In most cases, the major underlying causes of heavy drinking and substance addiction result from environmental and genetic issues. However, while a person’s genetic makeup can be the primary reason to lead him or her to sensation-seeking behavior or substance addiction, life events such as early exposure to alcohol or drugs, trauma, and stress can make them significantly vulnerable to substances. Fortunately counseling and therapy for heavy alcohol drinkers and substance addicts is available and is essential in most cases to ensure appropriate treatment.
Both mental and physical side-effects can arise due to substance addiction. Mental side effects include depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. And, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are among the physical side-effects.
An effective IOP program in Orange County at any renowned rehab center can treat both physical and mental side-effects by focusing on environmental and genetic causes of addiction. While detoxification keeps the addiction patients physically safe and optimally comfortable during withdrawal, therapy and counseling are vital for treating mental aspects of substance addiction.
Detox can eliminate the withdrawal symptoms and cravings within the span of two to three weeks, depending on the severity of the patient’s addiction. However, removing the mental side effects of addiction can need months or even years of continuous counseling and therapies.
Recovery centers rely on therapies and counseling to focus on treating underlying causes of addiction and prevent relapses. Yes, detox is an indispensable part of any polysubstance abuse treatment; however, it does not relieve or treat the underlying causes that led to substance abuse in the first place.
Currently, a variety of counseling and therapy for heavy alcohol drinkers and substance addicts is available in almost all types of settings such as sober living homes, intensive inpatient rehabs, outpatient rehabs, support groups, and private practices. Heavy alcohol drinkers and substance addicts generally undergo 30, 60, or 90 days of the program to get ready for life after an inpatient rehab program. For patients with more addiction severity, prolonged therapies and counseling can be needed.
Counseling & Therapy For Heavy Alcohol Drinkers and Substance Addicts
The following are various methods for that can minimize the chances of relapse for heavy drinkers and substance addicts.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also known as CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on teaching patients to effectively deal with situations, thoughts, or moods that fire up alcohol or drug cravings. The therapies educate patients on how to avoid such triggers by replacing negative thoughts with positive and healthy ones and ultimately stay clean. The skills you learn through CBT are so effective and last for a lifetime. Counselors use CBT to treat addiction to the following substances:
Group Therapy & Individual Therapy
While all the therapies come with their own set of benefits, many counselors prefer group therapy over individual counseling and therapy for heavy alcohol drinkers and substance addicts In group therapies, patients are both supported and challenged by peers who have also battled substance addiction and are now going through a rehab program.
The best examples of such peer support groups are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Note that such groups are not always led by trained therapists, and that is why they are different from group therapies. However, they can still prove to be an effective way to achieve lasting recovery.
People with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or another major mental illness are referred to individual therapy. Such health conditions require separate treatments than addiction.
Addiction to the following substances can be treated with these therapies:
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
For the patients who find it difficult to regulate their emotions and have suicidal or self-harming thoughts, dialectical behavioral therapy is very important. Patients are taught to learn how to effectively accept uncomfortable situations, thoughts, and feelings in order to overcome them.
This therapy includes a variety of relaxation and mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditation, to allow patients to recognize their thoughts and emotions in a better way.
Furthermore, it introduces patients to new skills to relax muscles and control breathing so that they can bear self-destructive thoughts and cravings. The primary goal of this therapy is to reduce the severity and frequency of such negative thoughts and promote healthy changes in the patients’ lives.
In motivational interviewing, patients are taught to stay motivated and positive. Counselors focus on educating recovering addicts on how to maintain sobriety for a longer time and deal with potential triggers. Patients are often prompted by the love of family and willingness to work.
Family and Couple Therapy
Alcohol and drug addiction take a major toll on your family life. It tears apart relationships and isolates the addicted individuals. For any addiction treatment to be successful, the support and love of the family are one of the most important factors. Therefore, many counselors involve family members and spouses of the patients in the treatment. This can be a very powerful way to help patients overcome their addiction problems and achieve lasting sobriety. Moreover, it not only reduces the chances of relapse but also improves the happiness in the family.
Regardless of which method, that first step of initiating services is possibly the most important step of all. Counseling and therapy for heavy alcohol drinkers and substance addicts has been a key to successful addiction recovery for millions of people.