Addiction is a powerfully destructive force for many people across the world. It can manifest in a variety of forms, but ultimately it has the same effects: overwhelming thoughts, feelings and behaviors leading to a cycle of relapse, damaging relationships, and an inability to lead a healthy life. What’s more, addiction has the potential to create a wide range of physical and psychological health issues. Therefore, it’s important to understand the different types and common treatments available for different forms of addiction.
At its core, addiction is generally a result of an imbalance in the brain caused by the individual’s relationship with drugs and/or alcohol. Addiction can also stem from psychological issues such as disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. When an individual begins to use drugs or alcohol to quell these psychological issues, it can turn into an addiction.
The most common types of addiction include drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and behavioral addictions. Drug addiction occurs when an individual becomes overly dependent on either illegal drugs and/or prescription drugs, while alcohol addiction occurs when an individual has a physical or psychological reliance on alcohol and can’t manage their consuming habits. On the other hand, behavioral addictions involve habitual behavior such as gambling, sex, gaming, internet browsing, and so on.
Treatment typically begins with an evaluation during which a professional will assess the individual’s health and mentality. This initial stage helps to identify any co-occurring disorders and/or mental health issues that may also require treatment. Common therapies used to treat addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, dialectical behavior therapy, and trauma-informed care.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used therapeutic approaches for addiction. In this approach, a therapist will help the patient explore and challenge the thoughts, behaviors and emotions associated with the addiction, and create healthier ways of coping with its effects. Medication-assisted treatment, on the other hand, involves the use of medications to help manage withdrawal and cravings, while also offering therapy and support to the individual.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another therapeutic approach commonly used to treat addiction. This approach focuses on learning how to effectively manage emotions, regulate behavior, and develop healthier thought processes and coping skills. Lastly, trauma-informed care is a type of therapy that acknowledges the trauma the individual may have gone through in their past and assists them with healing from it in order to avoid triggers in the future.
The recovery process for addiction is not easy, and it can differ from person to person. In addition to the treatments listed above, support from family and friends is essential to easing the individual into a new sober lifestyle. Other helpful resources include support groups, 12-step programs, and recovery coaching.
In summary, addiction is a serious disease that can take many forms. A full understanding of the various types, common treatments, and recovery process is essential to combating addiction and reigning control over one’s life. With the proper support and therapy, addictions can be managed and conquered.