Addiction is a disease of repeated substance abuse (e.g. alcohol, drugs, medication). The addicted person incurs various losses as a result of this, and nevertheless continues to do so. An addict has a hard time controlling the way he uses a substance, that is, he is not always able to stop when he or she wants to. It is also difficult for him to hold back when someone persuades him. He often fails to keep his promises to himself or to others.
In a similar way, you can be addicted to behavior. We are talking then about behavioral addiction (e.g. to gambling, telephone, computer, shopping, etc.).
The most recommended form of treatment is participation in addiction psychotherapy.
Addiction therapy consists in systematic participation in individual or group psychotherapy or both in parallel. The choice of form depends on the severity of the disease and the personal preferences of the patient. Some people need a detoxification before starting treatment, after which they can start psychotherapeutic treatment.
During therapy, addicts learn the most effective techniques to refrain from taking a given substance or performing a specific activity. The modern approach to addiction is that some people can stay with substance use or activities and learn to do so in a less harmful way.
The role of the therapist is to help in finding methods that will be effective for a specific person. While some will need companionship, others will need calming and relaxing activities, or activities that will help them relieve tension, such as sports. The psychotherapist cooperates with the patient at every stage, remembering that the patient is the subject and not the object of the therapy.
Addiction therapy, depending on the addiction and the treatment method, lasts from several months to several years, it depends on the patient's needs. Some people finish their treatment at the basic stage, others continue it at the deepened stage.
The basic stage is one that aims to reduce or completely stop addiction, learn alternative ways to deal with tension, and develop healthy habits in place of compulsive behaviors.
The in-depth stage means working through deeper psychological problems related directly and indirectly to addiction in the process of psychotherapy. In-depth psychotherapy makes it possible to consolidate the achievements of the basic stage and improve the quality of life of the addicted person, reducing the risk of returning to active addiction. The patient has greater self-awareness and the ability to deal with problems, recognize and satisfy their needs.
Addiction is a disease that can and must be treated. The benefits of taking addiction therapy are invaluable: reducing or stopping the use of substances or behavior, improving health, mental well-being, relationships with loved ones, functioning in the professional sphere, and finally – personal development.
Addicts recognize the real picture of the disease in their lives, learn healthy ways of coping with suffering and the tension they experience, and after overcoming the initial difficulties, they begin to live a more complete and satisfying life – compared to the moment before they got sick.