5 Treatments Proven to Help Beat Addiction
Beat addiction - Recoverlution’s top 5 best treatments to help beat addiction.
Most of us know that there is no cure for addiction. There are however, proven methods of treatment that can give us a helping hand in overcoming an addiction. They also allow us to maintain a healthy recovery.
Recovery is a continuous journey of discovery, growth and healing.
There is no one-size-fits-all method of recovery. Yet, the following 5 evidence-based treatments can most definitely help. They can prove to be effective, regardless of the type of addiction you suffer from.
All addictions, whether it be to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or sex, have one thing in common, they all reside within the brain.
Addiction affects the way we think, feel, and consequently, how we behave.
So, it stands to reason that treatments need to target the brain and thinking.
Treatment needs to help us to heal, to recalibrate and teach us how to maintain our recovery on a day-to-day basis
Detoxification is the first step in beating any addiction.
Medically managed and assisted detoxes safely and effectively clear the body and brain of substances. For instance, the medication used during a pharmaceutical detox assists the brain in recalibrating.
Once a detox is complete it then presents a vital window of opportunity to undertake further healing and rehabilitation. This is when therapeutic measures can be optimally beneficial in helping to beat addiction.
Additionally, a medical detox for substances (and indeed sometimes behaviours) assists the body and brain in coping with the withdrawal process.
Because detoxes use approved pharmaceutical medications, the whole experience is much more manageable and comfortable. Most importantly, it makes detoxification safe.
2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - CBT for beating addiction
Cognitive behavioural therapy is probably one of the most used types of therapy to help anyone overcome an addiction. CBT has proven itself to bring about profound healing and a change in thinking and behaviour in those that apply its methods.
Also, CBT has proven to be highly effective in treating a wide range of other mental health conditions, including:
- addictive disorders
- sleep disorders
- behavioural disorders
The great thing about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is that it works well on its own and also when it is combined with other types of therapy.
A BACP and FDAP registered counsellor is the best person to deliver CBT. This is because a qualified counsellor will be able to advise of a detailed plan of treatment. They will have a better understanding of personal treatment needs and be very familiar in correctly delivering therapy techniques.
How CBT can help you to beat addiction
Cognitive behavioural therapy helps by identifying unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours. Additionally, it helps to change these into healthier thoughts and coping strategies.
Undergoing CBT for addiction provides a safe and confidential space in which a person can focus on healing.
Benefits of CBT in treating addiction include:
- Increases self-awareness
- Helps to raise self-esteem
- Fosters positive thought processes
- Helps to identify the link between thoughts, feelings and actions
- It teaches valuable coping strategies that can be applied to everyday life
- Helps to regulate emotions and is useful in anger management
- Improves communication skills
- Form healthier relationships
- Teaches relapse prevention through early identification
- Fosters healthy behaviour patterns
- Improves mood and motivation levels
- Enables behaviour change
This particular talking therapy has been well-researched throughout the years. It has stood the test of time and proven itself extremely effective as a treatment for addiction. Its application can help to foster long-term change in thinking and behaviour.
3. 12 Step programmes
Due to the success of the original 12 Step, Alcoholics Anonymous, there are now numerous 12 step programmes available. 12 step programmes treat all types of addictions, including:
- eating disorders
- eating disorders
The change that 12 steps are designed to create when practised in their entirety, is said to be sufficient to overcome addiction.
Benefits of 12 Step in helping to beat addiction include:
- Receive support from like-minded others through attending meetings
- Discourages isolation
- Encourages surrender and turning over unhealthy thoughts and behaviours to a higher power
- Educates about the nature of addiction
- Provides established online meetings
- Fosters self-awareness
- Encourages spiritual growth and practices
- Encourages ownership of one's mistakes
- Fosters mindfulness
- Works for any addiction
- Helps to heal the past and find acceptance
- Encourages a positive state of mind by practicing gratitude
- Promotes a spiritual way of life that is conducive to beating addiction
Medical institutes and treatment centres around the world also recognise the success of 12 step programmes in beating addiction. So much so that approximately 74 % of all addiction treatment centres now incorporate some aspects of the 12 step model into their treatment programmes.
Additionally, 12 Step programmes place importance on anonymity outside of meetings. They rely solely on donations from members to keep meetings running.
4. SMART Recovery to help beat addiction
SMART teaches evidence based methods of treatment that target all areas of a person's life.
With SMART Recovery, members are able to access meetings, a 24/7 chat, an online forum, and a global community of support. Also, their online forum provides a journal where you can record your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis.
