What is CBT, and How Can It Treat Drug Addiction?


CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy was founded in the 60s and is now recognised as an effective way to treat drug addiction. There are many treatment options for those suffering from a substance use disorder, and what’s useful for one person may not be for another. CBT has no unfavourable side-effects, is entirely natural, and an excellent option for those struggling with both drug addiction and mental illness, which often go hand in hand.

Here is some more information about precisely what CBT is and how it can help treat drug addiction.


What is cognitive behavioural therapy?

CBT is a form of therapy that involves the patient and the counselling talking through their thoughts, feelings, and actions to make connections and boost their awareness of why they do what they do. By using a mix of positive and negative reinforcement, it is possible to change the behavioural patterns of the patient. The counsellor takes the patient through their internal conflicts and helps them confront and address them. Often these inner conflicts are what can lead to drug addiction. You can talk to a reputable centre for drug rehab San Diego about CBT and the other treatments available for substance use disorder.


How CBT can treat drug addiction

Drug addiction is an example of internal conflict. People are aware of the risks involved in taking drugs and the harm they are doing to themselves. The conflict is that they are dependent on the substance to function and cannot control or prevent their urges. They don’t want to be addicted and have a desire to overcome these urges, but they can’t. That conflict can lead to extreme frustration, which can cause the person to use even more. That is where CBT comes in.

CBT can help explain why the person is experiencing what they are experiencing. It can help them work through why they exhibit these behaviours based on their thought and emotional patterns. Many people put extreme pressure on themselves, seeking unattainable and unrealistic goals. Doing this causes feelings of defeat, unworthiness, and other negative emotions that make them turn to drugs to cope.

CBT works to unravel those thought processes slowly, and reprogram them in a beneficial way, and reduces the urge to turn to drugs whenever they’re experiencing negative emotions.


The benefits of using CBT to treat drug addiction

There are many benefits to using this form of treatment for those suffering from drug addiction. CBT offers the opportunity to completely transform lives for the better by undoing harmful and detrimental brain programming that patients have developed throughout their life. It replaces the urge for destructive behaviour with healthy habits instead, meaning patients can move forward in their life in a positive way. Ultimately, it gives them back control of their life.

Another great benefit of CBT is that there are no medications involved, and the entirety of the treatment is done through talking and thought exercises. There are no harmful or adverse side effects to CBT, so it’s an appropriate therapy for all those suffering from drug addiction. 

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