What Is the Best Therapy for Drug Addiction Treatment?

Your addiction treatment will vary based on a range of factors, including the level of care you need, the substance you are addicted to, your mental health, and what you can afford.

There are several treatment options available for addiction recovery. If you are unfamiliar with them, this article is for you. We will discuss the various therapies for addiction treatment to help you decide which one suits you or your loved one best.

 

Detoxification

Detoxification can either be part of a more extensive treatment program or a stand-alone service that various treatment facilities offer. It is an essential step for people who actively use drugs and alcohol.

Medical detox helps you get rid of addictive substances from your body. During detoxification, you will not use the drugs you are addicted to until the chemical substances leave your body.

Detox must occur in a professionally monitored environment because you are likely to experience painful or severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition, in some circumstances, withdrawal may have psychological effects.

Most drug abusers tend to revert to drug use when they experience withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, there is a need to have professional help to ensure you stay on course.

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In addition to ensuring you are safe during the withdrawal period, professionals will help ease discomfort during the withdrawal period. For example, specific medications can reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Note that detoxification does not address the underlying behavioral causes of addiction. For this reason, it is best to combine it with other therapies.

 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)  is a therapy that helps you realistically manage your behavior, emotions, and thoughts. The main goal is to help you recognize and change negative thinking patterns. This helps to overcome the mental distress and psychological patterns that can result in addiction.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proved efficient in treating alcohol and drug addiction. CBT focuses on behavioral health. It helps you recognize your unhealthy behavioral patterns and how to deal with them better. Additionally, CBT enables you to identify your triggers and develop coping skills for them.

Often, CBT is combined with other therapies to treat drug addiction.

 

Twelve-step facilitation therapy

Twelve-step facilitation therapy, also called 12-step programs, can effectively treat alcohol and substance abuse. This group therapy recognizes that addiction has negative physical, emotional, social, and spiritual consequences.

These 12 step programs begin with acceptance, surrender to a higher power, and finally involvement in regularly scheduled group meetings. Most support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous use the twelve-step facilitation therapy.

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Contingency Management

Contingency management treats various addictions, including tobacco, narcotics, and alcohol addiction. Its primary focus is reinforcing positive behavior, e.g., staying sober by giving you tangible rewards.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research has demonstrated that contingency management successfully prevents relapse in recovering addicts.

 

Treatment with Medication

Medication plays a vital role in addiction recovery. However, it is combined with behavioral therapies for it to be effective.

Some medications suppress cravings, reduce addictive behaviors, and improve your mood. A good example is lofexidine, an FDA-approved medication for addiction treatment. Lofexidine eases withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings in patients recovering from opioid addiction. 

 

Treatment Programs

Most addiction treatment facilities offer three treatment programs:

The treatment program ideal for you significantly depends on your level of addiction and personal preference.

Residential Addiction Treatment Programs

Residential treatment programs offer intensive and comprehensive inpatient treatment. They can be for a short time (30 days), but some may extend for one year.

The advantage of this treatment program is that it incorporates a holistic approach to changing your relationship with drugs or alcohol. Often, you will undergo counseling, extensive education, and behavioral therapy to ensure you don’t revert to drug use.

Generally, residential addiction treatment programs have a multi-angled treatment approach. Most programs require you to start with detox before proceeding to other aspects of the program, including peer support and self-help programs.

Residential programs are beneficial to those who have abused drugs for an extended time and people with substance use disorders. If you got a dual diagnosis on your initial consultation, you should consider opting for residential programs.

 

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs offer two services; one-time appointments and repeated appointments. Unlike residential treatment programs, you don’t have to stay at the treatment facility.

Most outpatient treatment programs focus on opioid or heroin addiction. That is because medical providers use medications like buprenorphine and methadone to control cravings and minimize the effects of opioids. You will have to visit the clinic regularly to get the medicine. Treatment facilities often require you to pass a drug test to remain in the program.

Not only does addiction affect the individual, but also family members, friends, and other people they interact with. For this reason, there is a need for counseling. Most outpatient addiction treatment programs also offer individual and family therapy in the form of counseling.

Counseling addresses underlying causes of addiction, including past trauma, depression, anger, and many others. It also mends relationships by helping family members understand the reasons for compulsive behavior.

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Peer Support and Self-Help Programs

Several support groups connect people struggling with addiction, the most common ones being Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The main aim of support groups is to help you remain accountable for your recovery.

By sharing your experience with other people who have undergone similar experiences, you remain more encouraged on your recovery journey. Support groups have proved to be an essential tool for long-term recovery.

 

Choose The Type of Addiction Treatment That Suits You Best

Since you are now more familiar with the various types of addiction treatment programs, you can decide which one suits you best. We highly recommend going for a professional addiction assessment before deciding on treatment.

More Than Rehab offers high-quality, individualized addiction treatment services throughout the recovery process. Our treatment models are founded on successful national models. Contact us today to start your recovery journey.

