Skip to main content
Tag

addiction Archives - Suzanne Wallach

What Is The Best Treatment System For Addiction?

addiction-treatment

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is a chronic brain disease, and is listed as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Substance use disorder is defined as a “complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of substance despite harmful consequence.” The development of substance use disorder does not occur immediately, nor will recovering from addiction be achieved instantaneously. The general treatment process for substance use disorder is typically comprised of the following three stages in sequential order: detox, formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program, and aftercare. 

Addiction Treatment Plans

There is no universal treatment method that proves successful for every person struggling with addiction. The path of recovery from substance use disorder is entirely personal, and will be directly informed by one’s personality, mental health, and emotional needs. Hence, each person will require a customized treatment plan when it comes to recovering from addiction. Depending on one’s needs, the most effective treatment plans could consist of one or more of the following interventions: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this can help correct irrational, inaccurate, and/ or distorted thoughts as well as help an individual develop skills and healthy coping mechanisms for reducing anxiety and stress while remaining sober. 
  • Expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding the recovery process.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to abusing drugs and/ or alcohol.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): is based on the principals of CBT, but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of treatment. Through DBT individuals can learn healthy coping mechanisms and useful techniques for managing stress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others. 
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT): the core of REBT is the notion that rational thinking comes from within, and that positive and negative feelings do not manifest because of external stimuli, but rather are derived from one’s internal thoughts. REBT helps teach individuals how to understand their own thoughts and subsequently develop rational thinking habits that promote positivity. 
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT): focuses on how a person’s communications and interactions with other people affect his or her own mental health. Through interpersonal therapy an individual will learn to resolve and adjust unhealthy interpersonal problems, resulting in a symptomatic recovery.

Treatment plans may also include refining one’s daily habits (e.g., practicing mindfulness techniques, exercising regularly, developing healthy sleeping habits, eating nutritiously, etc.) to further improve one’s overall health and wellbeing. The best treatment for addiction will depend on a variety of contributing factors and will yield the most successful long-term results when expressly designed around the distinct and nuanced needs of the client.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Do Psychologists Do With Addiction?

Psychologists

Clinically referred to as substance use disorder (SUD), addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence.” An individual struggling with addiction will prioritize satisfying his or her cravings (e.g., drugs, sex, gambling, etc.) above all else, which can wreak havoc in every facet of one’s life. Substance use disorder is not developed instantaneously, nor does one’s recovery from addiction occur immediately. In many cases, it is advantageous for individuals struggling with substance abuse and/ or addiction to obtain guidance from a mental health professional.

A psychologist, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic “is a mental health professional who uses psychological evaluations and talk therapy to help people learn to better cope with life and relationship issues and mental health conditions.” There are many different areas in which a psychologist might specialize. Clinical psychologists are qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. When a psychologist is presented with an individual struggling with addiction, it is common practice to develop a customized treatment plan that incorporates one or more therapeutic strategies. Psychologists may perform any combination of the following psychotherapeutic modalities when treating a client with addiction:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and developing personal coping strategies to problem solve effectively.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): utilizes four main strategies (e.g., core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation) for teaching individual’s skills that help with effectively changing their behaviors.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT): focuses on how a person’s communications and interactions with other people affect his or her own mental health.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to abusing drugs and/ or alcohol.
  • Motivational interviewing (MI): is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior.
  • Expressive arts therapy (e.g., play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process, and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding the recovery process.

To provide an individual with the highest potential for a successful, long-term recovery, a psychologist will consider all treatment options, and incorporate the best possible therapeutic modalities, that are expressly geared to each client’s personal needs.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Is Addiction A Disease?

Is Addiction A Disease?

Yes, addiction, also referred to as substance use disorder, is a mental health disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli (often, dangerous, risky, and/ or unhealthy) regardless of the ensuing negative consequences. Engaging in habitual substance abuse is a slippery slope that can quickly lead to addiction. The type of substance abused, the duration of one’s substance abuse, the potency of the drug abused, one’s personal health history, as well as one’s family health history will all contribute to the length of time it may take for an individual to develop an addiction. An individual that struggles with addiction will put his or her need for satisfying a drug craving above all else in his or her life. Therefore, addiction has the propensity to affect every aspect of an individual’s life. It is important to note that addiction does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from addiction to occur instantaneously. The treatment process for recovering from an addiction will require steadfast dedication and will be a lifelong commitment.

Habitual use of any substance can lead to increased tolerance, meaning an individual will require more of the substance (e.g., higher dosage, frequency of use, etc.) to achieve the same feeling. When an individual constantly abuses drugs and/ or alcohol, his or her body must make accommodations to properly function with the substance present. When a substance that one’s body has become accustomed to functioning with is absent or has less of the substance in his or her system, it will react accordingly. Adverse withdrawal symptoms will ensue, and the individual will be unable to function optimally. When an individual is unable to stop using a substance without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, he or she has reached some level of dependence. An individual that struggles with drug and/ or alcohol dependence and continues to abuse drugs and/ or alcohol increases his or her susceptibility to developing a full-blown addiction

Risk Factors

The precise reason behind why an individual develops an addiction remains unknown. There are, however, several risk factors that have been reported to increase one’s propensity for developing an addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) these include environmental risk factors, genetics, drug of choice, method of use, and the age an individual started abusing drugs and/ or alcohol. Every individual is different and will have or lack various predispositions that can contribute to developing an addiction. Nevertheless, it is important to note that anyone can develop an addiction, regardless of social status, beliefs, or background. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.