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Understanding Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse

Understanding Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse

Anyone struggling with an addiction or has a loved one in the same position knows how difficult addiction can be to treat. The pull of the substance can be so strong, an idea that may seem completely foreign unless you’ve experienced it. Because the substance — whether it’s alcohol, meth, or heroin — has such a hold on the person’s life, you may feel helpless to defeat it.

But the good news is that there’s an effective way to treat substance abuse: behavioral therapy. Also known as cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, it teaches substance abusers new ways to think about their problems and how to solve them. The providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center explain more about how behavioral therapy is a valuable tool in teaching substance abusers a new way to live.

What is behavioral therapy?

Behavioral therapy is a completely different approach than just talk therapy. While most people try to rely on their instincts and skills they may have learned in childhood for how to cope with problems, some people don’t have these skills.

People, particularly those who have addictions, may blame outside stimuli for how they react to situations. We all deal with common stressors, from difficult people to challenging situations. If you don’t have good methods for dealing with them, this can leave you feeling trapped in your behaviors.

Behavioral therapy can include:

These are just a few of the many tools that behavioral therapy can teach the person in the grip of a seemingly unbreakable cycle.

How functional analysis plays a role

Functional analysis plays a major role in both behavioral therapy and addiction treatment in general.

In short, what this does is go through all sorts of common scenarios in which substance abusers may have felt inclined to use.

These may include asking questions such as:

By looking into specific scenarios, the user can begin to recognize both their triggers and the results of using the substance.

Through this process, substance abusers begin to look at their own role in the cycle of addiction and learn that it’s not just something that happens to them, over which they have no control.

The benefits of skills training

Skills training is another essential component of using behavioral therapy to treat substance abuse. First, we examine the circumstances and emotional states that lead to addiction.

Then, the abuser is armed with a whole new arsenal of skills to defeat those circumstances should they arise again.

These include:

Skills training is one of the most crucial steps of recovery. It’s not enough to simply learn why a person may use substances; they also have to learn about alternatives.

If you or a loved one has a problem with substance abuse, behavioral therapy is an effective way to learn new ways of living. To learn more, call us today at any of our locations, or request an appointment online.

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