Substance Use

Drug & Alcohol Therapy Treatment Near Me

Psychologist talking about twelve-step program to addicted man during group support meeting

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Understanding Therapy: A Guide to Therapy Treatment for Addiction

Substance abuse in the United States continues to grow at record rates. The past few years have left many people desperately searching for ways to cope with events in the country and around the world.

Some find comfort in music or simply spending time with family. Others, unfortunately, find their solace in illegal substances. This can lead to dependence, addiction, and, in the worst cases, overdose.

The lethal drug fentanyl is responsible for the most overdoses resulting in death. (1) The user is typically unaware that fentanyl is an ingredient in a drug they’ve taken.

Law enforcement agencies work to curb this problem. From 2018 to 2021, law enforcement seized over 188% more fentanyl-laced pills. (2)

Drug and alcohol dependence can sneak up on a person, and many never seek treatment. What may have started as a way to relax or to get through the day can quickly become an addiction.

Various treatment options exist thanks to the work of medical professionals. These include medication and therapy for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

In this guide, you’ll learn about addiction therapy:

  • What it is
  • The various methods used
  • How it can be the key to a life lived free from the pain of addiction.
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What Is Drug Addiction Therapy?

Drug and alcohol addiction therapy addresses drug use patterns, substance use disorders, and mental health issues. Different levels of care offer addiction therapy, including medical detox, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab.

Some therapy methods address substance use by not addressing it. Think of how a mother “redirects” her very young child — not by saying “no” or forcefully taking an object away, but by offering something else as a distraction.

People who are addicted may have different levels of anxiety. Going to a specific place at a set time to talk about it can make this frustration worse. It brings about the same type of inner reaction the child has when mom calls out “no” loudly or grabs a toy they were playing with.

Therapy sessions in which the patient knows they can speak about anything they choose and lead (or be led) through the session eliminates the fear of:

  • Going somewhere new
  • Meeting new people (whether group-based or one-on-one)
  • Preparing conversation ideas ahead of time
  • Figuring out the childhood memories or adolescent stories most apropos to initiate conversation(s) with strangers

Other addiction therapy methods address addiction quite pointedly. Let’s take a look at the example of the mom and child again.

Using distraction can help a mom capture her child’s attention in a non-threatening situation. However, it is better to directly teach the child about the dangers of running into traffic to chase a ball.

Addiction therapy for substance use offers the same spectrum of intervention styles. Some cover substance use disorder treatment or address substance abuse patterns, while others take a different approach.

They may ask participants to work through cravings and define their triggers. All in hopes of equipping participants with the coping mechanisms necessary to maintain sobriety and avoid relapse.

Other addiction therapies focus on the issues that might have contributed to or worsened by one’s substance use.

For instance, people who have experienced trauma often struggle with alcohol dependency. They require therapy options that address specific trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Treatment options may include EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. (3)

Drug abuse therapies can also be categorized into:

  • Evidence-based treatments: These treatments have research supporting their success.
  • Alternative treatments: Alternative therapies are often successful in clinical trials or other settings, but there is not much verified evidence.

A substance abuse treatment plan should apply evidence-based research, but alternative therapy has its place. The main thing is that the person getting therapy gets the caring support they need when they are feeling most vulnerable.

Why Does Addiction Require Therapy Treatment?

Addiction is a chronic, complex disease affecting the brain. It contributes to compulsive actions and an inability to control substance use.

Movies and TV shows often depict addiction unrealistically. A good example is today’s opioid crisis and the uptick in overdose deaths since the pandemic.

Instead, we see a character struggling, going through a detox process, and then everyone living happily ever after. The reality of the process is much different.

Movies don’t show all the different things that can make characters want to use drugs, sometimes for a long time. And it isn’t just a biological mechanism. Several factors, biological and environmental, can contribute to the likelihood of developing an addiction.

The reward center of the body, the limbic system, is ground zero for substance use disorders. It creates a connection to and regulates the brain’s pleasure center. This causes a person to repeat the activities that bring joy.

Typically, these activities include:

  • Enjoying warm conversations with friends and family
  • Eating a tasty meal
  • Sleeping in a cozy bed

This response of repeating the activities that bring pleasure (and avoiding those that don’t) is necessary for survival. People with addiction struggle because alcohol and other substances can activate the same system cause a similar reaction in their bodies.

This makes it difficult for them to break free from their dependence. The substances trigger cravings and compulsive behaviors in those who are addicted. It creates a cycle that is hard to break.

It also creates a deep desire to continue taking that substance.

When a person is actively addicted, the brain seeks out these substances to remove unpleasant feelings, such as pain or anxiety. (4) The person can understand that a substance is extremely potent and dangerous, but this doesn’t eliminate the urge to use it.

Therapy can help rewire the brain and teach the person:

  • New skills to better cope with negative emotions
  • Strategies for avoiding the triggers that lead to cravings
  • Ways to resist cravings when they do strike

Different types of therapy strategies also look at the root causes of substance abuse. People with substance use disorder often experience other health issues like depression or anxiety.

Sometimes, abusing a substance starts as self-medication to help reduce the short-term effects of a mental illness. Therapy helps address the core mental health conditions that led to self-medication and teaches relapse prevention due to triggers.

Are you struggling with substance abuse? Could you or someone you know benefit from substance use treatment and addiction therapy? We understand how you feel and there is help. Call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to speak to one of our experts.

What Happens in an Addiction Therapy Program?

Several therapy options exist, but all of them have the same end goal: to help the person who is struggling. (5) Some of the other outcomes include:

  • Increasing coping strategies to help mitigate negative emotions and thoughts
  • Helping the person learn how to avoid the situations that contributed to their use
  • Learning how to deal with life’s circumstances in healthier ways

Even after completing detox, cravings can still pull the person back into substance use. Stressful situations can cause them to utilize old coping skills and engage in old behaviors.

Relapse can happen long after someone stops using drugs because the brain still craves the feeling of being high.

Addiction therapy offers solutions to cope with stress, cravings, and other aspects of addiction. Some therapy addresses multiple issues at the same time, while other options seek to address one specific aspect of an addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), looks at how an individual’s way of thinking influences their behavior. This type of therapy works for various applications, such as substance use and mental health. (6) (7)

Other options specifically address problems like childhood traumas and experiences that led to adult drug use.

EMDR therapy can help individuals process and work through this trauma. Addressing these types of underlying issues can be beneficial for long-term sobriety.

Complete American Psychological Association guidelines for different therapies can be found here. (8)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is evidence-based and uses a form of psychoanalysis. CBT is a common therapy for substance use and behavioral issues. It’s also the most widely used addiction therapy (6). CBT modifies behavior by looking at adjusting a mindset that isn’t conducive to long-term sobriety.

The CBT model says that relapse begins the moment a person doesn’t use proper coping mechanisms for emotion regulation, in certain circumstances, or in response to substance cravings. Healthcare providers and social workers aim to fix the involved problem-solving abilities of that person.

A person’s addiction begins as stress, depression, self-esteem issues, or other underlying mental health problems and the accompanying unhelpful thoughts that cause them to drink alcohol or take drugs to self-medicate. This is an example of an incorrect coping method. These types of coping methods, if used while in recovery, may lead to substance use again, or relapse.

Being able to handle pressure in a risky situation can determine whether someone stays substance-free or relapses.

CBT helps individuals:

  • Identify the situations that pose a high risk to their sobriety
  • Develop ways to avoid these situations
  • Develop coping mechanisms to deal with these situations if they’re unavoidable, such as practicing mindfulness
  • Increase self-reliance

CBT teaches that a person’s way of thinking when in high-risk situations leads them in one of two directions:

  • Proper thinking leads to effective coping, which leads to increased reliance on self. This leads to a desire to protect their substance-free life in people struggling with addiction.
  • Incorrect thinking leads to ineffective coping, which leads to a lack of self-reliance, which leads to relapse.

Other Behavioral Therapy Methods

Behavioral therapy is a broad term, but it encompasses therapy treatment that focuses on learned behaviors and how they are influenced. Internal thoughts and external circumstances influence behavior. Over time, applying the same thoughts to circumstances leads to a learned response.

Other forms of therapy include:

Behavioral therapies seek to help people unlearn these behaviors and can be applied to many disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety and other anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Substance abuse

People become addicted for various reasons. Behavioral therapy is commonly used in addiction treatment plans. It is versatile and can be applied in different ways. That said, every person responds to CBT treatment therapy differently.

Some people benefit from a range of therapy practices while also partaking in cognitive therapy, such as family therapy, which also helps the loved ones of the addicted individual. (10)

Family Behavioral Therapy

Addiction and its effects are often felt in families for generations. When someone is addicted, it can affect the mental, financial, and even physical health of their family. Family members may even enable the substance abuse without knowing it.

This type of treatment accomplishes several things, such as:

  • Making the distinction between behaviors that enable the user and behaviors that don’t enable
  • Bringing to light how the addicted individual’s actions impact family and friends’ well-being
  • Providing an open and non-judgmental platform for every family member to explain how they feel using “I am” or “I feel” statements
  • Creating a structure of support for recovering users who’ll return home once treatment is completed

How a recovering addict feels at home is often the initial precursor to their addiction. If someone finishes addiction treatment but returns home to a negative family environment, they may start using drugs again. This environment can remind them of the reasons they started using drugs in the first place.

Family therapy addresses these triggers and attempts to examine the root cause of the family’s addiction history.

Seeking Treatment

These therapy treatment plans, along with support groups, can be the most important tools for addiction recovery. There are different ways to help someone with substance problems, like misuse or addiction. The treatment is personalized to help them get sober. Zinnia Health understands that the needs of each person are unique.

If you or someone you love is abusing drugs, reach out and contact our staff of expert mental health professionals and clinicians. If you are wondering, “where can I find a rehab near me?” We’ve got you covered. Call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 for more information on our addiction and mental health services.


  1. CDC. Fentanyl Facts.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Number of Pills Containing Fentanyl Seized by Law Enforcement in The United States, 2018 -2021.
  3. National Library of Medicine. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: A Conceptual Framework.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders.
  5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Substance Use Treatment.
  6. National Library of Medicine. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders.
  7. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders.
  8. American Psychiatric Association. Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  9. National Institute of Mental Health. Psychotherapies.
  10. National Library of Medicine. Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Family Therapy: Updated 2020.
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