Addiction Treatment: Addiction Therapy, Addiction Rehab
There are many types of help for addiction available as no one type is right for everyone. People may also require multiple courses of addiction treatment in order to fully attain control over their addiction. (see: What is Addiction?)
While addiction treatment has been primarily studied in the areas of substance abuse, many of the same therapies are used in other types of addiction as well. Addiction treatments include:
- Psychopharmacology (drug therapy)
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Outpatient treatment programs
- Support groups
- Self-help programs; lifestyle changes
- Therapeutic community living
Addiction treatment plans often include multiple forms of treatment for the best results. Quality addiction treatment centers will also take into account the possibility that more than one addiction, or mental illness, may be present in an individual.
There are multiple kinds of addiction therapy available. These may occur in addiction treatment centers or through outpatient services. This type of help with addiction focuses on changing thoughts, beliefs and behaviors around the addiction. Addiction therapy may also focus on the underlying issues behind an individual's addiction.
The following types of addiction therapy have been shown effective through scientific study:1
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – focuses on altering the addict's faulty beliefs which perpetuate the addiction. The goal is to change addiction-related behaviors.
- Multidimensional Family Therapy – an addiction therapy primarily created for adolescent addicts and their families; designed to improve overall family functioning.
- Motivational Interviewing – enhances and capitalizes on an individual's willingness to treat their addiction.
- Motivational Incentives – primarily used in drug addiction treatment. This addiction therapy uses rewards for positive drug screening tests as a motivational tool to continue staying clean.
- Individual and group counseling – a variety of help for addiction can occur in these formats. Common in individual addiction therapy is psychodynamic therapy, while group addiction therapy is often in the form of a support group.
Addiction rehabilitation, or rehab, is simply the process by which an addict gets better. Addiction rehab can happen at residential addiction treatment centers, hospitals or outpatient clinics. There is no standard form of addiction rehab but most programs offer combinations of education, therapy, support and focus on overall health and life skills. The most effective addiction treatment services offer treatment customized for the individual and are available for a longer period of time, such as six months or more.
While addiction is complex, overcoming addiction is possible with proper addiction treatment. Each person's addiction treatment plan is different and must be adhered to if an addiction is to be overcome. Elements of an addiction treatment plan that require ongoing adherence include:2
- Taking medication as prescribed
- Attending all medical and therapeutic appointments
- Creating a network of people who can support you while you overcome addiction
- Learning about the addiction and its treatment
- Proper diet and exercise
- Reducing life stressors and learning how to cope with stress to avoid relapse
- Getting additional addiction treatment help when needed
Last Updated: 20 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD