Long-term residential treatment is a well-known option for drug abuse treatment. Therapeutic Communities (TCs) provide around-the-clock care in non-hospital settings, with planned stays of 6 to 12 months. This type of treatment focuses on individual resocialization and uses the entire program community, including other residents, staff and social context, as active components of treatment. Addiction is seen in the context of an individual's social and psychological deficits, and treatment focuses on developing personal responsibility and socially productive lives.
Treatment is highly structured and can be conflicting at times, with activities designed to help residents examine harmful beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive behavior patterns and adopt new, more harmonious and constructive ways of interacting with others. Many TCs offer comprehensive services, which may include job training and other on-site support services. Research shows that TCs can be modified to treat people with special needs, including adolescents, women, the homeless, people with severe mental disorders, and individuals in the criminal justice system. Group therapy is often used to capitalize on the social reinforcement offered by peer discussion and to help promote drug-free lifestyles. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another valuable treatment tool for drug abuse.
CBT can be used for many different types of addictions, including food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction. It helps individuals recognize their unhealthy behavior patterns and learn to identify triggers and develop coping skills. CBT can also be combined with other therapeutic techniques such as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which helps individuals recognize their negative thoughts and give them ways to combat feelings of self-defeat. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can also help individuals on the road to recovery. Participation in 12-step recovery work has been shown to improve outcomes.
Behavioral therapies and medications can be used in combination and adapted to a person's specific needs. Research has also shown that combining criminal justice sanctions with drug treatment can be effective in reducing drug abuse and related crimes. There are three main options for drug abuse treatment: long-term residential treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and self-help groups. Depending on the nature of your drug abuse problem and where you are in your life, you can take different approaches to recovering from drug abuse. Visiting a peer group or talking to a therapist who specializes in drug abuse can help you understand where your desire to abuse drugs comes from and find support to abstain.