4 Ways To Treat An Addict Without Making Them More Miserable

Addiction is a disease people from all walks of life experience regardless of their race or background and it’s a global problem. It began in various ways for many people, from using drugs for recreational purposes to drinking out late because friends were chanting your name, or to ease stress, and depression. 

Contrary to popular opinion, an addict isn’t just someone who is using illegal drugs like cocaine, meth, or heroin. Certain prescription medications like painkillers and tranquilizers can equally result in addiction. 

The treatment plan of addicts isn’t the same for everyone. It largely depends on a person’s needs and what they’re addicted to, the care they require, and their budget. But one thing is important when treating an addict, you need to make them not feel more miserable than they already are. They already hate the fact that they don’t have self-control so it wouldn’t be too helpful to them if you still rub in their face during treatment. Below are some common addiction treatments that can set your loved one or patients on a path to recovery.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Addiction is partly a thing of the mind, however, treating it is more than the individual having the willpower to do so. This is because the brain has been altered in such a way that cravings become so strong they can’t help it. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy technique that helps people discover new ways to behave by changing the way they think. It is an efficient treatment method that has been used for various types of addiction. 

This form of therapy helps your patient to identify unhealthy patterns, what triggers them and develops coping skills. Depending on the patient and severity of their condition,  CBT can be applied alongside other techniques. 

2. 12-Step Programs

This was originated in 1935 by Alcoholics Anonymous. Essentially, the twelve-step facilitation therapy is used to treat alcohol and other substance abuse. 

It deviates a little bit from other forms of therapy that are between only the patient and therapist. The program is a group therapy performed mostly in rehabs that help individuals identify the several negative consequences of addiction. They can be emotional, social, spiritual, and physical. 

Here’s a brief on the 12 steps:

  • Honesty: This involves one admitting their weakness or powerlessness over an addiction after many years of denial. 
  • Faith: The program believes in the assistance of a higher power but before it can begin to operate, the person must believe that there is actually a higher power that can help them heal.
  • Surrender: By surrendering to the higher power, the person understands they can’t recover alone and need help.
  • Soul searching: The individual has to identify their challenges and get a proper understanding of how it has affected and people who care about them. 
  • Integrity: In this step, they admit their mistake in front of their higher power; a great opportunity for growth. 
  • Acceptance: The point in this step is accepting flaws as they are and being willing to let them go.
  • Humility: Humility here is submitting to the higher power to do what they can’t do by mere self-will. 
  • Willingness: This step has the individual involved make a list of those they hurt before the program. 
  • Forgiveness: Sometimes, progress is forgiveness. Not just towards others but to yourself too. It’s a good way to start mending broken relationships.
  • Maintenance: A lot like integrity, maintenance is admitting any wrongdoing. 
  • Making contact: The individual discovers the purpose the higher power has for them. 
  • Service: The person in recovery preaches his story as a message to others and lives his life following the principles of the program. 

3. Detoxification

The process by which an individual gets to withdraw themselves from the usage of psychoactive substances in a way that is safe and healthy is known as detoxification. It is both the physiological and medicinal removal of toxic substances from a person’s system.

If you’re to treat an individual and rid his system of harmful addictive substances, you can apply medically-induced detoxification. This form of treatment is good because substance withdrawal sometimes can be uncomfortable and life-threatening in some cases. Because detox doesn’t treat the root causes of an addiction, it is typically used in combination with other therapies.

4. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term type of psychotherapy that helps an individual identify thoughts and feelings of self-defeat, confronts the rationality of those thoughts, ousts them, and replaces them with healthier ideologies. 

This therapy type can help an addict also recognize negative thoughts much like CBT and gives them a solution to fight those feelings of low self-worth. The main ideology being the REBT is to help anyone capitalize on the power of positive rational thinking. 

When treating an addict, one needs to do so with as much empathy and strictness one can muster. You don’t want to feel worse than they met after sharing their story with you and at the same time, you don’t want to be too compassionate when you need to really hear you. These steps are a great way to get started. You can mix some treatment plans for more effective results.