Behavioral Methods for Treating Addiction

Behavioral methods of addiction treatment make up the majority of the care that you will receive in a rehab facility. The other broad method of treatment is the medical aspect, which usually involves taking medication to make detox and the process of recovery easier for a patient.

Both types are generally used in order to achieve the most effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation because they each offer different benefits.

Behavioral treatment attempts to get at the psychological and emotional roots of an individual’s addiction. If the patient is in denial about his or her problem, this is usually one of the first issues that is addressed. Some people enter drug rehab without really wanting to be there, either due to family pressure or the criminal justice system.


Counselors work with these individuals to help them realize that they have an addiction. The goal is to give them motivation to be successful in the treatment program.

Many other psychological issues are addressed in behavioral treatment. The addict needs to discover why they began using drugs and alcohol and what purpose it serves in their life. They learn to analyze the thoughts that make them go back to substance abuse and change these thoughts. Creating healthy relationships with other people, dealing with triggers, and avoiding risky situations that could lead to relapse are also discussed.

Many patients have a dual diagnosis of a mental illness along with a substance abuse problem. When this is the case, the psychological aspect of rehab needs to be even more in depth. Addiction is a multi-faceted disease that requires addressing a variety of elements in treatment.

Behavioral treatment can be broken down into a number of more specific methods. The actual offerings vary between different rehab centers, but some of the most popular ones are cognitive-behavioral therapy, group counseling, and psychotherapy.

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