Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use

When discussing treatment approaches for substance use disorders (SUDs), therapy is a common option. Therapy is often used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy (medication). Many people do not realize there are many different types of therapy that can help individuals recovering from an SUD.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the more common types of therapy used to help those overcoming substance misuse. Since its creation in the 1960s, the American Psychology Association (APA) says CBT has been found to be effective in treating several behavioral health disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mental illness, and SUDs related to alcohol and drugs.

CBT’s main strategy is to change negative thought patterns to influence behavior. By changing the way an individual thinks, they can overcome thoughts of substance use and, in turn, adopt a healthier way of coping.

The APA says CBT was developed on several principal ideas, which include:

  1. Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
  2. Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
  3. People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.

A study reviewing 30 other academic studies found that CBT combined with pharmacotherapy had an increased benefit for patients struggling with alcohol, cocaine, and opioid use compared to usual clinical management or non-specialized counseling. However, the study found CBT did not perform better than another specific type of therapy. The analysis of these 30 studies supported the idea that CBT and pharmacotherapy can be considered one of the best practices in SUD treatment.

So, how do you change the negative thought patterns that influence your behavior? That’s where a cognitive behavioral therapist comes in. A CBT specialist can help you become more aware of the consequences of your negative thoughts and actions that influence a SUD. The goal of becoming more aware of your mind is to adopt healthier coping mechanisms that break the detrimental cycle of substance use.

American Addiction Centers says you can expect your cognitive behavioral therapist to educate you on your diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment. During your CBT session, you will voice your negative thoughts, behavior, and stressors. Your therapist will then challenge these beliefs and integrate healthy, positive coping skills.

Some common skills learned in CBT include:

  • Distracting yourself from negative thoughts with productive activities such as drawing, cleaning, exercising, etc.
  • Learning how to navigate situations that hinder your recovery such as declining a drink at a party
  • Adopting healthier, more effective strategies to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Building a sense of self-confidence and self-respect
  • Using effective problem-solving strategies
  • Recognizing and conquering triggers that may contribute to relapse

Because CBT is personalized to cater an individual’s needs, coping mechanisms and skills learned to prevent relapse can vary.

Recovery may seem like an uphill battle, but with the right tools, you can overcome an SUD. By conquering negative thoughts and replacing them with healthy behaviors, CBT can reprogram your mind to help you live a happier, healthier life.

Not sure where to start? We can help. To find SUD treatment near you, visit the Treatment Connection website today.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.

National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week

Those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) often face social stigma, discrimination, and other challenges. These factors increase their risk for various substance use and mental health issues.

What Is National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week?

The goal of National LGBT Health Awareness Week is to raise awareness of routine and specialized care for people in the LGBTQ+ community. People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning are at risk for not getting the level of care they need because of a fear of seeking out help or, more commonly, due to discrimination. National LGBT Health Awareness Week brings attention to the tragic cycle of discrimination and health inequities that affect LBGTQ+ people.

What Types of Concerns Exist for LGBTQ+ Health Awareness?

There are many ways in which limited access to care impacts this community. Here are some examples:

  • Employment discrimination that limits access to jobs that provide health insurance.
  • Unable to receive health insurance coverage from their partner due to harmful company policies.
  • Increasingly high costs make many unable to afford vital preventative health care.
  • Many of these individuals face social stigma and discrimination and, as a result, may not feel comfortable discussing their specific health needs.
  • Disparities in the level of care received.

What Has to Change When It Comes to LGBTQ+ Health Disparities?

LGBT health awareness week provides resources to those looking to get involved and enact change in their communities. Below are some simple ways you can help in this effort of improving LGBTQ+ health:

  • Encourage employers to recognize those within the community as viable partners in relationships who deserve the same type of health coverage given to others.
  • Encourage state lawmakers to pass laws that encourage improved access to healthcare as well as affordable health insurance.
  • Work to ensure your own practice, if you are a doctor or other medical provider, never discriminates against people who have different lifestyles or physical needs than others – eliminate all LGBTQ+ discrimination in your practice.
  • Seek out care. Never be hesitant to find the support you need and want. Mental health is just as important as physical health. So, it is critical to take time to think about your needs and get any support necessary.
  • Help someone who is LGBTQ+ struggling with their health to get the care they need. A donation, a trip to a doctor’s appointment, or just a bit of support can go a long way.
  • If you know someone in the LGBTQ+ community is struggling with addiction and ready to get help, begin the journey to recovery by using the addiction treatment needs assessment tool.

