Behavioral Therapies at Live Free Recovery

Behavioral therapies for addiction are designed to address the underlying root causes of a patient’s addiction. This helps reduce the risk of relapse and introduces the patient to other effective solutions that don’t involve the use of drugs and alcohol. For instance, a person who started using alcohol to relieve stress and anxiety can work with therapists who teach them about new, healthier ways to manage and cope with stress.

Behavioral therapies are often conducted in group, individual, and family settings. Evidence-based behavioral therapies have been studied extensively and are shown to be highly effective when used in an addiction treatment setting.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most common behavioral therapies used at drug and alcohol rehab centers. CBD uses techniques to help patients identify and change dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their substance use disorders. CBT can be used in both group and individual settings, and is shown to have positive long-term effects on drug and alcohol abuse. According to a study published in Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 60% of patients who were addicted to cocaine and received CBT at a drug rehab center remained drug-free one year following treatment.

Contingency Management

Contingency management is a therapy that rewards patients when they practice and demonstrate healthy, sober behaviors such as producing drug-free urine tests. Rewards come in the form of vouchers that can be exchanged for healthy, drug-free items and activities such as movie tickets and gift cards. Clinical studies that examined the efficacy of contingency management for addiction show that this evidence-based treatment is associated with longer treatment engagement and longer periods of abstinence. Contingency management is commonly used as a behavioral therapy for those with opioid, alcohol, cocaine, and methamphetamine use disorders.

Motivational Enhancement

Motivational enhancement uses counseling and interviewing techniques to motivate patients to stay sober. Therapists use empathy to encourage positive changes such as abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and they help patients resolve any ambivalence they may have about engaging in treatment and stopping drug use. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment shows that when used as a treatment for pregnant women suffering from alcohol dependence, motivational enhancement is more effective than other addiction treatments at decreasing alcohol and drug use. Another report from the NIDA says that motivational enhancement may also be highly effective at helping patients stay in treatment and at improving treatment retention rates.

Other Evidence-Based Behavioral Therapies

The Matrix Model, family behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, and community reinforcement approach plus vouchers are other evidence-based behavioral therapies available at drug rehab centers. Some recovery centers also offer fun recreational therapies such as equine therapy, music therapy, and art therapy — all of which are science-based treatments shown to be effective at prolonging abstinence. When researching your options for drug rehab centers, ask about the evidence supporting these therapies for their safety and efficacy as addiction treatments.

12-Step Programs

Twelve-step support group programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous have long been associated with long-term recovery. According to a report published by SAMHSA and the U.S. Surgeon General, about 50% of adults who participate in a 12-step program following drug rehab are still attending the 12-step program 3 years later, and 41.6% of adults who start AA without first going to alcohol rehab are still attending meetings 9 to 16 years later.

Research shows that 12-step programs like AA promote long-term recovery by reducing depression, impulsive behavior, and cravings; strengthening support networks; improving members’ ability to cope with risky social situations and negative emotions; and enhancing mental well-being. Twelve-step programs are also free to attend and located in nearly every community across the U.S. Many drug rehab centers have 12-step support groups available for those who wish to attend these meetings while receiving professional addiction treatment.