Throughout New Jersey, people are struggling with the disease of addiction, and it’s been an epidemic for years. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Health, there was a massive spike in drug-related hospital visits between 2015 and 2017 with benzodiazepines and heroin being the primary substances of abuse. With tens of thousands of people being hospitalized each year, it’s important to understand what types of therapy work. Sometimes you only get one chance at getting sober, and that’s why evidence-based treatment methods are so crucial.
First, it’s necessary to understand the difference between evidence-based therapies and other forms of therapy. There are plenty of therapeutic methods out there that people find extremely helpful such as wilderness therapy. The problem is that some people may not benefit as much from those types of therapeutic methods. Some therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been tested in numerous scientific studies, and it’s been proven to change how the brain is wired.
CBT is extremely beneficial for people struggling with various mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. Most importantly, it’s been helpful for people who struggle with addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy not only focuses on replacing unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones, but it’s also about changing unhealthy behaviors. This helps addicts and alcoholics because of the compulsion to drink or use. The thoughts and behaviors that lead a person to get high or drunk are so automatic that many people can’t stop themselves.
Humans are designed to develop various habits because the brain has a limited amount of resources. One of the ways the brain does this is by developing what is known as the “habit loop”. The habit loop consists of three elements:
For example, your trigger might be an emotion like sadness, anxiety, or anger. The behavior is then to pick up a drink or a drug, which gives you a dopamine hit. The brain realizes that it made you feel better, so the next time you have that emotion, you crave a drink or a drug. CBT works by helping you develop space between the trigger and the behavior. From there, you’re able to use healthy coping skills, which eventually rewires your brain.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol in Atlantic County, Camden County, Cumberland County, or one of the surrounding areas, allow Enlightened Solutions to help. We provide medical as well as holistic detox services, but we also help offer CBT to help you stay sober after you leave. If you’re ready to begin a new life free from active addiction, call us today at 833-233-7336.
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