Do you or someone you know need help finding addiction treatment in your area? The Treatment Connection website can help those in need find affirming care providers. There are many organizations, hospitals, medical providers, and treatment centers working hard to do their part to provide better access to standardized care for everyone.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.

Holistic Mental Health Treatment Methods

Rather than mental health treatment, as usual, many treatment facilities have taken on a new approach to mental health treatment utilizing effective, evidence-based holistic mental health treatment options instead.

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and emotions. It considers all mental and social factors rather than just the present symptoms of mental health disorder. It attempts to address the root cause of mental health struggles and heal the entire body.

As an effective solution to help people on their recovery journey, many treatment centers now offer holistic mental health treatment programs and services. Treatment Connection, an online resource for those who suffer from mental health disorders and their families, can connect you or a loved one with the facility to best suit your needs. Use the online portal to find a treatment program near you.

Holistic Treatment Methods

Taking a holistic approach to mental health treatment simply means that treatment options encompass an overall well-being methodology. While talk therapy and medications may be necessary in some cases and for some levels of mental illness, some people may respond very well to alternative methods of treatment in their treatment plan.

Some effective, evidence-based holistic treatment options include:

Recreational Therapy

The goal of recreation therapy is to reduce mental health issues by lowering stress and anxiety through relaxation, recovering basic motor functioning through physical activity, enhancing reasoning abilities, building confidence, and improving communication. Recreational activities may include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Animals
  • Sports
  • Games and puzzles
  • Dance and movement
  • Drama and comedy
  • Community outings

Equine Therapy

Sometimes referred to as horse-assisted therapy, equine therapy is a form of treatment where individuals work through their issues by developing a relationship with horses. Clients work with horses to develop and promote self-esteem, address fear and anxiety stemming from trauma, and practice empathy. Through equine therapy, many of those with substance use and mental health disorders may also learn to become more mindful and develop and practice patience.

In equine therapy, individuals build up a more active and positive sense of self as they do work with the animals. It is a means to feel actively useful and needed increasing one’s sense of responsibility and acceptance. One of the reasons this form of therapy is so effective, fostering higher rehab retention and completion rates, is how it diverges from the usual therapeutic approaches. In equine therapy, individuals aren’t receiving direct treatment for their substance use disorder but rather a kind of adjunct therapy allowing them to commit more effectively to other concurrent treatments.

Art Therapy

Self-expression in any form is proven to be an effective treatment method as measured by the SERATS scale. This tool helps validate that “making art in a healthy way serves as positive emotion regulation and self-development” and is beneficial to mental health recovery. Common medium for self-expression may include:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Collage
  • Photography
  • Music Therapy

Music has a soothing, relaxing effect on many people, and it is no different in music therapy. Trained musicians encourage clients to express their feelings and emotions creatively through singing, listening, and moving to music.

Yoga Therapy

A yoga therapy program is designed to heal and strengthen the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga poses can be easy to do and can improve your overall well-being as well as other physical and mental benefits such as:

  • Increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone
  • Improved breathing, energy, and vitality
  • Weight reduction
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Improved mental calmness

Benefits of Holistic Mental Health Treatment

The mind has a potent effect on the body. Therefore it is logical that if the mind is happy, the body will follow suit. There are many benefits of holistic mental health treatment, each revolving around developing and nurturing the mind-body connection to ensure life-long success in recovery.

The tools and skills learned in holistic treatment can be used in all areas of a person’s life to help them handle the many stresses, conflicts, and triggers that will inevitably threaten their mental health. Physically, holistic therapies help to relieve stress, relax tight muscles, and improve the immune system. The mental benefits of holistic therapy reach far and wide, touching all aspects of a person’s wellbeing, including creating an improved sense of self, increasing mental clarity, and reducing stress and anxiety.

Even for those who do not suffer from mental health issues, the benefits of holistic therapy methods have proven to be a tremendously effective and easy way to maintain health and well-being.

Treatment Connection: The Source for Holistic Treatment Options

Treatment Connection, an online resource for mental health treatment programs, connects those searching for therapy options with facilities and caregivers that can help. Use the online portal to learn more about the many centers near you to provide you with the mental health treatment options you or a loved one need and deserve.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.

Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health in Hispanic Communities

Rates of the prevalence of substance use disorder in Hispanic communities typically mirror that of the general U.S. population. However, some indicators show that substance use and mental health disorders, including co-occurring disorders requiring dual diagnosis treatment, may be slightly higher due to sociodemographic factors.

