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Addiction recovery programs are simply codified methods for dealing with addiction. The most famous of the addiction recovery programs, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), has been used as a model for other treatment programs simply because the 12-step approach has been so effective. The precise details of the AA program, particularly its religious connections, are not as important as the fact that it involves support during the acute phase of recovery, combined with support during abstinence. Simply put, addiction recovery programs are only partially about recovery. They should also be about life after recovery. Call Drug Treatment Centers Metuchen today at (732) 226-8908.
Addiction treatment aims to change the behaviors and mental processes that surround addiction.
Common mechanisms applied in addiction treatment therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and motivational incentives. CBT is perhaps the best-recognized and most effective form of addiction treatment therapy, though motivational interviewing is growing rapidly in popularity.
The goals of CBT are two. First, counselors attempt to define the root causes of a behavior and look to identify the triggers of addiction. The second goal, after triggers are identified, is to provide tools for circumventing or changing those mental processes and circumvent triggers. Ultimately, CBT seeks to give addicts new ways of dealing with existing problems so that they can avoid their traditional mechanism of coping, which was substance abuse.
Motivational interviewing is similar, in some ways to CBT. Like CBT, motivational interviewing is non-judgmental, non-confrontational, and can be adapted to suit individuals at various levels of readiness for changing their behavior. The approach focuses on incremental change, starting with small victories and progressing to tackling larger problems. The goal is to get addicts to come up with the solutions to their problems rather than to offer solutions outright as in CBT.
Other types of therapy include smart recovery, art therapy, restorative yoga, group meetings, biofeedback, and family therapy. In many cases, a single approach is not as effective as a combination of therapies. One of the advantages of a residential treatment program is that it allows individuals to try various types of treatment therapy in order to find the approaches that work best for them.
The general criteria for effective addiction treatment are always the same. A program needs to be supportive, non-confrontational, and adaptable. It should be flexible enough to conform to the needs of each individual and to address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of addiction.
Effective treatment should be continued for a prolonged period of time and should attend to all of an individual’s treatment needs, no just his or her addiction. That means dealing with mental and physical health issues, social issues, and family issues. An effective treatment program should also recognize the value of both medication and cognitive therapies in both short- and long-term recovery.
Perhaps the most important principle of addiction recovery is that it can’t be forced. Addicts must be willing to abstain or no amount of therapy will work. This does not mean that treatment has to be voluntary to be effective (coerced or sanctioned treatment can be highly effective), it simply means that motivating a patient to want to change is the single most important aspect of addiction recovery.
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