Drug addiction treatment is a process of psychotherapeutical or medical treatment for a dependency on alcohol, stimulants like prescription drugs, street drugs like heroin or cocaine, or illegal drugs like cannabis, amphetamines, or marijuana. Psychotherapy is often the primary form of treatment as it can be more difficult to break a drug dependence on its own, but in certain circumstances psychotherapy is also considered a last resort option and is often used in combination with medication or therapy to treat substance abuse disorders. Some forms of psychotherapy are especially effective in the treatment of drug dependency; these include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family psychotherapy (FPT), psychodynamic therapy (PT), and group psychotherapy (GCP).
CBT is perhaps the most common forms of drug addiction treatment; it is commonly employed in combination with medication or therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to modify an individual’s thoughts and behavior so that their drug use becomes less likely. CBT typically involves the patient sitting in a psychotherapy session with a trained therapist, who will work to identify and change problematic behaviors. It is usually used in conjunction with medications; in some cases medications such as medication will be taken first in order to reduce or counteract the impact of CBT. Psychotherapy may also be combined with medication in certain situations; for example, in a GCP group therapy, medication and psychotherapy can be taken simultaneously, while cognitive behavioral therapy may be combined with medication only in very severe cases of drug dependence.
Other forms of drug dependence treatment often combine medication and psychotherapy in a single comprehensive therapy package. Family psychotherapy is often used to treat drug addiction as family therapy, in which family members work together with a therapist to create and maintain a strong support system. This allows drug dependent individuals to have a safe place where they feel comfortable, and where they are protected from negative emotions that could influence their drug use. In addition to family therapy, psychotherapy is also often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as group counseling and individual counseling, as this form of treatment addresses the causes of drug dependency and can help to determine a course of action to overcome addiction. Psychotherapy and medication have been shown to be effective, but if one or both fail, then a combination is often used. including psychotherapy and medication.