Treatment for addiction
Recovery from addiction / Addiction therapy
The most effective treatment for long standing addiction is rehab, followed by long term individual and/or group therapy aimed at supporting you in your recovery and preventing relapse. Detox and medication may be necessary if you have developed a physical dependence on a substance. For shorter term or more minor addictions therapy alone will generally suffice.
In some cases of addiction, particularly severe alcohol addiction and some types of drugs, detoxification is used as the first stage of treatment. This involves withdrawing from the substance and treating the symptoms of the withdrawal. Detoxification alone is often not a successful treatment and needs to be used in conjunction with therapy to change the person’s thinking towards the substances.
For some addictions, medications are used to help relieve the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug and then reduce the physical dependence more gradually. For example, methadone is often used with those addicted to heroin or naltrexone which can block the effects of alcohol for treating alcoholism. These medications are most successful when they are used in combination with other treatments such as therapy.
Rehab programs are designed to support you in coping with your psychological or emotional dependence on your drug or activity of choice. In early recovery it is crucial that you have access to an abundance of therapeutic support. Strong emotions and feelings of anxiety are common in early recovery. If you are not given sufficient education and support on how to deal with these emotions you may end up back in the grip of addiction. In particular the group therapy component of rehab is essential to you rebuilding your communication and relationship skills.
There are many types of therapy that are helpful in treating addictions. Examples of more common types are Cognitive behavioural, Family, Group, Psychodynamic & Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Some therapists believe recovery can only happen with total abstention and others are happy to work with a moderation model. Addiction is generally just the tip of the iceberg of issues & experiences that have lead you to your Addiction. Your therapist will support you in becoming aware of and beginning to heal these underlying issues and challenges. They will educate you and help you to engage in your addiction treatment process, motivate you to change, modify your attitude to drug abuse or addictive behaviours, and help build skills to support you to resist addiction related activities & relapse, replace addiction related activities with other activities and work with you to improve your interpersonal relationships.
12 Step Program
Many people in recovery from Addiction have experienced enormous benefits from attending and taking part in a 12 step Program. Often when you give up your drug or activity of choice you are giving up much of your social network that had been built around your addiction. The 12 step program provides a supportive community and really normalises the challenges faced in recovery from Addiction.
Originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous the 12 Step Program involves:
admitting that as an addict you cannot control your addiction
recognising that a higher power can give you strength
examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experience member)
making amends for these errors
learning to live a new life with a new code of behaviour
helping others who suffer from the same addictionsv
Recovery is seen as encompassing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Addicts going through this program regularly attend meetings with other recovering addicts to discuss their experiences and provide support and are expected to give back by providing support to other recovering addicts.
Relapse & Recovery from Addiction
Relapse statistics vary greatly depending on the type of addiction and length of time addicted. It can be as high as 90% for first time recovery from a long term addiction to a highly addictive substance such as amphetamines. What is known is that your chance of relapse decreases with each time you engage in an addiction treatment process. The key is not to give up on the process, to have faith that next time will be the time that sticks and that you will be able to resist relapsing from this point on.
The more you know about the signs and symptoms of Relapse the more you will be able to put preventative measures in place to support you in your recovery. This is another reason why it is essential that you see a therapist who is an expert in this area.
It can be helpful to read other people’s addiction stories and what caused addiction for them and how they have overcome it:
Recovery from addiction
It may be useful to speak with a therapist who is an expert in this area to assist in working out if you have an addiction. Research has shown that the earlier you intervene in the cycle of addiction the better chance you have of beating it.
It is important that you find a therapist who is both an expert in the field of addiction as well as being a good fit for you. Research has shown that the alliance between you and your therapist is the most important element for a successful outcome.
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists who specialise in recovery from addiction. Based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs we can assist you in finding the best fit treatment programme and / or therapist that will give you the best possible chance of an effective recovery from your addiction.To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on addiction:
The Helpful Guide