Substance abuse and mental health have a very strong connection. Most people who develop substance addiction are also later diagnosed with different mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. On the other hand, it is also extremely common for people who are suffering from mental disorders to develop drug or alcohol addiction.
Substance use disorders can be developed as a coping mechanism for mental disorders. People struggling with anxiety or depression often find relieve in consuming abusive amounts of alcohol or drugs to numb their emotional pain. Also, the connection between substance abuse and mental health comes down to the fact that long-term use of drugs and alcohol can have a strong negative impact on the brain chemistry leading to poor mental health.
Why is therapy important in overcoming addiction?
Overcoming the physical dependence on drugs is a major achievement. However, the psychical dependence on substances is often what makes patients relapse. The psychical addiction to drugs or alcohol relies on how the individual used to feel when they were consuming substances.
Thus, therapy is a very important element in the process of overcoming addiction. It helps you boost mental health and avoid certain psychological or social factors that can be powerful triggers that lead to relapse. Counseling and therapy aim to eliminate the addictive behavior, escape cravings, and improve mental wellbeing by teaching you non-toxic coping mechanism for difficult situations.
There are many different therapy techniques which aim to support addicts in the process of overcoming substance abuse. There is no one-size-fits-all in addiction therapy. While some type of therapy can work for some addicts, others need a different approach to their struggles. Here are the most common addiction therapies that aim to help addicts understand their addiction, mental and emotional issues, and regain their balance.
Group therapy is one of the most commonly used therapeutic tools for treating substance addiction. It often involves at least two individuals that deal with similar addiction behaviors and it fosters an environment where open communication is highly encouraged.
It is believed that group therapy is extremely efficient in treating addiction because it helps individuals get a better understanding of their situation. Interacting with other people that have the same struggles and understand what they are going through helps them get an objective perspective over their situation.
Group therapy aims to encourage all patients to learn from each other. Whether they are sharing positive coping mechanisms or how to avoid certain triggers. By facilitating an environment of support and acceptance, addicts feel confident to talk openly about their problems. Moreover, by encouraging communication and socialization, it is the first step for former addicts to be reintegrated back into society.
Unlike group therapy, individual therapy involves only one person who is struggling with substance addiction. Individual and group therapy are often recommended to be incorporated together in the treatment of addiction. While group therapy encourages the patients to practice their social skills and learn from the other participants, individual therapy encourages them to pay extra attention to their own feelings, thoughts, and struggles.
Individual therapy fosters a more private environment that encourages addicts to talk openly about their problem with a professional without fearing that they will be judged. It aims to teach addicts certain coping techniques for stress, cravings, or other social factors that may encourage them to relapse.
Struggling with addiction can make people feel ashamed or confused about their behaviors. They tend to not feel comfortable to talk in a group about their situation. Thus, at the initial stages of therapy for addiction, specialists recommend individual therapy and later, when the patient feels more comfortable, group therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another very popular therapeutic technique used in helping patients to overcome addiction. Unlike individual and group therapy, CBT focuses on the psychological principles of behaviorism. This type of therapy focuses on identifying, analyzing and changing the distortions in thinking and the underlying beliefs that lead the patient to toxic or addictive behaviors.
Since addiction is a pattern of behavior which leads the patient to negative actions, a therapist will conduct the cognitive behavioral therapy in order to help them learn how to change their negative thinking patterns.
This is a therapeutic technique that fosters empathy to help addicts make positive changes in their lives and eliminate the negative behaviors. Motivational interviewing is a type of individual therapy that only takes place between the therapist and the patient. It relies on three key concepts including collaboration, drawing out ideas, and autonomy.
Using empathy, the therapist creates an internal desire for change from the patient. It helps the patient eliminate incertitude and confusion and find the motivation to make positive life choices towards achieving their goals.
Nowadays, practicing mindfulness is a very popular topic. Practicing mindfulness aims to help people achieve a certain inner state of peacefulness and a better understanding of their thoughts and emotions.
In addiction therapy, mindfulness therapy is a holistic approach that aims to help patients eliminate negative behaviors such as addiction. Mindfulness therapy mostly focuses on breathing exercises and meditation that help patients to remain focused on the present moment, achieve gratitude, and avoid worrying about past or future events. Mindfulness therapy for addiction seems to be very effective because it helps patients quiet their minds for a little bit and achieve a state of awareness and focus.
Recreational therapy is characterized by the use of hobbies and recreational activities to help patients overcome their addiction or manage cravings. It often involves activities such as dance, art, yoga, sports, or pet companionship.
Recreational therapy aims to help patients improve their emotional and mental health to avoid factors that may trigger relapse. It fosters an environment where patients can have healthy interactions with peers and develop healthy habits such as practicing physical activity. The main goals of this type of therapy are to help individuals improve their mood, develop social skills, learn independence, and achieve a sense of wellbeing.
The cost of rehab is an important aspect to consider when reaching out for specialized help. However, what matters the most is to find a team of professional therapists that can help you overcome your substance addiction and positively change your life. Specialized therapy is a key element of the process of overcoming addiction. It is important to get professional help in a rehab clinic where you are surrounded by specialists that can provide you with the right type of therapy.
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