Detox or withdrawal management is not complete treatment for addiction to any drug or alcohol. We know that addiction or substance abuse often results from a genetic predisposition or due to pre-existing psychological issues that may have resulted from a trauma, grief or loss or major life change such as a divorce or loss of employment. Once the withdrawal symptoms have passed and detox is complete, people will require psychological or Behavioural therapies to address any underlying issues that lead to their addiction. It is critical to understand that addressing the bio-psycho-social aspects of addiction is required to prevent relapse and sustain long-term recovery. Effective therapies include:
- Relapse Prevention:
Clients will need concrete and solid plans to avoid relapse including actionable plans to use when faced with relapse opportunities. It is important for clients to know what their “triggers” are and how to both tolerate and avoid them.
- Evidence-based Treatments:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based treatment designed to alter the damaging negative thought patterns people may have developed about themselves, the world and or people in their lives. These thought patterns have resulted in fuelling maladaptive Behaviour such as alcohol or drug use, isolation, anger or self harm. In addition, thoughts that are self defeating may also reinforce co-occurring issues with depression and anxiety that often accompany Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy:
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is skills-based treatment approach that can help people regulate their emotions more effectively, improve their interpersonal relationships, increase their ability to tolerate distress and be more mindful of their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
- Individual Therapy:
Understanding the psychological and Behavioural issues that contribute to the development of substance abuse and addiction can be explored effectively through individual counselling with a qualified mental health professional.
- Group Therapy:
Addiction is a very isolating condition. The support of peers in a group therapy setting with a qualified mental health professional facilitation the process can lead to significant progress in developing insight and relapse prevention strategies.
- Family Therapy:
Many experts in the field contend that addiction is a “family disease.” Addressing family dynamics that may have contributed to the development and maintenance of a client’s substance abuse can be a key element in the effectiveness of treatment. Indeed, family therapy that addresses problems at home will increase the chances of success.
- Medical Services:
For physical illnesses, chronic disease and/or co-occurring mental health issues, proper medical treatment can help clients avoid self-medication with drugs and alcohol.
- Educational classes:
Teaching clients about the nature and progression of addiction and the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body can help clients to avoid relapse.
- Occupational Therapy:
Supporting clients in learning how to improve their functioning at school, home or work can be a critical step towards Recovery. When clients are rehabilitated and able to return to work or normal activities of daily living, they gain confidence and are less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.