Author: Gary Jackson

CBT for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: Does It Work?

The study of effectiveness of motivational enhancement strategies has yielded mixed results. For example, in a large effectiveness trial of motivational enhancement therapy for Spanish-speaking patients seeking treatment for substance use, Carroll et al [50] found small advantages for this treatment relative to TAU only among those in the sample seeking treatment for alcohol problems. This finding of an advantage for motivational enhancement in alcohol and not drug using samples was consistent with prior investigations.[51] Similarly, a study conducted by Gray, McCambridge, and Strang [52] examined the effects of single-session MI delivered by youth workers for alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis use among young people. Upon 3-month follow-up those who received MI reported significantly fewer days of alcohol use than those who did not receive MI; however, significant differences were not found for cigarette or cannabis use indicating that the extent of benefit of MI is more modest than that identified by efficacy research studies. Results for the improvement of retention with motivational enhancement in effectiveness studies have been more promising.[53] effectiveness research to better understand the application of CBT outside of controlled research settings.

  • The exercises help the addict in understanding why they experience certain feelings or behave in a particular way.
  • Addicts often try to mask these painful feelings with alcohol or recreational drug use, which over time lead to addiction.
  • “You haven’t been able to get control over the compulsive behavior of going and buying a lot of lottery tickets.
  • Severe substance use disorder, or addiction, is repeated drug use despite harmful effects, and not being able to stop using the substance.
  • Addicts can learn to understand the motivations that led to substance abuse in the first place.

Although CBT is effective in treating mental disorders, CBT can be helpful for anyone looking to make a shift in the quality and health of their thinking or improve their mood. By better understanding the difficulties that contribute to substance use, people can then look for ways to better manage difficult thoughts, emotions, or situations. Our addiction treatment specialists are here to assist you in verifying your insurance coverage.

Behavioural interventions

As this paper has reviewed, many effective behavioral techniques for the treatment of substance use have been identified; however, use of such techniques is often scarce or non-existent in service provision settings. CBT for substance use disorders includes several distinct interventions, either combined or used in isolation, many of which can be administered in both individual and group formats. Specific behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions administered to individuals are reviewed below, followed by a review of family-based treatments.

cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction

Don’t hesitate to ask for help and get treatment most appropriate for your specific situation. Unwelcome feelings and behaviors are usually a consequence of a person’s environment or past experiences. Through CBT techniques, recovering addicts realize that unwanted thoughts, feelings, and actions are irrational.