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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Abuse in California



CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common methods used to treat drug addiction. The therapy process was developed as a method to prevent relapse when treating problem drinking and was later adapted to treat drug addiction. Most of the drug rehab facilities in California use cognitive behavioral therapy for substance abuse. The approach is based on the theory that in the development of maladaptive behavior like drug addiction, a person’s learning process plays a critical role. A central element of cognitive behavioral therapy is teaching the person to anticipate likely problems and enhance their self-control by developing effective coping strategies. CBT approaches are usually integrated with other approaches like faith-based treatment, holistic approaches, and non-traditional drug rehab. The skills individuals learn through CBT remain after drug rehab and well into aftercare support. 


Drug Detox and Residential or Outpatient Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Substance Abuse Treatment in California

The first step in treating drug addiction involves drug detox, and typically the severity of withdrawal and addiction determine what method of drug detox is needed. Medically supervised detox manages more severe addiction, while standard detox programs treat milder forms of drug addiction. Detoxification is important because it treats withdrawal symptoms and cravings before counseling and therapy. Drug detox should not be considered the only approach to drug rehab because it will not provide adequate counseling or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral is often incorporated into the next phase of drug rehab involving residential or outpatient drug rehab.

Like drug detox, the severity and extent of addiction determine what type of rehabilitation is required. Residential drug rehab programs can offer more extensive cognitive therapies because the patient lives at the facility. Long-term residential drug rehab can also offer more extensive counseling options and incorporate more than cognitive-behavioral therapy. Outpatient drug rehab programs in California also utilize CBT approaches and incorporate 12-step facilitation, or non-traditional therapy approaches. Outpatient drug rehab is usually accessed by addicts that are still working and or have a family to support, yet it requires a significant commitment.

It is also important to consider aftercare support, and a benefit of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that it can still be applied after treatment. CBT therapy sessions focus on changing negative and often deeply rooted thoughts, beliefs, and values. The therapy continues to help recovering addicts improve emotional regulation and develop personal coping skills to address cravings and triggers. While in aftercare, recovering addicts can continue to explore patterns of behavior, thoughts, and beliefs that led to addiction. CBT also helps recovering addicts continue to focus on solutions rather than problems. Moreover, it teaches clients practical and helpful strategies to deal with triggers and stress.  


Substance Use Family Intervention in California

Family intervention for substance use is a process of confronting a drug-addicted family member in a non-threatening way. Drug addiction family intervention services in California are excellent options, and the best way to organize an intervention is by hiring a professional interventionist. The objective of a family intervention is to get the drug addict to see their self-destructive behavior and how it affects those around them, like their family. Family intervention is a structured process, and a professional interventionist helps the family get their loved one to commit to a cognitive behavioral therapy drug rehab program.

Family interventions are important because it lets the drug-addicted loved one know that the family fully supports the choice of them going into drug rehab. Using a trained interventionist can help everyone understand what is actually involved. Typically, family intervention is a two-day process, and the first day is spent with the family planning the intervention. The planning process involves deciding what is said, who is attending, where it takes place, and when. Every detail is planned because the drug-addicted family member is left with two choices: either entering drug rehab or facing the consequences. A tough-love approach is the most effective because it sets clear boundaries and demonstrates the family will not back down.


How to Locate and be Admitted to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Drug Rehab Program in California

When searching for cognitive behavioral therapy drug rehab programs in California, there are different options for the family to consider. Initially, if a family has private or state health insurance, the health plan would cover in-network or out-of-network drug rehab providers. The extent of coverage depends on the health insurance plan, and every plan is different. However, families should take advantage of their health insurance to cover some or all drug rehab costs. Another option for families to consider is an addiction assessment, and this could be done through a state, local, or private health care provider.

Addiction assessments help the family or drug addiction determine the severity of addiction and what drug rehab programs are available. When a family is working with a family interventionist, part of the planning process is locating cognitive behavioral therapy programs in California. The admission process to a CBT program usually happens quickly, but this depends on whether the program is private or publicly funded. Family interventionists help the family with the admission process, and all of this is planed before a family intervention occurs. 


Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse Trends in California

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective approach for treating drug addiction and the most common option many drug rehab centers in California apply. According to the California Health Care Foundation, roughly 8% of Californians or 2.7 million people met the criteria for substance use disorders in the past year. Approximately six percent of the state residents met the criteria for abuse or dependence on alcohol, and 3% met the criteria for abuse of or dependence on illicit drugs. Between 2015 and 2016, the rate of substance use disorder among young adults aged 18 to 25 was approximately twice the overall average. Among adults aged 26 and older they were nearly three times more likely to have alcohol use disorders than illicit drug use disorders.



California Health Care Almanac. Substance Use in California: A Look at Addiction and Treatment. October 2018. https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SubstanceUseDisorderAlmanac2018.pdf