CBT and Addictions
COUN 711 D03
Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used in the treatment for drug-dependent individuals. CBT is a short-term brief approach that is used as a treatment for drug abuse and dependence. CBT has been rigorously evaluated in clinical trials and has solid empirical support as treatment for drug addiction. There is evidence that CBT is effective with severely addicted individuals. CBT is structured, goal-oriented and focused on the immediate problems faced by drug addicts that are entering treatment and are struggling to control their drug abuse. CBT is flexible and uses an individualized approach that is adaptable to a wide range of patients as well as a variety of settings such as inpatient and outpatient and also uses different formats such as group or individual. CBT works well with other treatments used during other treatments for drug addiction such as pharmacotherapy.
The United States is known for its drug culture. Americans use drugs for many different reasons. Many Americans use drugs “to wake up, to stay alert throughout the day, to relax, and to reduce pain” (Kring & Johnson, 2014, p.285). Addiction usually refers to a more severe substance use disorder, “that is characterized by having more symptoms, tolerance, and withdrawal by using more of the substance than intended” (Kring & Johnson, 2014, p.286). The topic of this paper is related mainly to the treatment of drug addiction and deals mainly with the population of young adults.
CBT for Drug Addiction Treatment
CBT is a well-known therapeutic treatment for those suffering from drug addiction. There are two critical components of CBT. These two components are known as functional analysis and skills training. Functional Analysis
For every instance of drug use during treatment, the therapist and patient do a functional analysis. The idea here is to identify the thoughts, feelings, and circumstances before and after the drug use. When the individual is early in recovery, the functional analysis plays the role of helping the patient and therapist to assess the risk factors that are likely to lead to drug use. The functional analysis provides insights into some of the reasons that the individual may use drugs such as to cope with interpersonal difficulties, to experience risk or euphoria that the client may not have in their life. Later in treatment, functional analyses of episodes of drug use may identify situations in which the individual may identify situations in which the individual still has difficulty coping. Skills Training
The goal of CBT is to help the drug user unlearn old habits that are associated with drug abuse and to learn healthier skills and habits. When the level of substance abuse is severe enough that the individual needs treatment, the patient is likely to be using drugs as their main means of coping with a wide range of interpersonal and intrapersonal problems. There are many reasons this may occur. It could be that the individual may have learned ineffective strategies and these skills may have deteriorated due to repeated reliance on drug use as a main way of coping. These clients may have basically forgotten effective strategies because of major involvement in a drug-using lifestyle where most of their time is spent in obtaining, using, and then recovering from the effects of drugs. An individual may have decreased ability to use effective coping strategies and may be weakened by problems such as drug abuse with concurrent psychiatric disorders. A major element of CBT is anticipating likely problems and enhancing patient’s self-control by helping them develop effective coping strategies. Specific techniques include “exploring the positive and negative consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early and identify situations that might put one at risk for use, and...
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