Effective Rehabilitation Methods For Treating Addiction


Addiction is very complex and affects various areas of an individual’s life. Deaths due to drug overdose have continued to rise. In 2020 alone, 91,799 drug overdose deaths were reported. Individualized rehabilitation methods and treatments that address the underlying cause and symptoms of addiction are required. Addiction may also affect a person’s mental and physical health, as well as their ability to socialize, work and attend school. These areas will also need to be addressed for complete recovery.

Causes for addiction

There are many risk factors and causes that may lead to addictions, including:

  • Family history of addiction
  • Substance use at a young age
  • Mental health diagnosis
  • Easy access to drugs
  • Family conflict
  • History of neglect or abuse

Through rehabilitation, counseling, therapy and treatment, the underlying causes of addiction can be discovered. Healing and learning new coping techniques can then begin. Addiction can impact everyone in a different way, so addiction recovery will be unique for each person. There are many types of treatment programs and rehabilitation modalities available to choose from. Creating an individualized treatment plan is the most effective way to heal addiction.

Treatment programs

Every individual dealing with addiction will have a unique situation and needs. The effectiveness of their treatment program will depend on these unique needs. With the right treatment choice and rehabilitation method, it is possible to overcome addiction.

Inpatient rehabilitation

Inpatient programs are structured treatments that address the various facets of addiction. Patients opting for this treatment program reside in a special facility where they receive therapeutic and medical care. These treatment programs are great for those with chronic addictions, and co-occurring behavioral or mental disorders.

Outpatient rehabilitation

This is a comprehensive addiction recovery program with access to many effective therapies and treatments. Unlike inpatient rehab, these facilities allow patients to continue to live in their own homes while they recover. Patients can attend treatment sessions while they continue to work and live their regular lives. With outpatient rehabilitation programs, patients will be living in the real world and will encounter many triggers in their daily lives. This can be challenging for many patients. These programs are suitable for those with mild addictions and for those who are disciplined and committed to their recovery. Outpatient programs are often offered to patients after they complete inpatient treatments.


A detoxification program helps patients withdraw from substances in a safe way. Detoxification is the first step recommended when treating patients with severe or moderate addiction. Detoxing can, in certain situations, be quite uncomfortable and dangerous when performed incorrectly. Patients may require medications and therapy to ease their withdrawal systems. The medications used for detoxing are then tapered off until the patient is no longer physically addicted to substances.

Sober living homes

After completing an inpatient treatment program, patients often transfer to sober living homes before they return to their normal lives. These facilities are an ideal solution for those in recovery because they provide patients with additional time and support to reinforce the learnings from rehab. Sober living homes were created to help patients strengthen their coping techniques and healthy habits while they continue to live in a safe, structured environment to minimize the chances of a relapse.


During treatment and detoxification, medications may be prescribed to patients to assist in recovery. Medications may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, treat other disorders and reduce dependence on addictive substances. Usually, medications are used in conjunction with a treatment program, such as an inpatient or outpatient program to increase its effectiveness.


An intervention provides the opportunity for family members and loved ones to express their feelings surrounding addiction and encourages the patient to enroll in a treatment program. This is a structured meeting that is often conducted and supervised by professional intervention specialists. An intervention is the first step in the recovery process because it allows the patient to recognize the effect of their addiction on family members and convinces them to seek treatment. Social workers specializing in treating addictions can help with clinical interventions. Those who have an educational background in addiction treatment, such as a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Florida State University, can help patients heal from trauma and seek treatment.

Faith-based rehabilitation

For many patients, a spiritual approach to recovery is more effective. There are many rehabilitation centers that provide faith-based programs. These programs allow patients to connect with like-minded people and seek guidance from a spiritual source to pursue their recovery journey.

Rehabilitation methods

The therapies that may be used to treat addiction will depend on the patient’s addiction patterns and their current health status. Some of these rehabilitation methods and therapies are discussed below:

Biofeedback therapy

There are many drug-free therapy options available today to help patients in recovery. Biofeedback helps people understand the involuntary processes of their bodies. Therapists use electronic sensors to monitor the brain activity of patients. These patterns are then reviewed, and techniques are recommended to help patients recover from addictions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used in addiction treatment. This treatment method helps uncover feelings or thoughts that might increase the risk of relapse. With CBT, patients can understand how their thoughts may be compromising their sobriety and the steps they can take to avoid it. CBT can also be used when there are co-occurring conditions making addiction treatment more complicated.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

This type of treatment is useful and is usually recommended when there are severe mental illnesses present along with addiction. DBT is designed to teach patients stress-management skills, improve their self-esteem and encourage them to be confident in their ability to fight addiction. It teaches them how to remove certain triggers that may be threatening their recovery.

Experiential therapy

Non-traditional therapy and treatments that help patients overcome negative emotions and repressed feelings contributing to addiction are called experiential therapy. This may include many types of therapy, such as rock climbing and outdoor activities.

Holistic therapy

Holistic therapy focuses on improving the well-being of an individual along with the physical symptoms of their addiction and withdrawal. Holistic therapy utilizes many techniques, such as meditation, yoga, art and acupuncture, to help improve the mental, physical and emotional health of patients.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)

This type of therapy is designed to help patients learn how to deal with negative behaviors and thoughts associated with their addiction. MET is used quite often to help those who are dealing with other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder, along with addiction.

Psychodynamic therapy

With this therapy, patients can explore their thoughts and emotions and uncover how their addiction is fueled by subconscious thoughts. This therapy method helps them recognize the underlying causes of their addiction. Therapists trained in this therapy modality can help patients acknowledge these feelings, identify temptations and avoid triggers when they are in recovery.

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT)

REBT can help patients recognize their negative thoughts. It provides them with tools and strategies to combat these negative thoughts. This type of therapy helps patients realize that they have the power to think rationally. They do not need to rely on anyone or anything else to deal with their negative emotions or thoughts.

Contingency management

This type of rehabilitation treatment is used for treating a variety of substance addictions, such as narcotics, tobacco and alcohol. Contingency management reinforces positive behaviors such as maintaining sobriety. It offers tangible rewards to help patients succeed. It can be an effective method to combat relapse and motivate patients to stay in recovery.

12-step programs

12-step programs have been used successfully for years to treat substance and alcohol abuse. This is a group therapy that allows patients to recognize that there are many negative consequences of addiction. Substance abuse can impact the patient’s physical, emotional and mental health. The therapy usually begins by accepting addiction. The other steps in the program are surrendering and consistently attending group meetings. The group meetings provide mutual support to patients and an outlet to discuss recovery challenges.


When recovering from addiction, medication plays a crucial role if it is used in combination with other therapies. Medications can be used to reduce addictive behaviors, improve mood and reduce withdrawal symptoms. There are many medications that are approved by the FDA to help reduce cravings in patients with serious addictions. An addiction counselor can provide patients with a comprehensive recovery plan that includes medication.

When it comes to addiction recovery, there is no treatment approach that will be successful for everyone. Regardless of the treatment path chosen, it is essential to maintain commitment. Addiction recovery is never easy. It requires patients to have self-discipline and willpower to recover and stay sober. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help support them during their journey. Rehabilitation programs allow patients to build relationships with others recovering from addiction. Family members, counselors and friends can also play an important role in the recovery of their loved ones by providing them with the support they need without judgment. Success in addiction recovery will also depend on the effort a patient puts into the process.

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