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Behavioural therapy for patients with substance abuse and dependency

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Addiction is defined as the need for and use of a habit-forming substance despite negative consequences. Substance abuse is something that should not be taken lightly. Substances have different effects depending on the drug itself. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol can affect not just your physical and mental health, but your whole life. Some will make you feel more awake, alert, and energetic whereas others make you feel more calm, relaxed, and subdued. Long-term use and larger doses have negative effects that can seriously harm your physical and mental health. A person who is suffering from substance abuse should consider getting professional help at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility.

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers offer various types of programs such as medical detoxification, addiction counseling, residential treatment, medical care, local support groups, mental health treatment, and sober living houses, to name a few. The goal of a rehabilitation program is to discover the root cause of your addiction, understand the symptoms, address any issues that may contribute or exacerbate it, and learn coping mechanisms so the patient can go on and live their lives without substances after their time in rehabilitation is complete.

  • Residential treatment

A residential treatment program requires staying in a facility for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while being treated. You will have access to in-house rehabilitation equipment, facilities, and staff with medical and emotional support during your entire stay. How long one should stay in a rehabilitation program depends on the patient’s response to treatment.

  • Aftercare

Upon the completion of your treatment program, you will be given a detailed summary of your progress and then discharged from the rehabilitation facility. Aftercare options will typically be provided for you, meaning that you will continue to receive guidance and support long after your stay has ended.

  • Sober living house

Once a patient leaves the rehabilitation facility, they might not be ready to return to everyday life. Sober living houses are secondary care programs that put patients in a closely monitored, substance-free environment. It is intended for recovering addicts who require ongoing monitoring and support while they attempt to reintegrate into society.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is a crucial part of the treatment process and has proven to be effective in treating addictive disorders. Therapy includes making the patient realize the impact of substance abuse not only to one’s self but to the immediate family and the people around them. The goal of behavioral therapy is to help addicts become better at anticipating and avoiding situations that trigger impulsive behaviors, as well as learn coping mechanism so that they can manage their urges to use. Different treatment modalities include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

People with a substance use disorder have distorted thinking and behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy encourages a change in the patient’s way of thinking that could lead them to using habits and replacing it with healthy alternatives.

  • Multidimensional family therapy

Multidimensional family therapy is a family-based intervention technique designed to help the patients recover from addiction, associated mental health, and behavioral problems with the help and support of the immediate family whilst fostering a harmonious relationship.

  • Motivational interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a counseling approach that motivates the patient to refrain from using drugs and alcohol by providing external rewards such as monetary prizes, vouchers for goods, or treatment “privileges”.