Detox focuses mainly on the physical aspect of addiction, but in order to avoid relapse, the emotional and behavioral aspects need to be considered and addressed. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective tool for enhancing treatment and helping to reduce relapse, as the journal Psychiatric Clinics of North America states that abstinence rates may be increased with the use of CBT methods. Behavioral therapies help a person to become more self-reliant and able to work through potential stressful situations that may arise. CBT explores the way a person’s thoughts are related to actions, and the therapy can design ways to modify negative thought patterns, thus positively affecting behavior.
Stress is a common trigger for relapse. By learning ways to cope with both external and internal stressors with CBT, individuals may be able to avoid a potential relapse. Studies published in the journal Psychiatric Times have indicated that CBT may actually help to improve a person’s neurobiological circuits in the brain. Depression, anxiety, and mood fluctuations are common side effects of addiction and withdrawal, and CBT can help to smooth out some of these symptoms by teaching strategies to manage them.
Staying in treatment for the entire length of the program is important to avoid potential relapse.
This ensures that new strategies and coping mechanisms are firmly in place before being reintroduced to everyday life. Length of time in treatment has been directly correlated to continued abstinence and recovery, Psych Central reports, with those who are able to stay in treatment for longer being more likely to avoid relapse down the line. The longer a person stays in treatment, the more established new and healthy habits become, and the more the brain is able to heal.
Medications may also be useful during addiction treatment to regulate moods, manage withdrawal, and keep drug cravings to a minimum. As a result, they are often a vital part of a complete treatment program. Comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs often include both therapeutic and pharmacological methods to promote and sustain recovery while working to minimize relapse and manager use triggers.