Can addiction be treated?

Yes, addiction is a treatable disorder. Research on the science of addiction and the treatment of substance use disorders has led to the development of research-based methods that help people stop using drugs and resume productive lives, which is also known as being in recovery. According to the American Addiction Centers, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a valuable treatment tool because it can be used for many different types of addictions, including, but not limited to, food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction. Not only can CBT help you recognize your unhealthy behavior patterns, but it can also help you learn to identify triggers and develop coping skills.

CBT can also be combined with other therapeutic techniques. Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT) could help you recognize your negative thoughts and give you ways to combat feelings of self-defeat. The goal of REBT is to help you realize that the power of rational thinking is within you and is not related to external situations or stressors. Contingency management (CM) can be used to treat a wide variety of addictions, including alcohol, narcotics, and tobacco.

Contingency management therapy reinforces your positive behavior (i.e., maintaining sobriety) by providing you with tangible rewards. This type of treatment has been successfully used to combat relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. There are many ways to treat the symptoms of drug use and prevent drug abuse, but there is no definitive cure. There is no pill, no therapy that makes a person not addicted.

Addiction is a lifelong illness, just like mental illness. A person can learn to manage their illness and enter periods of sobriety, but the risk of relapse is always present. That's why it's important that former drug users don't experiment with substances other than the substance they sought treatment for. To examine whether addiction can be “treated” or “cured”, you must first understand addiction.

Ginger Baney
Ginger Baney

Subtly charming food specialist. Extreme internet ninja. Unapologetic sushi lover. Avid coffee lover. Typical food buff.