These factors may also prevent or deter those who suffer from substance use and mental health disorders from receiving the much-needed treatment to get them on the road to recovery.

Those in the Hispanic, Latinx (Latino/Latina), and Chicano communities can face difficulties when seeking the necessary treatment for mental health challenges. Using the Treatment Connection portal is an easy way to find trusted treatment providers and programs.

Sociodemographic Factors

Researchers examined the relationship between substance use and culture in the Hispanic community. They have determined several factors contributing to drug and alcohol addiction, including:

  • Cultural Values: Like many other cultures, some values within Latinx culture promotes abstinence and avoidance as the only means to address drugs or alcohol addiction.
  • Language: Researchers have found the stress of having to learn a non-familiar language can contribute to substance use rates. The process of learning, adapting, and assimilating can be significant stressors and triggers, especially when resources to provide aid for this are minimal.
  • Place of Birth: In some studies, it has been determined that birthplace may play a role in drug and alcohol use. Those who immigrate to the United States are less likely to turn to substances. However, for each generation born into the country, the chances of substance use disorder and mental illness increase. For example, a first-generation immigrant of Hispanic origin is slightly more at risk of using and abusing drugs than their parents.
  • Sociodemographics: Age, marital status, and employment status also seem to impact one’s likelihood to develop a substance use disorder. Married Latinx report fewer alcohol and drug-related challenges while those who are younger and often single report higher usage. For those who may be unemployed at any age, the risk and prevalence of use are much higher.

Treatment Disparities in the Hispanic Community

Assimilating to a new country and its culture can bring about many mental health challenges. As immigrants are faced with discrimination, stereotyping, prejudice, and even governmental laws, they may turn to substance use to help cope with the anxiety, stress, depression, and pressure that they may feel.

Unfortunately, studies also reveal that those within the Hispanic community are also faced with disparities in available options when they find themselves in need of mental health and substance use treatment. For example, several surveys indicate that Latinx people experience the following when seeking treatment:

  • Less access to treatment facilities
  • Longer wait time to access treatment options
  • Less satisfaction with services received
  • Reduced access to insurance/payment options

Aside from the systematic disparities Hispanics and Latinx experience in receiving necessary treatment, several cultural factors may hinder their desire and ability to enter into a treatment program. Shame and embarrassment that they may be experiencing a mental health challenge may prevent some individuals from entering a treatment program. Similarly, the fear of disrupting family relationships or the ability to work also prevents many people from receiving the treatment they need.

Seeking Substance Use or Mental Health Treatment in the Hispanic Community

Regardless of one’s birthplace, language, cultural values, substance use, and mental health disorders, serious diseases can lead to devastating outcomes if left untreated. At Treatment Connection, we help everyone who needs substance use or mental health treatment gain access to treatment programs to help them get on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one needs treatment, we can help you find the appropriate program to suit your needs, bearing in mind your specific cultural and family requirements.

Visit Treatment Connection to take a 13-question assessment and find the best type and intensity of addiction treatment for you or a loved one.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.

Finding a Therapy Program That Is Right for You

Mental health struggles are a common issue for people from all walks of life. Fortunately, there are now methods available to help you recover. Psychotherapy may play a crucial role in effective recovery. But what kind of therapy is best for you? And where can you find a suitable therapy program in your area?

Treatment Connection is your source for finding a therapy program that is right for you. Use our convenient online tool to get started in recovery today.

What to Look for in a Therapy Program

Here are four basic aspects to consider when looking for a therapy program:

The Nature of Your Mental Health

There are many different kinds of mental illnesses. Mental health professionals break these conditions down into categories that include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders

Each of these categories includes several specific illnesses. For example, the depressive disorders category includes major depression, the most widespread mental health condition. Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, belongs to the trauma- and stressor-related disorders category.

There are therapy options for all of these illnesses. However, not all therapies work equally well for all conditions. For this reason, you should look for providers who specialize in treating the particular illness affecting you.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Today, evidence-based treatment is considered the gold standard for mental health care. This is the name for treatments that have:

  • Been studied extensively by expert researchers
  • Proven to be effective for many people with a given illness

Many therapies have been put to this rigorous test. Only some have passed muster as effective treatment options. When searching for therapy programs or counseling programs, check if they rely on evidence-based care. If they do, this mark of quality helps ensure that you will receive proper support for your recovery.

