Overcoming addiction starts with admitting that the problem exists. This can be a difficult step, but it is the most important step on the road to recovery. It is not easy to get to this point, but if you have a sincere desire to change your life and get sober, you will need to start thinking about addiction therapy.
If you have an addiction to a substance such as alcohol or drugs, you are probably going to need to detox before you can start your therapy. This means quitting the substance to which you have been addicted and then waiting until all traces of it have left your body.
Detox is never easy but how it affects each person will depend on a number of factors, such as the substance being abused, the length of time the person was addicted, how heavily the person has been abusing the substance, the age of the individual, and his/her general health.
Because detox can result in some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to severe, it is best for this to be carried out in a supervised facility under the care of medical professionals.
Both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programmes are suitable for those who want to overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. Most professionals believe that residential treatment gives patients the best chance of getting sober and staying sober as it provides an intensive and concentrated approach to recovery in an environment free from distractions. However, not everyone can avail of inpatient treatment for various reasons. The good news is that outpatient programmes also offer top level care to those who want to overcome addiction. The only difference is the amount of time the patient spends at the facility. The treatments provided by professional counsellors and therapists in both inpatient and outpatient programmes will be similar and are designed to help patients overcome their addictions for the long term. When it comes to addiction therapy, there are a variety of treatments available; below are a few examples.
Contingency management is a type of therapy used primarily to treat teenage addiction. It works on a system of rewards and consequences, and because young addicts are often unable to see that sobriety is its own reward, they tend to react better to being rewarded for good behaviour and facing consequences for unwanted behaviour. Contingency management gives teenage addicts a reason to want to overcome their illnesses.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has become very popular as an addiction therapy tool. It aims to teach the addict how to change his or her behaviour. Therapists work alongside the patient with the goal of helping him or her identify maladaptive behaviours that have caused the addiction. The patient is then taught how to replace these negative behaviours with positive ones in a bid to overcome addiction. The idea is that repetition helps to make the positive behaviours more natural.
Denial is said to be the biggest obstacle to recovery because many people who suffer from this illness are unable to see the seriousness of their situation. A large number of individuals only enter rehab because they have been pressured into doing so by family members or friends. They arrive with little commitment and no desire to change their behaviour. In these circumstances, counsellors and therapists will use motivational interviewing to help break down the barrier of denial and get the patient to recognise the problem. There is no judgement on the part of the counsellor or therapist; motivational interviewing is supportive and non-confrontational. It is designed to make the patient accept his/her situation and to motivate him/her to want to get better.
The 12-steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, and their principles have been adapted to suit various types of addiction. Many rehabilitation facilities use 12-step therapy alongside other treatments and encourage their patients to get actively involved in a fellowship support group, which can then be used to help maintain sobriety going forward. The idea behind the twelve steps is for the addict to get sober and stay sober through sharing experiences and stories with other members. It is a peer support group and one that has helped millions of people around the world to conquer their addictive behaviours.
Addiction is an illness that affects more than just the individual. It is often referred to as a family illness because of the devastating impact it has on the dynamics of the family. Most inpatient and outpatient facilities will provide some form of family therapy as they know that the entire family must be helped to heal. The addiction, as well as any underlying issues, will be tackled during family therapy in the hope that it will help everyone to move forward and learn how to trust each other again.
There is more to addiction therapy than counselling and group therapy sessions. Holistic therapy has become very popular in recent times because these are so effective in the treatment of addiction. Holistic therapies help to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal and are designed to treat the person as a whole, rather than just the addiction. There are various types of holistic therapies used by rehabilitation clinics including acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, relaxation and meditation techniques, yoga, nutritional therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.
Holistic therapies tend to relieve stress levels and are effective at relieving boredom, which is often the cause of relapse. Therapies such as acupuncture are useful for combatting anxiety, and hypnosis can be used to help patients develop strategies that allow them to deal with their addiction.
Meditation is one of the most powerful weapons that recovering addicts have in their arsenal when it comes to fighting temptations. Those who are serious about staying sober can use meditation whenever they feel the urge to drink alcohol or take drugs. Exercise is also very useful in the fight against relapse and many rehabilitation clinics encourage patients to participate in daily exercise routines.