting with a therapist is often suggested.

 Thus, it is important for those who are undergoing drug rehabilitation to consider drug addiction therapy as a form of aftercare upon leaving rehab.

What is Drug Addiction Therapy?

Drug addiction therapy comes in various forms of evidence-based services. It is designed to address mental health issues related to substance abuse. Typically, there is an underlying mental health issue that leads to drug and alcohol abuse, this is known as a dual diagnosis. It can be done through one-on-one sessions, in pairs, or in groups of patients with similar conditions, backgrounds, or personalities.

Some of the most common drug addiction therapies include the following:

Psychodynamic Therapy

The general principle of Psychodynamic therapy is the idea that mental health problems stem from unresolved issues in childhood. This could be related to trauma, stress, abuse, and other negative experiences back when the patient is young. Psychodynamic therapy involves expression of thoughts, feelings, and understanding the cause of the problem in childhood as a way to free the patient from the bondage that exists in adulthood.

Interpersonal Therapy

This next form of drug addiction therapy involves focusing on the interaction between the patient’s friends, family, and other loved ones. This type of therapy is often administered to patients with self-esteem issues, social anxiety disorders, and other problems about social interaction and building relationships. It breaks down the process of realizing the importance of establishing positive relationships, coming out of isolation, or fixing relationship conflicts such as in a marriage or within a family.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Another common form of intervention is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is an evidence-based strategy that helps patients identify negative or unwanted thought patterns and replacing them with helpful ones. The therapist helps the patient to identify “wrong” thoughts and assumptions about others while helping to focus on the “right” ones. CBT is helpful for patients who may have Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorders, or those who may have Depression.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT is an intensive type of intervention that helps patients get rid of highly troublesome behaviors. This can include rage, lying, self-harm, or harming others. The principle of DBT lies in the idea that acceptance and change are both needed in order to solve mental health problems. Common therapy strategies in DBT include keeping diaries, counseling, phone coaching, and group sessions.

Holistic Therapy

In conjunction with outpatient treatment, support groups and therapy, holistic therapy is a great way to help people stay sober. Meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, and many other holistic therapies can be a great tool to add to your recovery tool belt. These therapies are mostly able to be practiced in the comfort of your home. You can use these therapies when you are stressed and feel the results. They are good tools to have to fight boredom and drug cravings which are major triggers. These are often taught at holistic rehab centers.

Why is Drug Addiction Therapy Important?

Substance abuse problems often do not exist on their own. Many times, patients who take in illicit substances go through some type of mental illness such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders or suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse often comes as a form of coping mechanism or as a way to self-treat these co-occurring mental health concerns.

When patients who undergo drug rehabilitation do not avail of therapies, these mental health issues may not be addressed–resulting to higher chances of relapse. Undergoing these types of therapies can be beneficial to one’s mental health and can be even a large contributor to the success of substance abuse recovery.

Below are some of the benefits of seeing a therapist after substance abuse rehabilitation:

  • Accountability: After drug rehabilitation, one of the most difficult parts is staying sober. Having a therapist to answer helps you to become more responsible and keep you in check to avoid a relapse.

  • Addressing mental health problems: As mentioned earlier, drug use has often been utilized as a way to cope with mental health problems. When a patient sees a therapist, these mental health issues are addressed, extracted from the root, so that there will be no need to use illicit substances for relief.

  • Establishing healthy habits: Another benefit of therapy is to help the patient establish healthy habits. Patients who may have severe mental health co-morbidities cannot keep a schedule by themselves alone. A therapist can be consistent and aggressive in promoting these healthy habits for better outcomes.

What to Expect During Therapy

When seeking therapy as a form of treatment, patients should expect the following:

  • They may be asked to share personal information

  • The therapist needs to know their whereabouts and activities for accountability

  • They will be asked to keep a consistent schedule (either for counseling or building habits)

  • They may be asked to interact with others who have a similar situation

  • There may be things that they need to do or stop doing for therapy to be successful

Having mental health therapy is one of the essential steps to take after drug rehabilitation. It helps ensure the success of the patient and build the path to total sobriety. 

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