Forms of Therapy
When we think of a disease, the first thoughts that likely hit our imagination are cancer, bacteria, or infection. In these cases there is often a prescribed form of treatment/management that is used to counter it depending on the severity. Sometimes there is just one treatment, sometimes there is a small list of ways the disease can be combated. Addiction is a different beast altogether, as there are numerous forms of therapy that can be utilized to treat it.
“…I don’t think substance abuse, chemical dependence, is a single issue,” said Jef Gazley, a licensed therapist with multiple specialties, “I think you have to really look at the particular problem that’s going on.” Addiction can be started through various means; in some cases, people self-medicate to the point of dependency in order to deal with trauma or stress; others began (out of curiosity) and quickly slipped into addiction.
“You still treat it in many of the same ways, but if you don’t really get in and find out exactly what’s happening, then there is a real problem.” Knowledge is power, and having that knowledge about both the substance abuse and the victim of addiction can make all the difference. It can help to identify triggers, gain insight into the cause of the addiction, and discover what kind or method of therapy would work best for the individual.
Therapy can be approached through multiple outlets. The most common types of therapy are individual and group. Both of these involve a therapist and either a group or one-on-one setting. Some recovery services offer exercise, art, music, and even animal care as forms of therapy. The idea is to give the individual a constructive outlet to deal with their stress as well as gaining insight into their own lives and struggles.
Combining Treatment Options
It is true that there are several ways that people can help themselves when it comes to addiction. There are 12-Step programs, detox facilities, Inpatient and Outpatient programs, all of which designed to help the individual in need. However, some instances show incredibly severe addictions, and one method by itself may not be enough.
By combining in or outpatient programs with 12-Step programs, fellowships, and continued therapy the success rates for treatment practically double.
ADD in Addiction
At one point during his career, Gazley experimented with a screening process for the different types of ADD after attending a medical conference. After hearing about this process, he believed that many of the people he had been talking to about their addiction were struggling with ADD.
“They had been in and out of treatment facilities for years and really weren’t getting better… It seemed to me they were really dealing with ADD.” With this idea in his mind, Gazley approached a colleague and asked if they could take “hardcore alcoholics and amphetamine” users and put them on Ritalin, ifthey actually had ADD.)-reword- no ‘but only if’
The results were somewhat surprising.
“Traditional treatment at that time [the 80s], it was if you went to AA you had about a 60 percent success rate. If you went to outpatient therapy or inpatient therapy you had about a 60 percent success rate, and if you did both you had an 80. We had a 95 percent success rate.” Said Gazley, “they got stabilized on the Ritalin… they stopped all the alcohol and drugs almost immediately, and didn’t go up on their Ritalin.”