This branch of psychology deals with the treatment of people who are dependant on any psychoactive substances like alcohol, cannabis, opioids, nicotine etc.
The goal of the therapy is to break the denial that is lack of willingness of the patient to leave the substance. Further therapist make the patient aware of all the short and long term pros and cons of the substance which is effecting or will effect in the future his family, health (both physical and psychological), finances, work and social relations so that he is enabled to confront substance dependence.
A combined treatment of medicines and psychotherapy works best for patients with any kind of substance dependence and substance abuse. In some extreme cases even hospitalisation or staying in a rehab centre is also suggested.
Psychotherapy is crucial before, during and after the pharmacological treatment. Majority of the patients who have been dependent on any kind of substance faces the problem of relapse. There are many triggers which can cause relapse like extreme stress, emotions, social obligation or exposure, or even the mere desire to have a limited quantity of the substance which slowly increases back to the same level. Psychotherapy plays a crucial role in psychoeducating the patients about all the warning signs and how to control or deal with them. Researchers have shown that patients who continued with therapy process even after getting sober were at a lower risk of relapse than people who did not continue therapy.
Group therapy or support groups works best as people can share their emotions and feelings about the rehabilitation process. They also help each other to stay on treatment.
Family interventions, Cognitive behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, motivational enhancement therapy, behaviour therapy are part of the de-addiction program.
The treatment can be a long process and depends on the severity of the abuse, and the history and duration of the dependence.
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