Addiction of anything is bad for our overall well-being and when it’s the addiction of drugs, alcohol or other substances, the negative impact multiplies.
Successful Treatments for addiction may vary depending on your requirements. You can select from multiple addiction therapy options that truly work for you according to the substance you’re abusing, the degree of care you require, your specific mental health issues, or what health care alternatives you can afford.
How addiction normally works?
Before diving into the different addiction therapies, it’s useful to grasp a few broad characteristics of addiction.
The Reward System
Addiction interferes with normal brain function, notably in the reward system.
When you do anything you find delightful, whether that’s hanging out with your closest friend, drinking a bottle of wine, or taking cocaine, this reward system produces the neurotransmitter dopamine along with other chemicals.
Contrary to common opinion, dopamine doesn’t appear to induce emotions of pleasure or bliss genuinely. Instead, it tends to cement your brain’s relationship between particular items and feelings of pleasure, encouraging you to seek similar things out again in the future.
Cravings and Tolerance
The urge to feel this bliss again might induce cravings for the substance or action, especially when you face the same cues (like a party where people are drinking, for example). These desires typically act as the first indicator of addiction.
As you continue taking a substance or participating in a habit, your brain continues to manufacture higher levels of dopamine. Eventually, your brain realizes that you already have plenty of dopamine. It begins to produce less of it in response to typical stimuli.
However, your brain’s reward system still requires the same quantity of dopamine to work properly.
You’ll soon find yourself needing to utilize more of the substance to compensate for what your brain isn’t releasing. Tolerance is the name given to this phenomenon.
Indifference to Other Pursuits
Hobbies and other once-enjoyed activities can quickly become unappealing when addiction takes hold. Having sex or creating art is no longer a natural trigger for your brain to release dopamine.
Despite your best efforts, you may still find that you require the drug or activity in question to make you feel good about yourself.
Control is Lost
Typically, addiction is characterized by a loss of control over one’s drug usage or a certain set of behaviors. Job loss, health problems, and marital problems are all possible outcomes.
As a result, you may decide to stop using or engaging in the habit, only to discover that your efforts are in vain.
6 Addiction Therapy Options
Treatments for addiction that have been proven to be effective in the past are listed below:
Toxic chemicals can be eliminated from the body in a medically-assisted detox setting. These physical symptoms can be uncomfortable or even life-threatening, which is why this is important. It is common for detox to be used in conjunction with other therapies because detox does not address the underlying behavioral reasons of the addiction.
- Counseling Based on the Principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Because CBT may be used to treat many forms of addiction, including but not limited to food, alcohol, and prescription medication addiction, it is an important therapy method, according to American Addiction Centers.
CBT can help you understand your problematic behavioral patterns. And, it can also help you learn to detect triggers and create coping strategies. CBT can also be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities.
- Reasonable Emotional Behavior Therapy
REBT will help you identify your negative ideas and provide you with strategies for dealing with emotions of self-defeat. Realizing that the power of rational thinking exists inside you, rather than in external circumstances or stresses, is the purpose of REBT.
- Contingency Management
Alcohol, drugs, and cigarette addictions may all be treated using Contingency Management (CM). By rewarding you for your good conduct, contingency management treatment encourages you to stay sober. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this sort of therapy has been effective in preventing recurrence.
- 12-Step Facilitation
12-step facilitation treatment (also known as 12-step programs) can be used to treat drug dependence. As a kind of group treatment, it recognizes that addiction may have social, emotional, spiritual, and bodily negative repercussions.
After a period of self-acceptance and submission to a higher power, the patient finally joins a regular group meeting. Group meetings, such as those held by Alcoholics Anonymous, are important in many rehabilitation programs.
- Medication-Assisted Therapy
When used with behavioral therapy, medication can play a significant role in rehabilitation. It is possible to treat addiction by taking some drugs that can help alleviate cravings and enhance mood.
For example, the FDA recently authorized lofexidine, a drug that can help alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms in individuals receiving therapy. Acamprosate, an anti-addiction medication, has been shown to be effective in reducing alcohol use.
You don’t have to do it alone if you or a loved one is battling an addiction. Get medical advice from a doctor or nurse. It is possible to overcome your drug or alcohol dependency with the aid of proven therapies.