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HomeHealth8 Treatments for Addiction That Have Been Proven Successful

8 Treatments for Addiction That Have Been Proven Successful

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If you have an addiction, you’ll want treatment options that offer the best chance of success. And when you consider the high cost of rehab treatment, finding effective, evidence-based treatment matters even more. Whether you need addiction treatment or your loved one does, the following options have been proven successful:

1. Medical Detoxification 

For people with addictions, treatment starts with detoxification or detox. During this process, the drug begins leaving the body. Detox is necessary for recovery, but it can also become overwhelming. Medical detoxification can help to manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

During medical detox, the patient is prescribed a doctor-supervised medication regimen. Medication can ease withdrawal symptoms and increase the patient’s chances of success.

In some cases, medical detox isn’t just helpful; it’s necessary for the patient’s health. For example, if a patient is addicted to opioids, quitting cold turkey can cause dangerous symptoms such as seizures and irregular heart rate. Often, a doctor will help a patient taper off opioids slowly, which helps the body detox more safely.

2. Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, often helps people recover from drug addiction. Medical detox is one form of MAT, but MAT includes other options, too. For example, any of the following treatments can fall under the MAT umbrella:

  • emergency medication to prevent overdose deaths
  • antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication to address a dual diagnosis
  • medication to ease withdrawal symptoms
  • medication to block the effects of certain addictive drugs

According to some studies, MAT successfully helps people keep up with their recovery over time. It’s especially successful when combined with behavioral therapy.

3. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy 

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) is effective for many mental health issues, including addiction. It focuses on helping patients identify irrational thoughts, notice what triggers those thoughts, and address them in a healthy way. Addiction can lead to all kinds of irrational thoughts, and those thoughts can lead to more substance abuse. By recognizing and addressing those thoughts, you can interrupt the cycle.

4. Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy  addiction treatments

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) shares some similarities with REBT. In fact, some people think of REBT as a type of CBT.

Like REBT, CBT addresses irrational thoughts, or “cognitive distortions.” Like REBT, CBT helps patients address those thoughts in a healthy way.

The difference is that CBT has a heavier focus on behavior. It shows patients how their thoughts impact their behaviors and vice versa. REBT, meanwhile, dives deeper into the “why.” It helps patients recognize the philosophical reasons behind their irrational thoughts.

Both CBT and REBT can help patients with addiction. Some therapists may use a combination of both.

5. Contingency Management 

Contingency management uses positive reinforcement. It offers rewards for continued sobriety, negative drug test results, and repeated therapy appointments. Rewards may include cash, vouchers, gift cards, and similar prizes.

Studies have shown positive results from contingency management. This treatment may help bridge the gap between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. With intrinsic motivation, a person finds motivation within themselves. For example, they may finish a project because they want to feel accomplished. However, intrinsic motivation takes time to develop, and internal rewards may take longer than external rewards. Because external rewards offer something tangible, they can help people stay motivated while they wait for more internalized rewards.

6. Motivational Interviewing 

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a type of therapy that helps clients change and adapt their behavior. The therapist collaborates with the patient and helps them uncover the things that motivate them the most.

This process often works well for patients who deal with addiction. A lot of people want to quit using drugs and alcohol, but they may not fully grasp all the reasons why they want to quit. When people understand their motivations, however, they can return to those reasons during the more challenging parts of recovery.

7. Residential Treatment Centers 

Residential treatment centers are drug-free environments where people can stay for 30, 60, or 90 days. Some treatment centers offer medical detox programs or partner with local detox centers. Treatment centers also offer several kinds of therapy. Treatment options depend on the specific program, but some common therapies include:

  • group therapy
  • individual counseling
  • recreational therapy
  • art therapy
  • animal-assisted therapy

8. Rehabilitation Aftercare 

Rehab is effective because it’s highly structured, patient-focused, and removes all access to drugs. However, some people may feel lost after they leave the structure and guidance of rehab. That’s why rehab is the most effective when it also offers aftercare.

Aftercare may include support groups, counseling, and sober living programs. Through these programs, patients keep some support and structure, and they learn how to work through stressors in their post-rehab lives.

What to Know About Your Treatment Options 

Addiction is an illness that requires long-term treatment. Much like with other long-term illnesses, it’s very normal for patients to switch, adjust, and add to their treatments over time. If one treatment doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It just means that you may need a different approach. A lot of people find the most success when they combine treatment options. A doctor or therapist can help you find the right approach.

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