Addiction is a troubling disease that millions of American struggle with every day. There are a variety of methods that you can use to combat its influence on your life, one of the most effective of which is cognitive behavioral therapy. This substance abuse treatment method can be learned at home and used to combat negative behavior patterns that lead to addiction.
The Basics Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy operates on the idea that people's behavior is controlled by subconscious behavioral patterns that can be changed over time. Though there is a physical aspect to addiction, many people who fall victim to addiction fall into negative patterns that reinforce their drug use. For example, they may drink alcohol to combat feelings of inferiority.
Cognitive behavioral therapy breaks the pattern of abuse by identifying negative influences (such as those feelings of inferiority) and replacing them with positive beliefs and behaviors. It also teaches you more positive coping methods. Think of it as a "fake it until you make it," as you surround yourself with positive thoughts and behaviors until they replace negative ones.
Techniques You Can Use At Home
Using cognitive behavioral techniques at home is relatively easy, but it requires diligence. Addiction will be flirting around the edges of your perception for a long time, but cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can help you push it away and eliminate the patterns of thinking that make you fall back into use.
You can start by immediately writing down your feelings about your addiction and where it comes from, identifying problematic thinking patterns, and finding ways to combat them with positive statements. For example, if you use heroin to kill the pain of feeling "fat," you can write down positive self-statements, such as "I am beautiful and perfect exactly the way I am."
You are basically trying to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and to make positive thoughts the preeminent ones in your mind. This must be done consciously throughout the day whenever you feel negative thoughts, especially negative thoughts related to your addiction.
What will eventually happen is that your negative thoughts will disappear and get replaced by positive ones. Your mind will replace its need to use substances with the idea that it doesn't need substances at all. If you used substances to self-medicate depression or other negative moments in life, your new mental patterns will cope with them in positive and drug-free ways.
Using It When Relapse Threatens
Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be used to help nip relapse in the bud before it throws you back into the cycle of abuse. Relapse occurs when your body craves your substance and when your mind falls back into the negative patterns of abuse that fueled your addiction.
The best way to deal with a relapse with cognitive behavior therapy is to identify why you are feeling the urge to use. Are you feeling down or depressed and feel that your substance will help? Whatever the reason, identifying it can help you use the techniques described above to direct your mind away from using.
Using these methods can help you relieve some of the pressures associated with drug use, but you should check into a rehab center to help beat your addiction. They will help you move through withdrawal in a comfortable manner and avoid falling a victim to severe pain and suffering.