Types of Addiction Therapy

Addiction is the inability to stop consuming a particular chemical or drug or engaging in an activity despite its harmful effects.

According to statistics done in 2014, 21.5 million people aged over 12 years have been involved in drug and alcohol abuse. More than half of these people don’t consider themselves addicts.

So, how is addiction assessed and treated? In this article, we will cover the various types of addiction therapy and how to create a relapse prevention plan. Let’s jump in!


What is a substance abuse assessment?

Many people who abuse drugs are not aware that they are addicts.

To determine whether one is close to becoming or is an addict, a substance abuse assessment is carried out. It helps determine an individual’s level of drug dependence and abuse and whether he or she has an addiction disorder.

A certified professional asks the individual a series of questions which may even involve other family members to determine whether one needs treatment.

There are numerous addiction treatment plans used in the treatment and of them is addiction therapy. It involves a wide range of methods used to treat different types of addictions depending on the severity and the patient’s preference.


These are Some of the Different Addiction Therapy Types:

1. Recovery-oriented challenge therapy

This is a type of treatment recommended for recovering addicts which focuses on them performing challenging tasks. The individual engages in activities such as rock climbing, deep sea diving, and other outdoor activities.

Such events are designed to help the individual identify their strengths and build a support system. They also gain values such as self-care and accountability for their actions.

When engaging in fun activities that are geared towards a lifestyle of recovery, an individual is less likely to get back into using drugs.


2. Trauma therapy

Trauma is one of the leading causes of drugs abuse. About 95% of people who end up in addiction centers stated that they had experienced at least one traumatic event in their life. People turn to drugs in hopes of numbing pain from a loss or failure in life and as a results end up in addiction.

Trauma therapy is a method that involves resolving the effects of traumatic experiences so that the need to use drugs is eliminated. The patient is assigned a therapist who once trust is established, takes the patient through different stages of healing.

In the end, the patient can identify trauma triggers and learns how to manage them in ways that don’t involve drugs.


3. Family therapy Usually in addiction treatment

An individual is removed from society and undergoes surgery alone. However, recently there has been needing to involve the family in the treatment process as they too affect the well-being of an individual.

The idea in family therapy is to bring individuals to a family and identify how each one affects that unit. This is based on the fact that family issues may be a trigger for an individual’s need to use drugs.

Identifying a trigger component in the unit and eliminating it can is a vital step in reducing the need for drug use.


4. Group therapy

Group therapy is where individuals with a common addiction are taken through treatment and healing together. Members of the group start the process together and in this way encourage each other to keep pushing.

The members of the group meet together with a professional and discuss issues affecting their journey and support each other. Members can also learn from one another on how to deal with triggers and avoid relapse.

It is also a great way of treating multiple people at once.


5. Expressive therapies

Expressive therapies is a form of treatment in which individuals express themselves through music, art or dance. It provides a means for the individual to communicate themselves in a nonverbal way, to deal with their emotions and develop talents.

Art is used in addiction as a way to improve skills, resolve inner conflicts and reduce anxiety and stress. One can let out their feelings and cravings on paper. Music is used as a means of calming a patient and reducing anxiety by listening to relaxing tunes or songwriting. Through dance, individuals learn to let out their stress through movement.

Expressive therapy is used in conjunction with other long-term treatment plans and therapy types to aid in the risk free healing process.


6. 12- step work

12- step work is a model that was designed by founders of the Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a long-term treatment plan initially made for use by people battling alcohol abuse. It has since then been modified to suit other forms of addiction disorders.

Individuals go through a series of 12 steps with the results being addiction recovery and spiritual growth. This method emphasizes the need for prayer and meditation and relies heavily on religion to help struggling addicts.

It can, however, be modified for those who want a less spiritual approach.


7. Psycho-educational and Didactic groups

In most methods of treatment, the patient sits with a counselor and engages in conversation in hopes of finding a way of dealing with their addiction. In most therapy sessions a therapist is discouraged against providing direct solutions but instead is supposed to lead the patient to find one on his or her own.

Psycho-educational and educational groups work a bit differently. Here a group of addicts is taught by a professional on how to deal with different trigger situations.

It is a method of teaching addicts how to develop problem-solving skills to deal with everyday situations.


8. Medical and psychiatric sessions

Mental health individuals recognize addiction as a mental illness. Many individuals dealing with addiction also suffer from other mental disorders such as anxiety. Therefore just like any other psychiatric condition, medication and counseling are used a long term treatment plan for addiction.

In a typical session, a psychiatrist gathers a patient’s history and then constructs a possible way to deal with the addiction. If needed, medication is prescribed especially when a patient is dealing with other mental illnesses.

The patient then goes through regular individual or group counseling to avoid the risk of relapse.


9. Individual therapy

While most forms of addiction therapy are carried out in groups, particular treatment focuses on one individual. The patient goes through counseling and a drug detoxification program in a bid to cleanse themselves of any drug.

It focuses mainly on how the individual is attracted to a particular drug rather than how society affects their choice to abuse drugs. Most of the time an individual is also admitted into a facility where he or she stays until complete healing has taken place.

This is because this particular method can be hard because of withdrawal symptoms and the fact that they don’t have their regular support group all the time while in rehabilitation.


How to create a relapse prevention plan


About 50% of recovering addicts have relapsed at some point, and the numbers are even higher for those recovering for the first time. Every recovering addict has their way of avoiding relapse. A good relapse prevention plan includes the following components:


1. Identification of triggers

The recovering addicts should identify triggers that have led to their abuse of drugs and get rid of them. This includes people, places and emotions that trigger the need for drugs. Being able to identify withdrawal symptoms is also important as they could be a sign of an impending relapse.

2. Intervention

Intervention is a treatment plan for when one experiences cravings. It’s important to identify things that can be done to avoid a relapse. It can be calling a trusted friend, saying a prayer or meditation as long as it distracts the individual.

3. Treatment

In case a relapse does happen, the certain measure needs to be put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again and to help cleanse the body. This can involve taking specific medication, trying a detoxification program for a few days or talking to a trusted friend.