When addicts complete drug detox in the Woodlands and come out free of cravings or withdrawal symptoms, they often make the mistake of believing that they've turned drug-free. Through our treatment programs in The Woodlands, we make a point of helping our clients see that this is not the case. Addiction creates a permanent psychological dependence on drugs. There is no way to make a clean break with drugs once and for all, it is possible to stay abstinent for life. The way to do it is to engage fully in scientifically developed treatment programs meant to help equip the mind with strategies against cravings and relapse.
At Woodlands Alcohol Treatment Centers, our treatment programs in The Woodlands have trained therapists offer recovering addicts a number of evidence-based methods. Here are examples of the most effective therapies in use today.
CBT is talk therapy that aims to help participants see what exactly they can do to change negative thoughts or behavior.
Resisting conditioned responses: The brain is designed to learn conditioned responses to various situations.
For example, after several experiences where the sound of cooking activity in the kitchen is seen to result in dinner on the table, the brain may learn to respond with salivation in anticipation of food the moment it perceives noise in the kitchen. In similar fashion, when drug use in the past has gone along with specific kinds of people, places, sounds and emotions, the brain conditions itself to anticipate drugs when it comes by these stimuli. Called triggers, these stimuli can be an area of risk to addicts.
CBT helps equip patients with skills to anticipate the kind of stimuli commonly known to do most addicts in, and to avoid them altogether. Among other things, they learn to avoid acquaintances who may be drug users, or the kind of places drugs were used in. The therapist also conducts detailed functional analysis interviews to determine when, where, why drug use happened with the patient, and helps develop avoidance strategies specific to them. Relapse prevention in the Woodlands especially relies on these behavioral refinements.
Learning new behaviors: Many people trying to escape addiction fail simply because they do not have access to psychological skills that most do. They may find it excruciatingly awkward to turn people down when they ask them to use, for example. Modeling training in CBT has the addict observe different situations where people are able to refuse offers. Once the addict has several mental examples to model his behavior on, he is able to change.
Resisting thought aberrations: A number of cognitive distortions or thought aberrations are responsible for the occurrence of relapses. The all-or-nothing thought pattern or abstinence violation syndrome is one of them. An addict who suffers from this cognitive distortion interprets the smallest slip-up as complete defeat. When an alcoholic in remission makes a mistake and takes a sip of alcohol, for instance, he may begin to believe that the entire effort is hopeless now, and thereby loses his resolve to salvage the situation. He may allow himself to go into full-blown relapse.
In CBT, the clinician helps the patient analyze the ways in which these thought patterns develop, and arrest them before they get out of hand. The patient also learns to reinterpret or re-frame these situations. For instance, they may learn to see that if they did slip up with a drink once, they still did manage to go without one for a month before. They learn that slip-ups and mistakes are inevitable, and that it's the big picture that they should keep in mind — that 30 out of 31 days isn't bad.
Learning a new lifestyle: Addicts in recovery often relapse for the simple reason that they have never known of a recreational activity other than substance abuse. The more they learn healthy activities to turn to, the more they are able to branch away from obsessive thoughts about addiction.
This therapeutic approach is recommended chiefly to addicts who have had a history of crime. It can also be of value to patients who find that they give in too easily to the need for hedonistic pleasure without due consideration of the consequences involved for those around them. In moral reconation therapy, patients work with therapists to identify areas in which they may be excessively focused on pleasure, and indulge in practice sessions to help develop their moral reasoning faculties.
This is a subtle therapeutic technique aimed at helping addicts find the motivation needed to take charge of their treatment. In motivational interviewing, the therapist asks the participant open-ended questions to encourage conversation, gently leading the way to areas in life that the participant feels the greatest amount of hope in. Seizing on these areas, the therapist attempts to show the participant how addictive habits are incompatible with these hopes. In other words, the therapist attempts to connect escape from addiction to motivations present in other areas.
As important as these evidence-based methods are, they can only work when each addict finds a therapist that he has rapport with. Our treatment programs in The Woodlands offer some of the best therapists in the field. If you would like to interview therapists before you make a decision, we would be happy to help you. You only need to call (713) 292-1193.