Couples Drug Therapy: Is It the Solution to Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a cornerstone of the therapeutic treatment of addiction. Couples drug treatment is an excellent example of successful behavioral therapy. Couples drug therapy has proven to be the most effective method of treating substance abuse in the family therapy setting. In 1974, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism praised couples therapy and family therapy for outstanding advances in the treatment of addiction.

In behavioral therapy, the individual seeking help takes an active role. In couples drug therapy, there is a greater opportunity for a successful outcome using the support of the involved partner. As both partner’s behaviors are intertwined, there is an interaction in their personalities, substance abuse issues, moods,and anxieties. As a result, Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms treatment is most successful when addicted couples support one another during recovery.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on resolving dysfunctional behaviors, thought processes and emotions using a systematic, goal-oriented process. Much empirical evidence exists that supports the effectiveness of CBT in treating a variety of disorders. Couples drug therapy has shown impressive results using this technique-driven approach. Success comes from using the strong connection between the partners to encourage certain behaviors through positive reinforcement.

It has been shown that both men and women achieve meaningful recovery using this technique of mutual support, although there are somewhat higher success rates for women. Couples alcohol treatment also addresses the life changes that will occur for both partners as a result of CBT. Strategies for continuing positive reinforcement are developed that anchor the relationship in corrective replacement behaviors. The couple then has the tools needed for a healthy relationship.

There is far more to a successful outcome in substance abuse treatment than simply ending the cycle of addiction. It must be recognized that there are behaviors that existed before and will continue to exist after active addiction that will need to be addressed. These behaviors have an impact on the couple’s interaction that can lead to relapse if no change occurs. In couples drug therapy, this change is crucial to avoid slipping back into the addiction cycle for the emotional release that drugs and alcohol provide. Unfortunately, the alcohol merely masks the difficulties temporarily. Couples drug treatment allows these necessary changes to occur in a safe environment.

In addition, both partners are encouraged to become engaged in support programs to facilitate their individual recovery. There they learn about challenges that are commonly faced by couples. Al-Anon is a very supportive program that has existed for 60 years. It encourages fellowship among relatives and friends of the alcoholic. Through sharing experiences, members receive strength, support and information necessary for recovery.


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