Drug addiction is a complex condition that occurs through a myriad of biological, social, and environmental factors. For people to overcome their addiction, they must be able to uncover the root causes of their substance abuse. In a drug treatment setting, therapy is essential in addiction recovery. Whether it is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), or other modalities, therapy allows people to address the underlying roots of their addiction in a supportive setting.
The following article outlines the benefits of therapy and why it is an essential tool in helping people find lasting recovery.
Therapy Helps Heal Attachment Disorders
One of the leading root causes of substance abuse is attachment disorders. These disorders often develop in childhood and are the result of abuse, neglect, and other unresponsive behaviors from parents or other caregivers. If children experience emotional detachment, they will develop coping mechanisms to feel a sense of security—including substance use. Therapy helps those suffering from attachment disorders understand childhood trauma and insecurities that led them to drug and alcohol abuse.
Therapy Helps People Deal with Stressors in a Healthy Manner
Stress is a normal part of everyday life. While it is acceptable to feel anxious when stress is encountered, allowing it to linger is unhealthy. For some people, they turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with daily stressors linked to work, family, and finances. Without addressing the source of stress, many who use substances will increase their intake to the point of abuse. Therapy helps people identify the maladaptive ways people think towards the people and events that cause them stress. Once identified, therapists help clients learn healthy coping mechanisms that minimize stressors.
Therapy Includes the Family
It is often said that addiction is a family disease. A client’s substance abuse issues are often tied to family dysfunction. When an addict enters treatment, the family must also be involved in treatment for the whole family unit to heal. Family therapy allows the addict and their family members to share their issues in a safe and supportive environment. They will learn new communication and coping skills, which will improve the family dynamic and create a nurturing environment for the addict to grow in their recovery.
The Therapy Environment is Safe and Supportive
Therapy allows clients the freedom to share their experiences and frustrations in a safe and supportive environment that is free of judgment. In a one-on-one setting, the therapist acts as a sounding board and a supportive outlet that allows the client to discuss the underlying roots of their addiction. In a group setting, each member supports one another and share their experiences while forming strong bonds of connection.
Therapy is Helpful for Dual Diagnosis
Often, drug and alcohol abuse is a symptom of a deeper mental issue. For those who suffer from a co-occurring mental disorder and addiction, have what is called a dual diagnosis condition. For those with dual diagnoses, therapy is a must for the client to address their mental health issue. Without dealing with the underlying mental illness, any kind of recovery from substance abuse would be short-lived. Through the use of therapy (as well as medications), clients will establish a stronger foundation to tackle their substance abuse issues.
Therapy Empowers Addicts to Change
The power of therapy in addiction treatment is substantial. Through the help of an experienced counselor, clients can face their issues head-on. With the tools and support provided through treatment, newly recovering addicts gain empowerment and can confidently go forward on a path of health, happiness, and sobriety.