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Addiction Therapies

Seven Types of Addiction Therapies that Work

Addiction recovery is all about incorporating positive behavioral and mental changes and ensuring you abstain from your drug of choice. After all, how we think drastically affects how we lead our lives. So, it is a no-brainer that counseling and therapy are vital components of addiction treatment in the addiction recovery process. Using behavioral therapies for substance abuse has various advantages, and research shows that particular addiction therapy types are more effective than others in helping addicts overcome their drug abuse issues.

Typically, these addiction therapies offer incentives for drug buses to maintain their sobriety. In addition, they modify addicts’ behaviors and attitudes related to drug use. Furthermore, these therapies allow addicts to learn new life skills and teach them how to manage high-risk situations, triggers, stress, drug cravings during recovery.

Even if someone isn’t voluntarily participating in an addiction treatment program, therapy will open up the opportunity for recovery by breaking down the addict’s resistance to treatment. That said, addiction is a disease that requires ongoing treatment. However, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) suggests that counseling and behavioral therapy are critical aspects of recovery. Not to mention, many other treatment modes can be utilized simultaneously to achieve lasting, positive outcomes. That said, there are various types of addiction treatment programs for individuals struggling with drug addiction or alcohol use disorder. Seven of these therapies are mentioned down below.

Medicine-Aided Detoxification

When you abuse a particular substance, your body gets used to it, and removal of said substance can lead to various behavioral, psychological, and physical symptoms. Medical detoxification provides a safe environment for withdrawal from alcohol or substance addiction under medical supervision. If required, you will be administered medicines to relieve and manage symptoms caused by the detoxification process itself. Doing this makes the detoxification process safer and easier to get through than if you tried to quit drugs yourself.

There are numerous symptoms that an individual can experience during the medicine-aided detoxification process. A few signs of drug withdrawal include but are not limited to; Hallucinations, Depression, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nausea or vomiting, irregular heartbeat, etc. In the end, medicine-aided detoxification isn’t a one-size-fits-all addiction therapy. However, it can help you manage symptoms and reduce your drug cravings tenfold!

Short Term Residential Treatment

Short-term addiction treatment provides intensive but relatively brief treatment derived from a typical 12-step treatment program. These short-term residential treatment programs are utilized to help addicts overcome alcohol addiction. However, due to the cocaine epidemic of the 1908s, most addiction treatment centers started to use short-term residential treatment programs to help addicts with substance abuse issues.

Generally, a short-term residential treatment program consists of three-to-six-weeks inpatient stays followed by participation in self-help groups, like the NA and extensive outpatient therapy. After undergoing a short-term residential treatment program, addicts have to remain engaged in an aftercare or outpatient program to minimize the chances of relapse after leaving the inpatient setting.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

A long-term residential treatment program consists of round-the-clock, 24-hour care, typically in a non-hospital environment. That said, the most effective residential treatment model is known as Therapeutic Community (TC), which involves inpatient stats between six and twelve months. These TCs utilize the treatment program’s entire community, like other staff, residents, to focus on the “resocialization” of the individual and complement the treatment program.

Drug abuse is usually viewed in the context of an addict’s psychological and social shortcomings. So, treatment should involve developing personal responsibility, accountability, and productive lives. Therefore, addiction treatment should always be structured and include activities that aid addicts to improve self-concepts, reduce negative beliefs, and avoid destructive behavioral patterns, adopting new, more constructive ways to interact with other individuals. Moreover, most therapeutic communities provide comprehensive services, including onsite guidance, support, employment training, etc.

Outpatient Treatment

The type of outpatient treatment an addict needs depends on the nature and severity of their drug abuse issues. However, an outpatient treatment program typically costs less than an inpatient or residential treatment program. That said, such an addiction treatment plan is generally more effective for individuals with extensive social support and jobs. However, you should note that low-intensity addiction treatment might provide little more than addiction education.

Furthermore, intensive day treatment and other outpatient models have the same effectiveness as an inpatient program, depending on the addict’s recovery needs and requirements. In the end, most outpatient treatment programs also offer group or individual counseling. Similarly, some also treat patients with mental health, medical issues, and other problems in addition to drug addiction problems.

Individual Drug Counseling Sessions

Individual drug counseling sessions typically focus on stopping or reducing alcohol or substance abuse. However, it also addresses related areas of impaired functioning like family/social relations, illegal activity, employment status, and the structure and content of the addict’s addiction treatment program.

Through its aim to achieve short-term behavioral goals, individual counseling sessions provide drug addicts with tools and coping skills to overcome their drug abuse issues and maintain sobriety. Typically, an addiction counselor will encourage addicts to participate in a 12-step program and offer referrals for needed employment, psychiatric, supplemental, medical, and other related services.

Group Drug Counselling Sessions

Most therapeutic counseling programs utilize group therapy sessions to take advantage of the social reinforcement offered by peer-to-peer interaction, helping addicts lead a drug-free lifestyle. Research shows that counselors can achieve positive outcomes when group therapy is provided to addicts along with individualized drug counseling, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), or contingency management. Researchers and counseling experts are currently testing conditions in which group therapy sessions can be standardized and made more patient-friendly.

Online Rehabilitation Programs

Online rehabilitation programs allow addicts to attend remote video-based addiction treatment sessions while traveling or from their homes. Typically, these video sessions cater to individuals living in remote locations and are hosted by licensed treatment professionals via a face-to-face online session.

That said, Online addiction treatment programs will never replace face-to-face, in-person treatment. But, instead, they will supplement and complement in-person treatment programs, provide ongoing support, guidance, flexibility, and medical care as required. In simple words, online rehab usually focuses on providing a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan, serving as a practical and essential part of the recovery process.


Although there are various addiction treatment programs addicts can go for, the best, most effective one will depend on their financial ability, treatment history, the severity of the drug abuse issues, and other personal needs and requirements. A licensed addiction treatment professional, doctor, or therapist will help you determine a treatment plan that will be the most effective for you. Furthermore, Aftercare services are vital for individuals who have already gone through sober living, detoxification, or rehab but require ongoing support and guidance to maintain their sobriety.

Read also: Resisting Temptation – Six ways to say No to drugs