The Link Between Risky Sexual Behaviors & Drug Use

For ages, human beings have intentionally used different substances for sexual pleasure. For example, Egyptians used extracts from the blue lotus flower to facilitate and enhance sexual desire. 

Today is no different. People use alcohol and illicit drugs for sexual pleasure. The trend is prevalent among teenagers and young adults in the United States. While substance misuse happens at any age, young adult years are critical at-risk periods. 

Studies have identified strong associations between substance use disorders and risky sexual behaviors and experiences. A review published on JAMA Network suggests that illegal drug use, and alcohol, increases the chances of risky sexual behavior and STIs by interfering with rational decision-making and cognitive functioning. 

The review further indicates that sexual impulses may be linked to subsequent drug use by alienating the teen from a more conventional context. This promotes attachment to rogue peers, and fosters exposure to drugs or alcohol. It also suggests that sex & drugs may have a common aspect that underlies and precedes both manifestations like personality (rebelliousness) or family factor (like mother-child relationship) etc.

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People who meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria for substance abuse disorders are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, including unsafe sex and having multiple partners. According to the national institute on drug abuse, the following are some of the risky sexual behaviors associated with alcohol and drug abuse 

Using the Global Drug Survey data, a 2019 study found the below as the most common drugs used with sex.

Let's discuss the sexual functioning associated with each drug in detail.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a popular drug that most people use to relax before engaging in sexual activity. In addition, it is used as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual desire and enhance performance. When taken in smaller doses, it enhances sexual arousal in men and increases subjective stimulation and pleasure in women.

However, when taken in higher quantities, alcohol impairs erectile function in men due to neuropathy or cardiovascular complications. In women, chronic users experience decreased vaginal lubrication and delayed orgasm.

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Alcohol abuse has been associated with risky sexual behavior due to impaired judgment. In addition, under the influence of alcohol, individuals are likely to be inconsistent with condoms and have multiple sexual partners whose health status is unknown. This results in increased cases of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. 

Cocaine

Cocaine is known to stimulate the central nervous system. As a result, it increases sexual urges due to activating systems responsible for sexual behavior such as oxytocin, dopamine, and melanocortin. This leads to sexual arousal in women and erectile function in men. However, long-term use can cause reduced sexual desire and delayed ejaculation/orgasm.

Cocaine use with an intimate partner is more frequent as compared to heroin. This is because cocaine is known to improve sexual performance, intensify sensation and increase libido. On the other hand, heroin is believed to send blood away from sexual organs and reduce testosterone production. This diminishes sexual desire, difficulty maintaining an erection, and delayed ejaculation/orgasm.

In addition, cocaine use has been predominantly linked with the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases compared to alcohol and other illegal drugs. This is highly attributed to increased sexual urges, impaired judgment, and sharing needles amongst users when injecting the drug. Diagnostic criteria show chronic users of cocaine exhibit violent and erratic behavior leading to anxiety, depression, and loss of interest in sex.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is recognized to be a potent aphrodisiac better known in the streets as "speed" or "crack." Like cocaine but at a higher degree, methamphetamine improves sexual performance by lowering inhibitors, increasing sex drive, and delaying ejaculation/orgasm. In addition, the sexual urges last longer in methamphetamine users than cocaine users making it more popular to people seeking extended and extremely stimulating sexual experiences.

However, chronic users of meth may experience difficulty in attaining a full erection. In this case, they experience a strong sexual drive coupled with inadequate penile erection. This condition is known as "crystal dick."

Methamphetamine has contributed to the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Increased sexual urges lead to unsafe and risky sexual behaviors such as vigorous unprotected anal or vaginal sex with strangers and casual sex partners. In addition, users who inject the drug share needles, putting them at a higher risk of contracting these diseases.  

Cannabis

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Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug. Consumption in small doses leads to subjective satisfaction and enhanced sexual pleasure in both men and women. Cannabis has resulted in teenage sex and increased cases of sexual addictions because the drug is cheap and easily accessible. 

However, chronic use of cannabis has been known to reduce testosterone, leading to erectile dysfunction in men. It is also associated with an increased risk of abuse and mental health conditions such as depression, extreme anxiety, and hallucination. 

Opioids

In the initial stages, opioids cause enhanced vaginismus in women and delayed ejaculation in men. This gives the user a false perception of improved sexual function. However, the use of opioids such as heroin and morphine for an extended period inhibits the release of luteinizing hormone.

This leads to erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced sexual desire, and mental illness. The same effects are associated with opioid substitution therapy, such as buprenorphine and methadone.

Despite certain drugs showing a positive relationship to improved sexual performance and pleasure when used in small quantities, there is a need to create awareness of the potentially harmful health consequences that they can cause. In search of a few minutes of extreme pleasure, you can expose yourself to STDs, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, sexual addiction, and mental illnesses. 

If you or someone close to you relies on alcohol and drugs for sexual performance, or you notice more risky sexual behaviors, it is essential to seek immediate help. Healthcare providers, educators, and social workers will provide the counseling and professional treatment that is needed to help you/them gain control of your/their sexual life again.