Best of all, this self-help organisation promotes self-empowerment, using the most up to date methods of addiction recovery. Its members are encouraged to learn from each other and support one another.
Anyone who has been affected by addiction can become part of the SMART community. This is because SMART Recovery is now accessible on a global level.
When it comes to cost, joining this organisation is free as they are a registered charity. The charity rely’s solely on the donations in order to keep running.
If you attend a meeting of SMART, you will be greeted by a facilitator, who will take the meeting. SMART facilitators are people who are trained in delivering a wide range of science-based treatments. Usually, facilitators are people who have applied the principles of SMART Recovery to their own life very successfully.
Benefits of SMART Recovery in helping to beat addiction include:
- An established community with a global online presence
- Delivers evidence based treatments
- Promotes self-empowerment and healing
- Protects anonymity
- Promotes physical, emotional and social healing
- Provides a recovery toolbox and skill set
- Helps to maintain recovery and encourages personal growth
- Assist with communication skills and social skills
- Discourages isolation
- Promotes helping others to recover from addiction
- Teaches proven relapse prevention techniques and strategies
- Incorporates many recognised therapies
- Encourages positive behavioural and cognitive change
- Fosters self-awareness and mindfulness
The science based techniques that this organisation offers are regularly used by qualified counsellors and therapists.
5. Medications approved for treating substance use disorders
Pharmaceutical medications have proven to be very helpful in beating addiction. These approved medications can improve mood, reduce anxiety, reduce cravings and even block the effects of some substances.
By using approved medications for treating substance use disorders, a helping hand is provided. This gives some people some much needed space from the addictive substance.
Medications to help beat addiction are categorised as follows:
- Agonist medications - i.e Methadone and Buprenorphine
- Antagonist medications - i.e Naltrexone
- Agonist-Antagonist Medications - i.e Mecamylamine
- Anti-craving medications - i.e Bupropion, Naltrexone, Nalmefene, Acamprosate
- Medication that Blocks Alcohol Metabolism -Disulfiram
- Antidepressants and Mood stabilisers
Each category of medication works differently.
Agonist medications are prescribed as a safer alternative to Class A Opioids. They work by discouraging illicit drug use. Agonists can also help to stabilise a person. As a result, this allows them to rebuild their lives and find employment. Whilst these particular drugs are addictive in themselves, they can work well as a harm reduction measure.
Antagonist medications block the opioid receptors from being activated by substances. This makes taking opioids or any other substance that acts on the opioid receptors pretty pointless, because there will be no high.
Agonist-Antagonist Medications have been shown to be helpful in preventing relapse in smokers. They work by cancelling out the effects of nicotine. As a result, this makes smoking futile.
Anti-craving medications are designed to reduce cravings for different substances. Therefore, they can help a person to stay in recovery for longer
Disulfiram is a medication that blocks alcohols metabolism. It works by causing an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a highly toxic by-product of alcohol. Drinking, or even coming into contact with alcohol whilst taking Disulfiram makes a person violently ill. As a result, the effects of alcohol and Disulifram can act as a deterrent to relapse.
Antidepressants and mood stabilisers treat underlying mental health conditions. Mental health illnesses can often contribute to, or result from an addiction. These medications stabilise mood and improve mental health through the use of medication. As a result, a person is more able to engage in the recovery process.
*Addiction medication works best when it is combined with proven addiction treatment therapies, programmes, and counselling.
Recognising everyone is different
When considering methods of treatment for your own addiction, you will need to find whatever works best for you.
After all, finding a healthy way of maintaining recovery from addiction is all that really matters. How you achieve this is your own personal choice.
Our top 5 treatments proven to help beat addiction are by no means the only ones available. You may find that one of these, or none of these work for you.
Recoverlution understands the struggles that those in recovery face. Our team at Recoverlution is made up of people who are either in recovery, or who have been affected by another person's addiction.
Because of our understanding of the needs people in addiction recovery, we have built a dedicated platform that offers many different holistic ways in which a person can recover.
Ultimately, our hope is that you will join us on our journey to a healthier and happier recovery from addiction.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy for substance use disorders - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897895/
- SMART Recovery - Self Management and Recovery Training - https://www.smartrecovery.org/community/blog.php
- 12-Step Interventions and Mutual Support Programs for Substance Use Disorders: An Overview - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753023/
- National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2013 - https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2013_N-SSATS_National_Survey_of_Substance_Abuse_Treatment_Services/2013_N-SSATS_National_Survey_of_Substance_Abuse_Treatment_Services.pdf
- A Range of Research-Based Pharmacotherapies for Addiction http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.899.4451&rep=rep1&type=pdf