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Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli despite negative consequences. It is a chronic, relapsing, brain disorder, and is listed as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Addiction can wreak havoc in all areas of one’s life. Since the disease compels an individual to prioritize satisfying his or her substance cravings above all else, an individual struggling with addiction can experience a plethora of adverse effects, including physical complications, relationship fractures, financial strain, legal challenges, employment issues, and more. There are a variety of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment options, many of which rely on different psychotherapeutic modalities, available to those in need. 

Customized Treatment Plans

Ample support and a customized treatment plan will provide an individual with the highest potential for a successful, long-term recovery. There is a myriad of different therapeutic approaches that may be integrated into one’s personalized treatment plan. Depending on one’s needs, treatment plans could consist of one or more of the following examples: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this can help correct irrational, inaccurate, and/ or distorted thoughts as well as help an individual develop skills and healthy coping mechanisms for reducing anxiety and stress while remaining sober. 
  • Expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding the recovery process.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to abusing drugs and/ or alcohol.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): is based on the principals of CBT, but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of treatment. Through DBT individuals can learn healthy coping mechanisms and useful techniques for managing stress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others. 
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT): the core of REBT is the notion that rational thinking comes from within, and that positive and negative feelings do not manifest because of external stimuli, but rather are derived from one’s internal thoughts. REBT helps to teach individuals how to understand their own thoughts and subsequently develop rational thinking habits that promote positivity. 
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT): focuses on how a person’s communications and interactions with other people affect his or her own mental health. Through interpersonal therapy an individual will learn to resolve and adjust unhealthy interpersonal problems, resulting in a symptomatic recovery.

Treatment plans may also include refining one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.) to further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing. It is important to note that there is no universal treatment method that proves successful for every person struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction, as everyone has nuanced needs when it comes to the recovery process. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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