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What Is the Importance of Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Addiction therapy is a crucial part of a drug addiction treatment program. Therapy helps provide support and skills that can be used to maintain long-term sobriety after treatment has been completed. Addiction therapy can also help uncover any underlying conditions that may also be causing the addiction to occur. Treating both the addiction and all underlying conditions will make treatment for addiction as successful as possible.

Therapy Engages People in Substance Abuse Treatment

During a treatment program, substance abuse therapy sessions will help keep people engaged with their treatment and learn how to self-manage their treatment over time.

Therapy Provides Incentives for People to Remain Sober

Addiction therapy can help provide incentives for people to remain sober, along with helping clients create goals for the future. Completing milestones can help keep people motivated during drug addiction treatment.

Therapy Modifies Peoples’ Attitudes and Behaviors

Substance abuse therapy will help clients discover how their thoughts and attitudes influence their behavior. Over time, they can begin to recognize steps they should take to manage their recovery.

Therapy Teaches Life Skills and How to Manage Triggers

Addiction therapy can help clients learn life skills and manage triggers or stressful situations. Life skills will help create healthy habits and keep clients on track, even after the drug addiction treatment program has ended. Skills learned in therapy can then be applied to everyday life so that clients can manage their recovery and sobriety long-term.

Causes and Risk Factors for Addiction

Many causes and risk factors can contribute to someone developing an addiction. During addiction treatment, it’s essential to learn about any underlying causes so they can be treated and managed during addiction therapy. Treating all underlying causes will lead to higher success rates of treatment programs.

Genetics, Such as a Family History of Substance Abuse

Genetics have been studied and can make someone more susceptible to developing a drug or alcohol addiction. This means that someone with a family history of addiction may be more likely to develop an addiction themselves.

Starting Substance Use at an Early Age

Those who start substance use at an early age may also be more susceptible to addiction. Substance use from a young age can create poor behavioral patterns and make someone more dependent on substance use.

Easy Access to Drugs or Alcohol, Especially at a Young Age

Someone’s environment growing up can be a significant contributing factor to addiction. Having easy access to drugs or alcohol, especially at a young age, can make someone more susceptible to substance abuse.

Exposure to Heavy Advertising of Substances (Like Alcohol)

Heavy advertising of substances can also trigger alcohol or drug use. Those recovering from addiction may also find these advertisements to be a big trigger that they must learn to manage.

A Current Mental Health Diagnosis

Mental health issues can often make someone more susceptible to substance abuse. According to NAMI, approximately 50% of those with a diagnosable mental illness also struggle with a substance use disorder. 1 Many who struggle with mental health may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope or self-medicate.

A History of Abuse or Neglect

Past trauma or a history of abuse or neglect can make someone more susceptible to addiction. Those with past traumas may use drugs or alcohol to cope or mask negative emotions associated with past events.

Family Conflict or Violence

Conflict or violence within someone’s family may also contribute to a substance use disorder. Substance use may help someone cope with these kinds of ongoing stresses in their life.

Types and Levels of Rehab Treatment

There are several types of rehab treatment for addiction. Deciding on the proper treatment method for addiction will depend on the individual’s needs and the severity of the addiction.


The first step in substance treatment programs is detoxification. The detox process is necessary to get the drugs out of the body’s system so you can begin focusing on recovery. Withdrawal symptoms will be experienced during detox, ranging from uncomfortable to severe. Therefore, going to a treatment center is a good idea during detox to make this process as comfortable as possible.

Inpatient/Residential Rehab

Inpatient or residential rehab involves staying at a treatment center for a duration of time while completing a recovery program. During inpatient treatment you will have around the clock medical support and attention, and you will be able to stay in a stable living environment that is away from temptations.

Outpatient Rehab & Intensive Outpatient Programs

Outpatient rehab or intensive outpatient programs may also be an option during drug addiction treatment. Outpatient rehab involves going to a treatment center at designated times throughout the week while still being able to return home at night. This can be a good option for those with work or family responsibilities they don’t want to leave behind while receiving treatment.

List of Drug Addiction Therapy Programs

There are many different types of therapy for substance abuse that you can choose from. The best types of therapy for substance abuse will vary based on individual needs and preferences.

Individual, Group & Family Therapy

Individual, group, and family therapy are all core options available in most addiction therapy programs. Individual therapy involves working one on one with a therapist. Group therapy involves group meetings where group members can share their thoughts and experiences. Family therapy involves working with the entire family during substance abuse therapy to educate all family members and create a solid support system at home.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is also a common form of substance abuse therapy. CBT helps clients discover how their thoughts and attitudes are influencing their behavior. Over time, clients will learn to self-manage their addiction by creating more positive thought patterns.

Contingency Management (CM)

Contingency management addiction therapy motivates progress through goal setting and incentives during treatment. This can lead to success by keeping clients motivated throughout the treatment process.2

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing is an addiction therapy that uses interviewing principles to help clients resolve insecurities and negative emotions while finding the internal motivation to overcome addiction. 3

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of therapy that uses mindfulness principles to help individuals learn how to live in the moment, cope with stress, and regulate their emotions.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

Rational emotive therapy is an action-oriented therapy designed to help people deal with irrational beliefs while learning how to manage their thoughts and behaviors. Rational emotive therapy focuses on events and consequences so clients can learn how their actions affect themselves and others. 4

12-Step Facilitation

12-step programs may also be used during addiction treatment. A 12-step program is a support group or group therapy that follows 12 steps towards recovery from addiction. Alcohol support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, use the 12-step approach to addiction treatment.

Holistic and Alternative Drug Abuse Therapy

Other holistic and alternative therapy methods may also be used during drug addiction treatment. These practices can help in not only addiction rehabilitation, but in the development and maintenance of a person’s overall health and wellness.


Many addiction treatment programs will encourage exercise to create healthy habits and a positive outlet.


Meditation is also commonly used during addiction treatment as a calming exercise to center the body and mind.


Yoga is another active mindfulness activity that can benefit those recovering from addiction. Some addiction treatment centers may offer yoga classes during the treatment program.

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy is a type of therapy that allows clients to use expressive tools, activities, and other methods to recreate past events in their lives. Experiential therapy can be useful during addiction treatment for those who have struggled with past trauma or other negative events. Experiential therapy will help people work through negative emotions associated with past events and learn how to move forward.

Holistic and Alternative Drug Abuse Therapy

Get The Most Effective Treatment at Great Oaks Recovery

If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, Great Oaks Recovery can help. Great Oaks uses evidence-based treatment practices designed to get you the best possible results. The friendly and educated treatment staff at Great Oaks will be with you every step of the way as you work through your recovery program.

Great Oaks’ Family Program

The family program at Great Oaks is designed to get the whole family involved with treatment. Family members will be educated about addiction and learn how to create a good support system for their loved ones.

Great Oaks’ Tactical Recovery

The tactical recovery program at Great Oaks is designed for veterans who struggle with addiction. Treatment professionals at Great Oaks are trained to treat veterans who may struggle with underlying conditions such as PTSD that may be contributing to the addiction.

Great Oaks’ Ready to Work Program

The ready to work program at Great Oaks is designed with the end goal of helping you find stable employment after completing your treatment program.



Questions About Treatment?

Our knowledgeable team is ready to discuss your situation and options. Your call is confidential with no obligation required.