Substance Abuse Therapy: Basis of Effective Treatment

April 12, 2021

Substance abuse therapy is necessary to recover and heal from substance use disorders. Aside from the substance dependence and physical health repercussions of drug abuse, mental health and everyday behavior change when one consumes addictive compounds. In the long run, when substance use disorder is left untreated, it may eventually cause harm to the family and friends of the victim and the sober community. To prevent this potential danger, addiction treatment that is personalized and specific to the type of substance used is designed to be more efficient and cater to the needs of the individual suffering from one of the leading health crises in the United States.

To be specific, there are various therapies that assist individuals, or even groups, in overcoming substance addiction. For one, long-term inpatient programs for substance use allow individuals to withdraw from chronic addiction while being supervised by healthcare experts and clinical professionals. Some therapies are gender-specific, and some programs appeal more to a family setting. Although substance abuse recovery programs vary in terms of behavioral therapies, medications used, and recovery duration, each has the same goal of flushing out drug dependence and reintegrating individuals back to the community as independent and sober people. 


What is the best treatment for substance abuse?

Although there are treatment programs that follow the general framework to substance addiction recovery, there is no ‘umbrella’ therapy that perfectly fits everyone. 

The best treatment for substance abuse is one that is personalized, realistic, and science-based. An addiction therapy that works well for a certain individual might not be applicable to other people. As an example, an approach to a teenager suffering from alcoholism is probably not suited for a domestic abuse victim who is dependent on prescription drugs. Substance abuse therapies create a healthy and understanding support system for recovering individuals to make them feel at the very least that people are believing that they can still have a fruitful life.

These are some substance abuse therapies offered by a treatment center, which caters to individuals with varying circumstances:


  • Individual therapy

Individual therapy is composed of one-on-one counseling sessions that aim to identify individuals’ needs and concerns toward their recovery goals. One needs individual treatment in the phase of drug withdrawals.

  • Group therapy

Group therapy gives opportunities to recovering individuals to share their stories and struggles and work on their communication skills to prepare for a new life back in the community. Specific group therapies are also used for unique social groups, such as families with parents suffering from substance use disorder. A substance abuse group therapy activity, such as emotional sharing, can reassure individuals, especially during the difficult recovery stages.

  • Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is designed to address potentially harmful behaviors from individuals. Oftentimes, a counselor guides an individual on their daily disposition and briefed regarding ways to mitigate self-destructive thoughts and actions. 

  • Motivational incentives therapy

Motivational incentives therapy uses intangible and tangible rewards, such as vouchers, to shift the individual’s attention from the craving for addictive substances. Intangible rewards, or motivational incentives, include the capacity to function individually and better relationships with other people.

  • Gender-specific therapy

Gender-specific therapy aims to address gender discrimination and drug dependence at the same time. This type of therapy ensures that women are protected, and recovery is inclusive and safe even to those belonging to the LGBT+ community. 


At the same time, substance abuse treatment must be realistic in terms of method and time and science-based to avoid wasting precious resources. The substance abuse treatment is considered realistic when it takes into account the addiction type and severity and the time it takes to suppress it. The treatment program must also be science-based because addiction is a real disorder that affects people’s physical health. Although there are faith-based methods, science-based therapies prove to be more genuine, as it considers even the behavior, motivation, and mental health of the individual throughout the process.


What are quick drug addiction treatments?

Drug addiction programs have varying lengths or duration. While long-term residential treatment, lasting for around six months, is recommended for individuals suffering from chronic and severe addiction, other programs address mild drug dependence, which does not require an inpatient approach. The following are addiction treatments that could be considered ‘quick’ to some extent:

  • Detox programs – These are programs that aim to flush out drug dependence and addictive substances out of the human system while mitigating symptoms of ‘cold turkey’ and drug withdrawal.
  • Partial hospitalization – The individual continues unassisted detox and weekly guidance counseling without needing full-time admission to the hospital.
  • Outpatient treatment – It is a treatment that does not require the individual to reside in the rehab center but often requires one to come back for daily therapy.
  • Post-recovery community living – After full detoxification, individuals can opt to reside for a few weeks longer in a community that supports sober living. The focus is on the support system rather than the prior substance use disorder. 

Although there are short-term or supplementary treatments, such as these, it is essential not to rush the recovery process, as it can only lead back to intense cravings and relapse. And for that reason, one needs substance abuse therapy.


How long are drug rehab programs?

As mentioned, full-fledged drug rehab programs usually last for three to six months, depending on the recovering individual’s progression. As various recoveries have a general framework, they typically last for months because individuals must undergo preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. Undergoing a treatment program requires the individual to be physically and emotionally prepared for the difficulties of quitting. It is not as simple as deciding and executing everything in one day, rather a commitment to a process that takes time.

To make efficient use of the time, one should employ SMART recovery as behavioral therapy and a template for drug rehab programs. It focuses on training the individual for self-management during addiction recovery. Clinical professionals orient individuals about their self-control and abstinence capacity while teaching them ways to manage their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The goal of SMART Recovery is learning to live a balanced life. 


What are the treatments of a drug addiction patient?

You can view specific treatments and therapies above. 

But to summarize how drug treatment works, general treatment plans are personalized for individuals with specific circumstances. In designing the program, various behavioral therapies and detox medications are chosen to be integrated into the treatment. The entire duration is planned, and expected results take into account the potential difficulty that the individual can experience. By molding the care and recovery process according to the person’s needs, a smooth and proper recovery can be achieved.

It is essential to know about substance abuse therapy because it allows us to make informed decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. It also allows us to understand that actual recovery and destigmatizing of substance use victims starts with knowledge about the matter. Let us build a community that emphasizes healing and recovery, rather than discrimination and fear of treatment.


At Buena Vista Health and Recovery Centers, we provide personalized treatment for drug addiction. We have highly-regarded substance abuse theray rehab centers in Tucson, Az. Our programs do not focus solely on treatment but also on prevention and reintegration into the community. We believe that everyone deserves another chance at a productive life.

If you or someone you know is seeking rehab, get in touch with one of our addiction professionals today. Give us a call at (800) 922-0095 or visit our rehab center at 5151 E Pima St, Tucson, AZ 85712.

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