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Addiction Therapy


Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction is never an easy process. A range of treatments, from the early days of detox through to the later stages of aftercare, are needed to ensure successful discontinuation and recovery. The entire treatment process is often divided into three separate, yet integrated, phases, with detox followed by rehab and aftercare. A selection of addiction therapy programs are organized throughout this process, some of which are based on medication treatment, and others which are based on psychotherapy. Addiction therapy programs are normally conducted during formal rehabilitation regimes, with some treatments also available on an aftercare basis. If you know someone in Hawaii who could benefit from professional addiction therapy, it is important to contact a specialized treatment clinic as soon as possible.

What is addiction?

An addiction is defined by the compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite any negative consequences. While behavioral addictions, such as sex addiction and food addiction, are also possible, most treatment centers deal exclusively with psychoactive substances. Drug and alcohol addiction is a learned behavior that develops over time, with regular exposure to drugs and alcohol creating brain changes that become normalized. In order for something to be classified as addictive, it has to be both intrinsically rewarding and positively reinforcing, and psychoactive compounds meet both of these criteria. People seek repeated exposure to drugs and alcohol due to the perceived benefits of consumption, and psychoactive substances change reward pathways in the brain and give the drug user a sense of pleasure or euphoria. Common symptoms of drug addiction include compulsive use patterns, tolerance, and the existence of physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped.

Inpatient vs outpatient rehab

Detox marks the beginning of the addiction therapy process, and drug addicts are often given medications to help them stabilize and manage withdrawal symptoms. While detox is crucial, it does not address the social or emotional precedents of drug addiction, or instigate methods of relapse prevention. Rehab is the next phase of treatment, with individual programs based on pharmacotherapeutic or psychotherapeutic principles. Rehab is available on a residential or outpatient basis, and most programs last for a period of weeks or months. Also known as inpatient rehab, residential schemes involve an intensive live-in arrangement where the patient can access medications and support on an around-the-clock basis. Outpatient treatment, also known as day treatment or partial hospitalization depending on the implementation, allows the patient to live at their usual home address for the duration of the program. While outpatient treatment is not ideal for everyone, it does enable the patient to carry out their everyday responsibilities while getting the help they need.

Individual Therapy

Psychotherapy programs are available on an individual or group basis, and family therapy is also available at some institutions in Hawaii. Individual therapy involves one-on-one treatment sessions between a patient and therapist, who may use cognitive, behavioral, or motivational methods to support the recovery process. Typical psychotherapy models include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and conventional counseling. Individual therapy is available at rehab centers and day treatment facilities across Hawaii.

Group and Family Therapy

Group therapy is available at many rehabilitation centers, with this type of treatment involving periodic treatment sessions between a therapist and group of patients. While patients do not always have one-on-one access to a professional therapist, they are able to receive peer support and guidance from others in a similar situation. Conventional 12-step facilitation is one example of group therapy, with SMART Recovery, moral reconation therapy, and family therapy offering their own unique approaches. Family therapy is a specific type of group therapy that involves family members and close friendship groups, with therapists working with family members to undercover the unhealthy family dynamics that influence compulsive behavior patterns.

If you are struggling with addiction and would like to get help once and for all, pick up the phone and speak to an addiction specialist today.