An Experienced Staff

Not just anyone can offer effective therapy for serious mental health issues. It takes years of training to learn how to treat these issues. And it takes additional years of real-world experience to master the key therapy skills.

All of this means that your therapy provider’s training and experience levels matter. The best providers have developed a well-earned reputation for quality and trustworthiness. Don’t hesitate to ask about these things when selecting a therapy program.

Hospitalization, Inpatient, or Outpatient Treatment

Not everyone with the same illness is equally affected by it. For any given condition, potential symptoms range from mild to severe. Your specific symptoms help determine the most appropriate program to enter for treatment.

Some people begin their recovery journey with hospitalization. This may be necessary if you are severely affected by your condition. Treatment for moderate-to-severe mental illness may also be provided in a non-hospital inpatient program. People with mild-to-moderate symptoms may get all the help they need in an outpatient program. Your doctor will help you determine which of these settings works best for you.

Find the Right Counseling Program for Your Needs at Treatment Connection

Need help finding the right kind of therapy program? Treatment Connection is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We feature a nationwide online directory of top local providers. All listed providers have been screened in advance for quality and expertise. In this way, we help make sure that you only choose from the best options in your area.

All searches at Treatment Connection are completely anonymous so you can feel at ease looking for the support you desire. You also have the option of looking for providers by name or by any zip code in the U.S. Day or night, we support your efforts to recover from mental illness.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.

Tips for Avoiding Your Anxiety Triggers

Anxiety is a fact of life for just about everyone. For some people, the common signs of anxiety only have a minor, temporary effect. However, others have much more serious problems and require professional treatment. In either case, you may find that certain things trigger your feelings of anxiousness. You can take steps to learn how to cope with these anxiety triggers. You can also take steps that will help you avoid them altogether. Here are some tips on how to achieve this goal.

Understand and Recognize Your Anxiety Triggers

Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same kinds of ways. In addition, not everyone has the same kinds of anxiety triggers. Take time to read up on how these triggers form and operate. In addition, take the time needed to recognize your own specific triggers and when they arise. Common sources for bouts of anxiety include things such as:

  • Social interactions and/or speaking in public
  • Financial pressures
  • Strained intimate relationships
  • The daily demands of parenting
  • Pressures at work or in school
  • Serious illness
  • Threatening, scary, or unpredictable current events

You may be able to learn about and recognize your triggers on your own. However, you may also need help from your doctor or a mental health expert.

Exercise Can Ease the Intensity of Your Anxiety Triggers

Research shows that regular exercise can be an effective weapon against anxiety. This is possible because exercise helps lower your body’s levels of stress hormones. When the number of these hormones drops, you may find that you’re less sensitive to the things that trigger anxiety. You can get a benefit from aerobic exercises or activities that include:

  • Bicycling
  • Walking
  • Gardening
  • Sports such as tennis and basketball
  • Jogging

You can also get a benefit from anaerobic exercises like strength training.

Your Diet Has an Impact on Your Susceptibility to Anxiety

The foods you eat and the beverages you drink have a significant impact on your daily mood. A well-balanced, nutritious diet will help you stay on an even keel. In contrast, a diet filled with junk food and empty calories can have the opposite effect. Generally speaking, when your mood is more stable, you are less susceptible to the effects of stress and anxiety.

One common dietary item is known to have an especially notable impact on anxiety: caffeine. When you drink or eat things that contain caffeine, you boost the levels of one of your main stress hormones. By limiting your consumption of these foods and beverages, you help keep anxiety in check.

Seek Mental Health Treatment When Needed

Despite your best efforts, you may find that anxiety dominates your life. If your anxious feelings significantly disrupt your ability to function, you may have a diagnosable anxiety disorder. In such circumstances, professional mental health treatment is a must.

Anxiety treatment has two main components: psychotherapy and medication. There are therapies specifically designed to help you address your anxiety triggers. With their help, you can diminish the impact those triggers have on your life.

The two types of medication most often used to treat anxiety are anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants. Some people also benefit from other medications. Potential options include sedatives and beta-blockers.

Seek Effective Anxiety Treatment With Help From Treatment Connection

At Treatment Connection, we specialize in helping you find the best local providers for mental health treatment. Our nationwide network allows you to do anonymous searches for treatment resources either by name or zip code. And our built-in quality assurance system means that only truly qualified providers will appear in your results. When anxiety treatment is needed, there’s no reason to delay. Let Treatment Connection help you get started today.

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.