Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders 

Substance abuse, or substance use disorder, is defined as a pattern of drug or alcohol use that leads to serious problems in the user’s life. Often, substance use disorder affects a person’s educational path, career, family relationships, and/or friendships. 

After a person has completed a substance abuse program and has detoxed from drugs and alcohol, they may prefer non-medicated treatments for managing their addiction. At Neal Psychological Specialties, we believe natural solutions are almost always the best course of action. That’s why we offer and recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for substance use disorder. 

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get about this method of treatment:

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What Are the Benefits of Natural Treatment for Substance Use Disorder?

Substance abuse is now considered a brain disorder. That’s because we’ve come to understand that it does more than make a person physically dependent on harmful substances. Substance use disorder actually changes a person’s brain functions, specifically in their stress, reward, and self-control centers. 

You see, the brain is made up of a network of neurons that processes and transmits information. Drug and alcohol use changes these networks so that a person’s emotions, thought processes, and behaviors are greatly affected. Often, these changes do not go away, even after periods of soberness. 

Natural treatments for substance use disorders are often successful because they address all facets of addiction, including:

  • The reasons behind a person’s choice to use drugs or alcohol
  • The lingering effects on a person’s brain functions
  • Current and future needs for stress management
  • Other mental health disorders that contribute to substance abuse
  • A person’s overall health

Substance use disorders are multifaceted in that there is usually more than one “culprit” for the addiction. Genetics, trauma, mental health disorders, and poor physical health can all play a role. Natural and holistic treatments are a great way to look at the bigger picture so that a person can truly move forward toward health and healing. 

How Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used to Treat a Substance Use Disorder?

In addition to other natural treatments, like traditional counseling and mind-body practices, we recommended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to many of our clients. That’s because CBT is an effective means of addressing those changes made to a person’s neural network, which we mentioned before.

The purpose of CBT is to help a person draw connections between their feelings, thoughts, and actions. As a person becomes better acquainted with their emotional processes, they can more easily recognize irrational thoughts. Over time, they may use this knowledge to stop harmful actions in their tracks. 

Through CBT, our clients are able to overcome the “automatic thoughts” that are at the root of addiction. This helps to improve impulse control and resolve misconceptions or feelings of inadequacy that contribute to substance use disorder. Even better, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also effective in treating anxiety and depression, which are often linked to substance abuse and addiction. 

How Do I Know if CBT Is Right for Me or My Loved One?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is most effective when used after the completion of an inpatient or outpatient substance abuse program. Sobriety is a lifelong journey.  If you or a loved one are looking for additional support, CBT can help you continue to take control of your own future and maintain your sobriety. 

CBT is a great tool for people who need help managing their anxious emotions and controlling their actions in stressful situations. Developing healthy coping skills is at the heart of the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. If you are worried about environmental triggers that contribute to your substance use disorder, please call our office today. We look forward to helping you develop lifelong skills for avoiding and overcoming triggers.

When Is It Time to Seek Treatment for Addiction? 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 46 million people met the criteria for having a substance use disorder in the year 2021. Of those millions, less than 6% sought treatment. 

For people suffering from addiction, it can be hard to recognize and admit that there is a problem. But if the use of addictive substances has begun to affect your life in a negative way, it’s time to seek treatment. You don’t have to wait to hit rock bottom or for your loved ones to stage an intervention. Take control of your life and your future today and give our counselors a call.

We recommend CBT for anyone experiencing these concerning symptoms:

  • Negative effects on your personal life and/or career
  • Feelings of nausea, sweating, and headaches after not using for a period of time
  • The urge to use in unsafe situations
  • Feeling unable to stop or cut down usage
  • Increased occurrences of arguments with friends and family 

Our team is here to help you achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle. Even if your experience with a  substance use disorder is relatively mild, counseling can be a huge help in getting your life back on track. 

What Can I Expect When I Call NPS? 

When it comes to professional counseling, you want to be seen, heard, and understood. At NPS, our goal is to match you with a counselor who will provide you with that experience and then some. That’s why we offer 15-minute meet and greets to all our new clients.

Schedule a free and casual appointment with a potential counselor to tell us more about yourself and your counseling needs. We’ll ensure it’s a good fit for both parties before we move forward. Call us at (815) 477-4727 to get the process started.

Are you ready to take the next step?