Are Drug Treatment Programs More Effective When They Focus on Underlying Issues?

If you’ve ever tried kicking your drug habit at home on your own, then you already know just how difficult it can be. Of all the methods that people can use to deal with drug addiction, going “cold turkey” is undoubtedly the least effective. Fighting drug addiction entails far more than simply using your will to abstain. For many people, true recovery is only achieved when the underlying causes of addiction are identified and dealt with. Absent of these steps, most efforts at getting sober and staying that way fall short. This is especially true for those who’ve started using drugs as a way to mute the pain of unresolved grief, untreated mental health issues, or past trauma.

As such, the best and most effective drug treatment programs are frequently those that focus on underlying issues. This is good news for anyone who’s tried and failed in recovery before. If you’ve relapsed multiple times in the past, it’s likely because you’ve never had the benefit of the right treatment approach. Many people attempt to beat addiction with sheer willpower alone. When these efforts don’t work, they blame themselves for being weak and give up. By identifying why you rely on drugs to alter your state of mind and your emotions, you can begin finding new and healthier ways to cope with stress, loneliness, pain, and other problems, triggers, and challenges that come your way.

How Drug Treatment Programs Focus on Underlying Issues

All drug treatment starts with the detox process. It is only after the body has rid itself of toxins and starts to withdrawal that people have the focus and presence of mind to start implementing long-term recovery solutions. In rehab, patients start this portion of their journeys by talking about their feelings in private counseling sessions. As people loosen up and grow more comfortable in these environments, they engage in conversations that provide amazing insights about themselves and their relationships with substances.

For those living with substance use disorder, addiction may be caused by:

  • Traumatic past experiences
  • Overwhelming loss and unresolved grief
  • Co-occurring disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety
  • Feelings of low self-worth
  • Unhealthy, early-life behavioral conditioning
  • Genetic predisposition

As rehab counselors learn more about why patients started using drugs, they become increasingly able to take a needs-specific approach to treatment. More often than not, eliminating or treating the underlying issues of addiction will gradually eliminate the desire to use. For instance, if you started using drugs to alleviate your chronic anxiety, once your anxiety has been properly managed, you won’t feel the physiological or emotional need to self-medicate with harmful substances. In group therapy, patients have the ability to talk about their experiences and choices with like-minded individuals who share similar challenges and life histories.

These sessions allow people to offer and receive advice, work on their communication skills, and learn more about setting boundaries and maintaining friendships. Group therapy provides a sense of camaraderie and lets people know that they aren’t alone in their battles with addiction. Just as self-discovery can occur in private counseling sessions, many patients are able to learn more about the underlying issues that drive their addictive behaviors by attending group counseling.. One of the most important parts of drug rehab is learning new coping skills. When the underlying issues of addiction are understood, patients can receive coping strategies that are perfectly in line with their needs and circumstances.

The treatment needs of an individual who uses drugs to mute the pain of past trauma can be significantly different from those of an individual who uses drugs to obtain social acceptance. The first of these two may require multiple talk therapy sessions and training in stress management, while the other may require counseling and therapeutic activities for rebuilding his or her self-esteem. Successful rehab programs rarely take a one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction. Just as getting professional drug treatment can be far more beneficial than detoxing and recovering completely alone, finding the right program can be infinitely better than attending one that does not provide needs-specific solutions. Treatment centers that focus on the underlying causes of addiction can supply the specific skills that individual patients need to achieve sobriety and maintain.

By attending these programs, people can become more attentive to their own needs, better at listening to and caring for themselves, and better at identifying the triggers, temptations and other outside influences that have the power to derail their recoveries. Drug addiction can take many forms. To ensure the success of each patient, rehab programs must address addiction according to the underlying issues that drive it. If you’re ready to tackle your substance use disorder head-on and want to find a program that’s capable of meeting your unique range of needs, we can help. Call us today at 833-846-5669.