Addiction Recovery Therapy: Changed Thinking + Changed Behavior = Changed Life
Authored by Audra Franchini
Of the 23.5 million teenagers and adults who have alcohol or drug problems, only 1 in 10 receives treatment. Yet most of these patients fail to remain drug-free. Why?
The simple answer is that drug addiction recovery is sadly stuck in the middle ages of drug and alcoholism treatment. According to a report released in 2012 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, most people needing addiction treatment “do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.” Eight years later, and it still seems like we’re limping along.
Creating the change
At Recovery Centers of America, we are working to change this. One of the steps we can take is to help clinicians access the latest research and treatments in order to better serve patients. Whether you treat them on your own or provide a recommendation for more intensive treatment, we believe that your involvement and support are essential to your patient’s drug addiction recovery.
Counselors who don’t have specialized training, education, or experience in addiction recovery may feel they could benefit from special knowledge in addiction and recovery. And yes, there are courses, certificates, and so many more types of education for addiction counseling. But it may surprise you that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), not particular to addiction treatment, is one of the most effective forms of counseling for it. It’s a research-validated technique normally and treats anxiety and depression, but it is useful for many types of problems.
Thinking outside the box
CBT aims at changing behaviors by breaking negative cycles. It revolves around the concept that your feelings, thoughts, and actions all interconnect, and can cause a vicious cycle when you don’t know how to react in a healthy way.
CBT also focuses on current problems, not past problems or histories. Once learned, this approach can have positive results in how patients learn to react to issues throughout their lives. Patients learn to change negative patterns that often bring them back to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism.
What you see often with people in early recovery from substance abuse is a sad cycle that repeats too many times. CBT is one component of treatment that helps to break this cycle and thus, break the psychological component of addiction. Obviously, this alone is not the magic key to solving addiction—every person is different and may require other components including medical, psychiatric, and other psychosocial services
At Recovery Centers of America, we provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for people seeking drug addiction recovery. If you are a counselor, don’t settle for anything less than evidence-based treatment modalities when you are working with someone with an addiction.
Contact us to learn more about our methods and treatments for people struggling with addiction. We can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-RECOVERY.