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Options for Heroin Treatment

Behavioral Heroin Addiction Treatment Options

Behavioral and medication assistance are two widely accepted forms of treatment for heroin addiction. While both of these treatments are enormously helpful when employed independently, science has proven that the integration of both types of therapy produces the most successful approach to opiate addiction.

There are a number of behavioral treatment options for heroin and other opiate addictions. Residential treatment has been determined to be the most successful behavioral therapy. An essential part of behavioral therapy developing an approach that meets the specific needs of the patient.

An Overview of Behavioral Therapy Approaches

When it comes to behavioral therapy for substance abuse treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that the main goal of therapy is to help individuals to not only end addiction but to also remain free from this problem.

Often, people think of treatment as a way to help individuals to stop drinking alcohol or abusing drugs. But, addiction rehab is more than that. Individuals who attend professional substance abuse treatment programs are being equipped with the skills they will need in order to continue on the road to recovery, even after treatment is over.

Behavioral therapy approaches are often helpful in assisting people with this skill development. People who struggle with addiction suffer from a dependence on drugs. Those who are dealing with heroin addiction struggle to feel normal without using heroin. 

Therapy works to help individuals to find a “new normal”, a healthy sense of normality that doesn’t depend on the use of harmful substances such as heroin. 

There are various types of behavioral therapy, including contingency management therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Each of these therapy approaches can help individuals to break the cycles of substance abuse in their lives and equip them for lasting freedom from addiction.

Contingency Management Therapy

The recent introduction of additional behavioral treatment programs has added to the number of therapies proven to be highly effective in treating heroin addiction. Treatment programs such as contingency management therapy and cognitive behavioral interventions have been extremely successful, especially in conjunction with medication assistance.

Research has proven that the reinforcement of positive behaviors through tangible rewards employed in contingency management programs is conducive to abstinence. In other words, it’s been proven that, when people who are in treatment receive rewards that they can enjoy, they are more likely to avoid using drugs or alcohol. Studies performed of opiate counseling programs have concluded that incentive-based intervention also aids in retention to addiction treatment programs.

One type of contingency management counseling employs voucher-based reinforcement. Voucher programs are used to supplement other treatment programs for individuals who abuse heroin or other opiate drugs. In these programs, the patient receives a voucher for each negative drug screen.

The vouchers can be redeemed for products and services such as movie passes or other items or activities that are consistent with remaining drug free. The value of the vouchers is initially low but increases with each successive negative drug test. A positive result resets the vouchers to the initial value.

Prize incentive contingency management is similar to the voucher system in that it rewards positive behaviors. But rather than vouchers, it provides chances to win cash prizes anywhere from $1 to $100.

The program is typically around three months in length. Prize drawings are held each week. Participants receive draws for attending counseling sessions and negative drug test results. Some have voiced concerns that this method promotes gambling behavior but studies have concluded that this is not the case.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, involves identifying negative thought patterns that influence a person’s behavior. Harmful and negative thought patterns are usually instrumental in the development of addictive behaviors.

CBT seeks to break the cycle of negative thinking by helping people to replace harmful thoughts with more constructive behaviors. This approach to therapy has become one of the preferred heroin treatment options due to its many benefits and the effectiveness of the therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy allows individuals to develop a support network. This is extremely important during the recovery process. Through CBT, therapists can help patients through stressful periods that often lead to relapse. Those who suffer from addiction often lack sufficient coping mechanisms; they may turn to drug or alcohol use when they feel overwhelmed. But, CBT promotes confidence and skills that can help people to cope with situations without engaging in destructive behaviors.

Patients who take part in this type of therapy generally show signs a noticeable improvement in self-esteem. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to reinforce a person’s self-worth and teaches individuals that they deserve a better life. This encourages patients’ desire to improve their circumstances. Having the desire and motivation to change is definitely an essential part of the process of overcoming addiction. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, people can also learn to resist peer pressure that may lead to falling back into addictive behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

In many cases, people who suffer from substance abuse also struggle with suicidal thoughts and disturbed cognitive behaviors. This can be very difficult and stressful for individuals who are already dealing with the negative effects of substance abuse. Dialectical behavior therapy, also called DBT, was designed to help people who are in difficult situations like this.

DBT uses individual therapy, group therapy, and other supportive methods to help clients develop healthy ways of thinking. These components also encourage social and emotional growth and development in the lives of those who are in recovery from addiction.

Individual therapy and counseling sessions can assist people by giving them a safe place to discuss their feelings, fears, concerns, and other emotional aspects. Individuals can speak directly to compassionate and understanding therapists and gain insight regarding why they feel what they feel and how they can rearrange their thinking to be more conducive to recovery.

Through group therapy, people can gain social skills and work to develop a deeper understanding of how other people operate. By understanding other people, individuals can actually come to understand themselves more.

DBT may help people to develop skills in various areas. For example, a dialectical behavior therapy program may help people to become better at managing their anger, resolving conflict, developing interpersonal relationships, and much more.

Let Us Help You To Become Free From Heroin Addiction

At Northbound Treatment Services, we offer treatment programs for those who are addicted to opioid drugs. We provide individual treatment plans in a caring environment. A variety of therapies are provided including medication-assisted detoxification and stabilization. 

Allow us to help you regain control of your life and begin a healthy new life! Just contact us today by calling (866) 311-0003.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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