Addiction Therapy

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that is estimated to affect 21.5 million Americans according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Of these millions of people, many do not have access to or receive the substance abuse care from qualified addiction professionals that they need.

While there is no cure currently available to addicts and alcoholics to combat their substance use disorders, there are many effective treatment methods that can bring the condition to a manageable level.

Addiction therapy is the primary way medical and mental health professionals treat chronic substance abuse disorders and help addicts and alcoholics both stop actively using drugs and alcohol.

Addiction therapy is especially a great tool for treating the underlying core issues that lead them to substance abuse in the first place.

If you or a loved one is currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, then getting proper addiction treatment is the key to finding success in recovery. Understanding addiction therapy, how it works, and the different addiction treatment techniques available is important when searching for the right drug treatment program and a solution that meets your needs. Read on to learn more about addiction therapy and how it can help you or your loved one meet your goal of sobriety and freedom from active addiction!



What Is Addiction?

Addiction, also known as a substance use disorder/alcohol use disorder, is a disease as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V).

Substance use disorders (SUD) are diagnosed by medical and mental health professionals every day. This is a type of mental health disorder that is characterized by the manifestation of both physical and psychological symptoms.

To determine if a patient is suffering from a substance use disorder, physicians and mental health professionals turn to the DSM-V for help in making a diagnosis. The DSM-V has set forth certain criteria that can distinguish whether or not an individual is indeed struggling with a substance use disorder. The criteria refer to different behaviors and emotional symptoms that are present in people battling the disorder. While addiction is a very variable condition, the criteria can help narrow it down for healthcare professionals.


The criteria that must be met for a substance use disorder diagnosis is as follows:

  • Taking the drug in larger amounts and for longer than intended
  • Wanting to cut down or quit but finding yourself unable to do so
  • Spending copious amounts of time attempting to obtain the substance
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug
  • Finding yourself incapable of performing obligations at work, school, or home due to drug use
  • Continuing to use the substance despite consistent social or interpersonal issues caused by or exacerbated by drug use
  • Cessation of important social, occupational, or recreational activities due to drug use
  • The habitual use of the substance in physically dangerous situations
  • Still using the drug after recognizing continual physical and psychological difficulties stemming from drug use
  • Building a physical tolerance to the drug
  • Undergoing withdrawal symptoms when drug use is stopped

These symptoms can be applied to any substance, illicit or prescription, as well as alcohol. In the case of alcohol, in particular, it is referred to as an alcohol use disorder. As mentioned above, addiction is not a “one-size-fits-all” disorder. Some people may have substance use disorders that are milder or more severe than others.These symptoms can be applied to any substance, illicit or prescription, as well as alcohol. In the case of alcohol, in particular, it is referred to as an alcohol use disorder. As mentioned above, addiction is not a “one-size-fits-all” disorder. Some people may have substance use disorders that are milder or more severe than others.

If you are suffering from a mild substance use disorder, then you must meet two to three of the above criteria. Moderate substance use disorder diagnoses require four to five of the criteria to be met. For severe substance use disorders, patients will display six or seven (or more) of these symptoms. These varying levels of severity help medical and mental health professionals determine what addiction treatment techniques may best suit you and your individual needs.

There are multiple kinds of addiction therapy that healthcare professionals may implement in your treatment plan when working to overcome your substance abuse issues. These different therapies are unique in their own way and can be very effective depending on the individual. Read on to learn how addiction therapy can work to get you through your substance use disorder and what the different kinds are that you might consider pursuing during your quest for recovery

How Addiction Therapy Works

Addiction therapy is effective in treating substance use disorders and helping people find lasting recovery. Addiction therapy is performed during addiction treatment, which is also known as drug rehab or alcohol rehab. This is a process by which medical and clinical staff address a substance or alcohol use disorder by utilizing different addiction therapy techniques. Each of these types of addiction therapy takes a unique approach to addiction treatment, with the focus of each modality placed on a specific area of the disorder.

There are seemingly endless options when it comes to addiction therapy techniques. Keeping all of these different types in mind, it may be challenging for you or your loved one to discern which specific addiction therapy is right for you. Addiction is different for everyone, which means an addiction therapy might work for one addict or alcoholic may not for another. Below is a list of the more commonly seen substance abuse therapy techniques employed by drug and alcohol rehabs. Learn more about each one to see if it’s the right fit for you and your personal needs.


Humanistic therapy addresses substance abuse in a unique way. Therapists attempt to help patients access and comprehend their innermost feelings. By unlocking these thoughts and feelings, therapists can help their clients find the sense of purpose they’ve been lacking in their lives and achieve self-actualization. This refers to realizing one’s full potential.

