Addiction treatment therapy includes a wide range of medication and behavioral therapy modalities, with different treatments used to enable drug detox and assist with the recovery process. Addiction treatment is a wide and growing field in America, with conventional 12-step programs existing alongside new therapies like art therapy, exercise therapy, general spirituality and music therapy.
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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), any comprehensive addiction treatment regime should include behavioral therapy and relapse prevention programs along with medical detoxification and medication treatment. Behavioral therapy is essential in drug treatment, because it provides drug addicts with the psychological tools needed to make healthy lifestyle choices.
A range of different behavioral therapies are used in drug treatment, with common examples including cognitive behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing, and motivational incentives. Each of these examples approaches patient motivation and behavioral change in a unique way, with behavioral programs often used in parallel with medication therapy.
Medication therapy is an integral part of drug rehab, with opioid and alcohol treatment in particular using a range of medications to manage the withdrawal process. Methadone and buprenorphine are used regularly during opioid withdrawal and recovery, both for pain relief and as a form of opioid replacement therapy. These drugs are known as maintenance therapies and are intended to reduce cravings for illegal opiates.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), patients who engage with opioid replacement therapy are more likely to stabilize and more likely to integrate with the rest of society. Medication therapy helps people keep their jobs and avoid crime and violence, while also reducing their exposure to serious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C.
Traditional 12-step programs are used across the world, with the philosophy developed in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) spreading to a number of other programs like Narcotics Anonymous (BA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA).
This form of treatment is based on a conventional counseling approach, with counselors helping patients to identify problematic behaviors and thought patterns that relate to their addiction. 12-step programs have a spiritual-religious orientation and use the disease model of addiction to explain addictive behavior. 12-step programs are widely available across America, both through residential rehab clinics and as out-patient programs.
This form of drug addiction treatment is relatively new, with growing literature in the field demonstrating the importance of emotion regulation in drug treatment. An emotion regulation approach teaches patients to be aware of how their emotions affect behavior, with mindfulness programs encouraging patients and teaching them how to avoid impulsive and compulsive responses.
Once the patient has learned how their emotions affect their belief systems and behavior, they can develop specific skills to tackle the practical problems of substance abuse and addiction.
SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is used in drug treatment as an alternative to conventional 12-step programs. Run as an international non-profit organization, SMART recovery teaches people with substance use disorders to change their ways through a number of motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods.
This form of treatment is non-confrontational by nature, using a number of principles found in motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy. SMART recovery prides itself on being secular and scientifically-based, with this form of treatment providing an alternative to the spiritual-religious bias of many 12-step programs.