The drug treatment process includes a number of separate yet integrated elements, including detox, medication treatment when needed, behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention. Various recovery programs are initiated throughout this process, with most of them administered after detox when the client is clean and ready to embrace the recovery process.
These programs are based on motivational, behavioral or cognitive methods, with some recovery programs based on pharmacotherapy principles. Examples of recovery programs include 12-step support groups, motivational enhancement therapy (MET), family therapy, art therapy, moral reconation therapy, gender-based therapies, mindfulness programs and many more.
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CBT forms the basis of many recovery programs, with this psychotherapeutic approach originally designed to treat problem drinkers. CBT works with various learning processes in an effort to change problematic behavioral patterns, with clients learning how to recognize and alter distorted affect and cognition.
CBT has proved useful across a range of mental health and substance use disorders, including anxiety disorder, depression disorder, tic disorder, alcohol use disorder, and various drug problems. CBT can be administered alone or used in combination with pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy support, with a computerized version of this therapy also available from some treatment centers.
FBT is an implementation of family therapy used to treat drug and alcohol problems, with this system shown to be effective for both adults and adolescents. FBT is an inclusive approach that analyzes drug addiction together with co-occurring problems related to mental health and lifestyle issues.
For example, FBT might analyze drug problems in relation to unemployment, depression disorder, family dynamics, conduct disorder, and other lifestyle issues likely to affect problematic behavior. FBT is available from a number of drug treatment centers across the United States, with this approach combining behavioral contracting with conventional contingency management.
Traditional 12-step support groups use the disease model of addiction to encourage abstinence on a long-term basis. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most famous of the 12-step groups, with other groups including Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous and many more. 12-step support groups are also available for behavioral addictions, with groups dedicated to sex addiction, food addiction, gambling problems and much more.
12-step support groups use the disease model of addiction, with recovering addicts rendered essentially powerless over their condition and embracing a higher power to support them through the process. While 12-step groups are often criticized for their spiritual-religious bias, SMART Recovery and other programs do provide a secular alternative.
While detox helps people to stop using drugs and behavioral therapy addresses the emotional and environmental issues that surround addiction, both of these measures are pointless if someone relapses immediately following treatment. Relapse prevention is a series of techniques and systems designed to reduce relapse rates, with therapists giving clients the support and advice they need for sustainable and long-term recovery. Relapse prevention programs are based predominantly on behavioral and cognitive methods, with some programs also providing spiritual and practical support.
Relapse is both an outcome and a transgression of the recovery process. The relapse process is often described as a series of three progressive stages, with emotional relapse followed by mental relapse and physical relapse. In order to avoid a physical relapse event, therapists need to work with clients individually depending on their progression through these stages. If you or someone you know needs to access relapse prevention or any kind of drug treatment, it’s important to reach out to a specialized treatment center as soon as possible.
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