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Why You Need CBT for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment

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Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for drug and alcohol addiction is one of the most widely-regarded and utilized forms of evidence-based therapy. This effective treatment allows individuals to rework their thoughts and feelings so that their behaviors reflect their goals rather than their struggles. 

What is CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a solution-focused form of psychotherapy that helps to minimize symptoms associated with common issues, such as drug and alcohol addiction. This type of therapy has evolved from behavioral therapy, which was introduced in the early 20th century. By the 1960s, cognitive therapy had been developed, and eventually, the two combined together to form what we now know as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

CBT is used to treat symptoms related to several mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and even interpersonal problems such as marriage issues. It has proven to be highly effective and works in short periods of time, allowing for the relief of symptoms as quickly as possible. CBT for drug and alcohol addiction treatment is viewed as one of the core therapies used in almost all individuals’ treatment programs, as it can offer enough relief for a person to begin establishing their footing in recovery. 

This detailed form of therapy focuses directly on how one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors interact with one another. Essentially, if a person continues to have negative thoughts, they will experience negative feelings, which will likely lead to negative behaviors. CBT is designed to help alter that process so that one’s thoughts and feelings can support the positive behaviors one wants to achieve. 

What is the Process of CBT?

Many people who participate in CBT for drug and alcohol addiction treatment are often surprised at how simple the entire process of it is. CBT helps individuals think logically and develop attainable goals by following a specific process. 

The first step in this process is identifying negative thought patterns. This helps individuals develop an understanding of what exactly is fueling their negative behavior. Secondly, individuals are asked to write down unproductive thoughts they have about themselves or their abilities. When these thoughts are made clear, it becomes easier to think of replacement thoughts that challenge the unproductive ones—which is what is required in the third step. Once unproductive thoughts have been identified and replacement thoughts have been prepared, individuals can move into the fourth step of applying these improved thought patterns to their lives. Regularly referring to this list and continuing to work on replacing behaviors can help rewire the brain in ways that reduce symptoms associated with substance use disorder or mental illness. 

How is CBT Different From Other Forms of Therapy?

All forms of therapy require individuals to take a step back and examine themselves mentally and emotionally. A significant deal of soul-searching goes into participating in therapy, and this is common across the board. The same goes for CBT for drug and alcohol addiction, but CBT stands out in a number of ways.

Rather than examining the why’s and how’s of certain events in our lives—and the roles others may have played in our current psychological wellbeing—CBT focuses solely on the individual and their responses. For example, someone recovering from drug and alcohol use disorder might discuss the resentments they have for a close family member. Rather than focusing on that family member and their behaviors, CBT encourages the individual to focus on how they respond and process the actions that are causing the resentment. This practice helps to empower individuals, as CBT strengthens how one views the world and themselves. 

Effectiveness of CBT for Drug and Alcohol Addiction 

If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, cognitive behavioral therapy is highly recommended. Not only is CBT for drug and alcohol addiction proven to produce promising results, but it also helps offer those results fast. Studies show that many people who incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy into their addiction treatment benefit greatly. 

One of the greatest benefits of CBT for substance use disorders is how it improves overall mental health. When the focus is placed on improving thoughts and feelings so that behaviors improve, all areas of one’s life can start to get better. For example, someone might start challenging their negative thoughts about their job or their responsibilities around the house in order to facilitate positivity.  

CBT for drug and alcohol addiction is a long-lasting form of therapy, which can be highly beneficial for individuals in recovery. Consider the holidays and how stressful they can be. Someone who is familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy may call on their skills if tempted to drink at a holiday party or if they get frustrated with a family member over Thanksgiving dinner. Stopping to pause and reflect on the negative thoughts and feelings they are experiencing at the moment allows them to alter their behaviors in a positive manner. 

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Santa Ana, CA

Dealing with a substance use disorder is never easy. If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Pacific Sands Recovery or visit our admissions page right now. Our team can help you overcome the challenges associated with your substance abuse so that you can begin living a happier, healthier life. 

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