Author: John Carter

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Treatment

cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction

It can help to look back and see how your thought patterns have changed over time. Let’s say you’re buying lottery tickets every month, but buying these tickets causes you to come up short for your household bills and groceries. CBT can be very effective for addiction, including how well it can work against your triggers. CBT can give you the tools and a way to apply newly formed skills to make changes and feel successful, according to Hornstein. In June 2020, 13 percent of people in the United States either started using substances or increased their use as a way to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lapse process consists of a series of internal and external events, identified and analyzed in the process of therapy. Therapy focuses on providing the individual the necessary skills to prevent a lapse from escalating into a relapse31. If you’re interested in receiving CBT to help with substance use disorder, then it’s simple to get started. Psychotherapists are commonly trained in CBT interventions, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find a CBT provider near you. One meta-analysis found a moderate effect size across the board for CBT and substance use disorder. How effective CBT was for treating addiction varied quite widely across studies, but almost all studies found that CBT was at least moderately effective compared with no treatment or traditional substance abuse counseling.

Word of mouth can be a great way to find a clinic or a therapist that someone you know has personally used. That way you can try them out to see whether they’re a good fit for you too. Whether or not you decide to receive CBT or another intervention, there is hope for recovery. With the right treatment, you can beat the addiction you’ve been battling and live a happy, successful life. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking or using drugs, and you’re motivated enough to be engaged in treatment and complete your homework or between-session activities, then CBT will probably be the most helpful for you.

cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction

Curiously, CBT has been found to be the most effective for cannabis use disorder, or marijuana addiction. The reasons for this are unknown, but if you are addicted to marijuana, then you may be a particularly good candidate for a CBT intervention. Not only does the intervention help people to take their first steps toward recovery, but people who received CBT were also more likely to be sober at the 52-week follow-up mark. Going through CBT, and RP specifically, can make it less likely that you’ll be able to fight the triggers for relapse and continue on the road to recovery. Some therapists may offer sliding scale fees, meaning they’ll adjust their fees based on your ability to pay. We’ve tried, tested, and written unbiased reviews of the best online therapy programs including Talkspace, BetterHelp, and ReGain.

Pros of CBT

You’re not going to feel angry or sad because you can’t get out of this cycle.

  1. Substituting old habits that contribute to substance use with more positive and enduring actions enhances a person’s ability to function and aids in long-term recovery.
  2. In June 2020, 13 percent of people in the United States either started using substances or increased their use as a way to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. SST is particularly useful when patients return to drinking due to social pressures.
  4. The relapse prevention programme combines a variety of cognitive behavioural strategies33.

Despite various treatment programmes for substance use disorders, helping individuals remain abstinent remains a clinical challenge. Cognitive behavioural therapies are empirically supported interventions in the management of addictive behaviours. CBT comprises of heterogeneous treatment components that allow the therapist to use this approach across a variety of addictive behaviours, including behavioural addictions. Relapse prevention programmes addressing not just the addictive behaviour, but also factors that contribute to it, thereby decreasing the probability of relapse. Addictive behaviours are characterized by a high degree of co-morbidity and these may interfere with treatment response. Mindfulness based interventions or third wave therapies have shown promise in addressing specific aspects of addictive behaviours such as craving, negative affect, impulsivity, distress tolerance.

What is CBT and how does it work?

CBT helps patients to identify their irrational thinking patterns and consciously work to replace their cognitive distortions with more rational, and helpful, thoughts. Ideally, this helps them to both feel better emotionally and react in healthier ways to the world around them. Research suggests that the skills obtained through CBT are enduring and can also be applied in other areas of an individual’s life as well. Approximately 60% of people who are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy for a substance use problem are able to maintain their recovery for a year. Relapse is seen as transitional process and not an endpoint or an outcome failure.

cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction

CBT as a modern science was developed by psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. Both cognitive and behavioral theories of human behaviors had been circulating since the early 20th century, but Dr. Beck was the first person to use the concept of automatic negative thoughts to help people combat the symptoms of depression. A co-occurring disorder can be challenging to treat because addiction can worsen mental disorders and vice versa. It’s also tough to determine if the mental illness or the addiction came first. CBT uses the same learning processes that led to the development of alcohol and drug dependence in the first place to help people unlearn maladaptive behaviors.

The first step in planning a cognitive behavioural treatment program is to carry out a functional analysis to identify maintaining antecedents and set treatments targets, select interventions. If you struggle with depression or anxiety on top of substance use disorder, then CBT is likely to be able to help you with your other symptoms. Again, CBT is considered the gold standard in depression and anxiety treatment.

Cognitive restructuring

His wife brought him for treatment and he was not keen on taking help He did not believe it was a problem (stage of change). He believed that drinking helped him across many domains of life (positive outcome expectancies regarding alcohol use and its effects, stage of change). CBT is one of the most researched forms of treatments, so there is an abundance of evidence and support for its use with a variety of mental conditions, including alcohol and substance use disorders. More than 53 randomized controlled trials on alcohol and drug abuse were examined to assess the outcomes of CBT treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a highly effective choice for treating alcohol and substance use disorders. It can be used on its own or combined with other approaches that work together to support a person’s long-term recovery.

In these studies, CBT has been shown most effective when compared with having no other treatment at all. When compared with other treatment approaches, studies have had mixed results. Some show CBT to be more effective, while others show it to be of equal, but not greater, effectiveness than other treatments.

Financial support and sponsorship

Online therapy also provides a lot of flexibility if you have a hectic schedule. With online CBT treatment, your therapist may write back within the hour or a few times weekly. By better understanding the difficulties that contribute to substance use, people can then look for ways to better manage difficult thoughts, emotions, or situations. You look at your thoughts, such as thinking about the worst case scenario or either-or thinking, and your therapist helps you reframe those thoughts into something healthier and productive. As you start healthier thoughts and behaviors, you start associating them with healthier emotions, and this can start to become second nature the more you do it.

Learning how to challenge your negative thoughts should help decrease your depression and anxiety. With many of these conditions (including depression, OCD, and anxiety disorders), CBT has consistently been found to be the most effective psychotherapy method and is suggested as the frontline treatment. It’s considered the gold standard of treatment because there is no other psychotherapy model that has systematically been proven to be more effective than CBT across the board. When people are struggling with difficult situations, life stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, or other problems, they sometimes turn to substance or alcohol use as a way to manage. If someone is at the point where they need professional treatment for their addiction, chances are they are using alcohol or drugs as their main means of coping with problems.

If you’re working toward recovering from addiction, you may receive a variety of different interventions. Because of the immense research supporting its effectiveness, CBT interventions are usually included in this range of options. In short, CBT helps people to challenge the irrational thoughts that cause them to feel miserable. This means that, rather than exploring deeply into your past traumas and childhood experiences, CBT focuses on the problem-at-hand and teaches you the skills to better cope with them. The primary goals of CBT in the treatment of substance use are to improve motivation, learn new coping skills, change old habits, and learn to better manage painful feelings.