Originally Posted On: 6 Strategies for Overcoming Addiction (theohanahawaii.com)
Twenty-two million Americans suffer from a drug or alcohol problem, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Millions more suffer from addictions in other areas of their lives that severely impact their health and well-being.
Drug and alcohol addictions take a toll on personal lives, relationships, and society. Violence, domestic abuse, health issues, and child abuse are some of the problems that addiction fuels.
But when people decide to throw off the chains of addiction, what method should they choose? Clinicians have developed many methods for overcoming addiction. Some use cognitive behavioral therapy, while others use Matrix Models. And other approaches will put you in the great outdoors or on a zipline.
The following article will discuss six strategies for addiction treatment. These strategies are not just for drugs and alcohol, but how to overcome a food addiction or how to overcome porn addiction.
How to Select a Treatment OptionTreatment options in America no longer look like a circle of chairs in a dark church basement. And while this environment may work for many people, you need to evaluate your needs. Look at the addicted person’s personality to make sure you have the best treatment option.
Consider a clinical assessment and a substance-abuse screening to determine a baseline for the treatment needed. Look to an independent evaluator so your loved one is not funneled into a program that doesn’t suit their needs. Many health plans cover these screenings.
Also, weight the age, sex, cultural background, and mental health issues of your addicted loved one. When looking at a treatment provider, look at the different treatment options available. Also closely examine the price, the staff, and counselor qualifications.
Lastly, determine if the treatment center specializes in the addiction you are seeking help for. Many centers specialize in drug and alcohol abuse, but others may include a wide variety of ailments. Some even specialize in helping people overcome sugar addiction.
1. Overcoming Addiction by Getting CleanThe first step in the addiction process is detoxification. In this first stage of the treatment, addiction withdrawal is managed in a controlled and medically sanctioned environment. Detoxification should take place in an environment that helps soothe the body and mind.
You should not underestimate the physiological and mental effects of withdrawal. Support in this stage of therapy is key to the success of other therapeutic methods. Successful detoxification can serve as a foundation for new behaviors and coping mechanisms.
Among the serious withdrawal symptoms that addicted people could demonstrate are severe aches and pains, nausea, and vomiting. Anxiety, sweating, and insomnia are other symptoms. And many of these issues occur simultaneously, making experienced facilitators a necessity.
Medications can help treat the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, opioids, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.
2. Cognitive Behavioral TherapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a tested and well-studied type of therapy. It has proven successful in treating not only addiction but anxiety disorders. Counselors also use CBT to treat depression, eating disorders, and marital problems.
While there are many tenets to explore when you discuss cognitive behavioral therapy, you should know a few core principles. Addiction is based on learned behaviors that are unhealthy and unhelpful. In CBT, addicted people learn new behaviors to help them achieve healthy living. Addicted people, when undergoing CBT, gain a new understanding of their motivations and behaviors.
They then use new ways to problem-solve to cope with breaking the chains of addiction and stem relapse.
One of the best benefits of this type of addiction treatment is that it helps build self-awareness. CBT also is adaptive to many innovative programs to help an addicted person manage the behaviors that underly the misuse.
3. Adventure TherapyAdventure therapy is a unique way to address addiction. Not only does it include the best aspects of traditional cognitive behavior therapy, but it opens up new activities to the addicted person.
When hiking to a waterfall or ziplining, the addicted person is introduced to new worlds of possibility. These activities foster new hobbies and ways for the addicted person to deal with stress and combat their fears.
In adventure therapy, participants learn about themselves, their limitations, and how to remain mindful.
4. 12-Step FacilitationA traditional 12-step program begins with acceptance. This approach helps the individual realize that addiction is the response to negative behaviors. Often, in 12-step facilitation, the attendee surrenders to powers higher than themselves.
Through the group, they learn that surrender doesn’t mean defeat. In this case, surrender means accepting limitations and a willingness to deal with situations as they are, not as we would like them to be.
5. Matrix ModelThe Matrix Model was developed during the 1980s at the height of the cocaine epidemic. It uses several theories, including 12-step and cognitive, to help people.
It is said to help a person with a relatively short history of addiction but is experiencing intense cravings. The people who respond best to the Matrix Model are not in denial about their addictions. Also, they have experienced a cycle of abstinence and relapse.
Many studies have shown the Matric Model effective in reducing addiction in the long-term.
6. Treatment Accompanied by MedicationWhile some may consider using medications to break a form of addiction an oxymoron, it is a well-established practice. Medications are helpful to curve cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Also, medication, along with traditional therapy methods, can help you manage many emotional issues.
Sometimes, a person may need medication to deal with depression or emotional instability. These issues are sometimes the underlying cause of the patient’s addiction.
Exercise, Yoga, and MassageWhen overcoming addiction, it is important to practice some safe ways to reduce stress. Exercise and meditation are great ways to do this.
Even 30 minutes of exercise a day has shown to have dramatic positive health effects. Also, it’s a great way to cement goals and achieve small victories.
To relax and feel better physically, also try massage and yoga. These activities can help you stay relaxed and deal with cravings. Also, yoga and massage therapy can help increase mindfulness.