Humanistic therapy puts the primary focus of the sessions on the intense healing powers of free will, creativity, and human potential. Allowing patients a deep level of self-exploration allows patients to be able to view themselves as a whole human being. Through creating a stronger sense of self, clients can begin to overcome their drug and/or alcohol addiction.


Trauma therapy is an important type of addiction therapy. Rather than one specific approach to addiction therapy, this is a category that encompasses multiple methods. However, all of these methods specifically focus on traumatic experiences patients have endured and any signs and symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

By working with patients to process these traumatic experiences and their PTSD, therapists can begin to get to the root issues causing the patient psychological pain. Trauma therapy provides therapeutic support and psychoeducation for patients, which allows for them to heal from their past traumatic experiences and move forward with a new perspective.


Motivational therapy is a highly effective type of addiction therapy since it acts as a combination of humanistic treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. The therapist works closely with the patient to help them develop a negative outlook on using drugs and/or alcohol. By creating this negative connotation, patients will then have the desire to change these behaviors.

This substance abuse therapy technique focuses on each individual client’s needs and personal issues. These motivational therapy sessions are kept solution-oriented, meaning rather than continuing to talk about the problem, solutions are discussed. This helps clients see more clearly the effective ways in which to fix their self-destructive behavioral patterns.


Expressive therapy may be the most fun and interesting way to treat addiction. The idea behind this therapy method is using the creative process in addiction treatment. By having patients engage in the process of creating, whether through writing, drawing, or composing music, patients can find healing.

Rather than the actual finished product, expressive therapy focuses on the act of creating. Typically, when individuals are being creative, they are accessing a deeply emotional aspect of their brain. They can then explore this emotional space and begin to properly address their thoughts and feelings in a far easier manner.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) has become very popular in drug rehabs across the country. This technique was created to help patients suffering from trauma issues overcome any distress associated with past memories and experiences.

EMDR works by employing the same basic concept that Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep uses. The therapist running the EMDR session will have their patient recall the negative memory or situation. While the client focuses on the situation, the therapist will then begin moving their hand back and forth across the client’s field of vision. The patient is then to focus on the hand’s movement.

Throughout following these movements, the client can begin to process the negative memory and upsetting feelings associated with it by making internal associations. The way the person views the situation is then changed. The event will no longer be looked at in a negative, but a positive way.


Behavioral therapy is similar to trauma therapy in that rather than being one specific type of therapy, it is a category of substance abuse therapy techniques. Behavioral therapy attempts to change the negative and self-destructive behaviors of the addict and alcoholic and replace them with positive and healthy behaviors.

Behavioral therapy is even more effective when used together with cognitive psychology. Utilizing both of these therapy methods together addresses thought and action, which can help addicts stop engaging in negative using behaviors and instead replace these old habits with healthy behaviors such as maintaining sobriety.


Many people state that addiction is a “family disease”. This means that many addicts and alcoholics cite the reasons for their using stemming from issues within their families. Another major factor is having the family of an addict or alcoholic involved in treatment always benefits the individual in a massive way.

This is what makes family therapy so important. Therapists may hold sessions that include family members and in a safe, healthy, and non-confrontational way, gives everyone the opportunity to discuss and resolve conflicts. Family therapy is also effective in teaching family members and addicts how to set healthy boundaries, learn about addiction, improve healthy communication skills, and gives everyone an opportunity to learn and be heard. By addressing family dynamics, a recovering addict has a greater chance of long-term success in recovery.


This category of treatment operates on the belief that in order to achieve sobriety, there must be a proper balance between mind, body, and spirit. Holistic therapists encourage patients to find this balance to attain a healthier self-esteem, become more self-aware, and receive the self-acceptance needed for success in recovery.

Holistic therapy is different from the more traditional forms of therapy like talk therapy. A holistic therapy session may include any number of different techniques such as yoga, art therapy, or meditation. The goal is to find the balance between the individual and all aspects of their being so that they may flourish in recovery.

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today!

Are you or a loved one currently struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol? Let us at the Palm Beach Institute help you take back control over your life and find long-term recovery today using state-of-the-art addiction therapy techniques!

Our experts have nearly 50 years of experience in treating addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. We are confident that our services can help you treat your addiction, get to the root cause, and help you achieve long-term sobriety! Our facility is located in the recovery capital of the United States where you can recover in a beautiful and serene location.

Our admissions team is standing by 24-7, ready to take your call and answer any questions or concerns you may have about treatment. When you call, you’ll receive a complimentary insurance verification and can start the admissions process right way!

Don’t delay; call 855-960-5456 now or contact us online and take the first step toward your best happy, healthy, and sober life now!