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November 1, 2022

Why Is CBT the Best Addiction Treatment Therapy?


23 million adults in the U.S. have struggled with a substance abuse problem. Many of those people try to quit their addiction on their own, only to discover it's not that easy. Addiction is a mental health disorder that requires proper treatment for recovery.

One of the many options for addiction treatment is the CBT method. CBT is offered by many in-patient and out-patient treatment groups and can be part of a holistic treatment plan for people suffering from addiction. Let's take a look at what CBT is and how it works.

What is CBT?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This well-established and tested treatment method is used for a wide variety of mental health disorders and conditions, including substance addiction.Why Is CBT the Best Addiction Treatment Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy refers to methods that focus on your cognition. In other words, it addresses how your thoughts influence your overall mood. CBT addresses cognitive distortions, dysfunctional thoughts, and misleading personal beliefs to improve mood and mental function.

In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, patients identify their dysfunctional thoughts or distortions and then learn to identify more truthful or positive statements. This breaks their negative thinking patterns and can have a positive impact on their overall well-being.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be used in both PHP in MA and IOP in MA. This means that a patient suffering from addiction can choose partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient for their treatment. This helps maintain a level of independence, autonomy, and normalcy that many patients crave during their treatment.

How Does CBT Work as Addiction Treatment Therapy?

In order to understand how CBT works as addiction treatment, you must first understand the nature of addiction. Substance addiction is not a choice or a moral failing. People who are suffering from substance addiction are struggling with a mental health disorder that can be treated compassionately and with understanding. You can recover from it, and it takes intervention from a professional to reach that recovery.

CBT's fundamental principles are that

  • Mental disorders are based in part on negative thinking patterns
  • Mental disorders are based on learned, repeated negative behaviors
  • By learning coping skills, reframing negative thoughts, and creating positive behaviors, you can relieve your symptoms

These fundamental principles are true of addiction. Addiction is often present with other mental disorders, and they can all be traced back to negative thinking patterns, including beliefs about self-worth, ability, social status, and more. Those negative thinking patterns lead to repeated negative behaviors such as substance abuse. If you address those negative thoughts and replace the negative behaviors with positive ones, you can recover from your addiction and live a better life.

Putting CBT Into Action

CBT acknowledges and validates a person's past lived experience while encouraging them to create a better future for themselves. Sometimes negative thinking patterns are a product of difficult or traumatic life experiences. Therapy can also help you accept current realities and make plans for coping with them.

A therapist can help you identify triggering scenarios that you may end up in. Triggers can include proximity to alcohol as well as negative environments that trigger your cognitive distortions. By identifying those triggers, you can work together to make a plan to cope with them in a way that is healthy and doesn't use your previous negative behaviors. Sometimes that plan may include finding alcohol free activities!

By creating coping plans, you can engage in behaviors that help you avoid your substances and no longer rely on them for emotional support.

Longterm Benefits of CBT for Addiction

Why Is CBT the Best Addiction Treatment Therapy?CBT is flexible and adjusted for the needs of every individual or group. No drug rehab in MA using CBT will look exactly the same on any given day. That's part of what makes it so beneficial in the long term. You and your therapist will find the methods in CBT that work best for you and creates the most benefits.

Some of the long-term benefits of CBT include:

  • Coping skills that you can carry with you to triggering events even when you've finished therapy
  • An overall more positive outlook on life
  • Decreased reliance on negative coping skills
  • Increased self-esteem
  • A more balanced, easier life full of loved ones and happy memories

Not all of these benefits will come right away after you finish your treatment at an alcohol rehab in MA. But if you stick with the work, you won't believe how much your life will improve in the long run.

How Effective is CBT?

No one wants to jump into a treatment program that makes a lot of promises it can't deliver on. Luckily, CBT has been carefully studied since its founding in the 1960s so that you can be sure that the treatment you reserve is effective.

CBT is often combined with other peer-reviewed psychotherapy methods to ensure effectiveness. As mentioned previously, therapy is not a one size fits all tool. A good therapist will work with you to be sure that the methods will continue to be effective long after you've finished treatment.

Is CBT The Best Option for You?

There are many options for addiction treatment, and there isn't one right method for everyone. But by using CBT to reframe your negative thinking and behaviors, you can recover from past traumas and start living healthier lives. CBT combined with other addiction treatment methods, as prescribed by your individual therapist, maybe the best choice for you.

Are you ready to start looking at options for drug rehab in MA? Contact us to learn about our treatment options.


[author] [author_image timthumb='on']/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/img-ed-480x572.jpg[/author_image]  [author_info]Reviewed by Ed Lepage, Executive Director

Ed Lepage completed the drug and alcohol certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has been working in the substance abuse dependency field for the past seven years. He has also worked extensively in peer recovery-based programs offering “real-world experience” to those that suffer from substance use dependency. Full Bio [/author_info] [/author]