Behavioral Narcotics Addiction Treatment Options

According to a 2009 report by Harvard Health Publications, the rate of narcotics addictions have tripled over the previous decade with as many as two million Americans dependent on prescription pain medications. Overall, narcotic prescription drugs have the highest potential for dependency and abuse out of all other types of prescription medications.

While all different types of narcotics addiction treatments exist, behavioral approaches to narcotics addiction treatment view addiction as a learned behavior that can be unlearned. Behavioral narcotics addiction treatment options vary in technique with some techniques being more effective during certain stages of treatment than others.

Behavioral Treatment Benefits

Narcotics Addiction Treatment

Behavioral narcotics addiction treatment can save you from future relapse.

While physiological changes to the brain and body account for much of the challenge a person faces when trying to stop using, both the brain and the body have learned to become addicted over time. Behavioral narcotics addiction treatment uses behavior-based interventions as a way to “rewire” the brain and body’s behavior patterns.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the benefits of behavioral narcotics addiction treatment approaches work to:

  • Offer incentives for recovering addicts to remain drug-free
  • Make it easier for people to become engaged in the treatment process
  • Provide recovering addicts with the life skills needed to handle the types of circumstances that trigger drug cravings
  • Help addicts change their attitudes toward drug use
  • Help addicts eliminate and change drug-seeking and drug-using behaviors

Behavioral narcotics addiction treatment entails a step-by-step process where participants replace drug-based thinking and behaviors with a drug-free mindset and plan of action.

Treatment Stages

As different people enter the treatment process at different stages of addiction, a behavioral narcotics addiction treatment option should meet a person where he or she is at in the treatment process. In general, someone seeking help for a drug problem is in one of five different stages of treatment:

  • Pre-contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

At the pre-contemplation stage, a person still denies a drug problem exists, otherwise known as the denial stage. At the contemplation stage, a person knows drugs have become a problem but he or she has not yet made a commitment to change. The preparation stage is where a person is ready to take the necessary actions needed to stop using drugs. People in the maintenance phase have already stopped using, but still need help to avoid relapsing.

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Behavioral Treatment Options

Behavioral therapies used in narcotics addition treatment include:

When a recovering addict just comes out of an inpatient program, contingency management interventions can be used as a way to reinforce positive behaviors. This options works particularly well at reinforcing abstinence behaviors. Participants are rewarded with vouchers for food items or other goods and services.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy works well for people currently in inpatient and outpatient programs. Therapy sessions help a person address underlying problems and belief systems that drive addictive behaviors.

Twelve-step facilitation therapy operates in much the same way as a 12-step program but only lasts for 12 to 15 sessions. The overall goal is to motivate participants to become affiliated with a long-term 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous. This option works at any point during the treatment process as long-term social supports better increase the chances of a person remaining drug-free.

the Take-Away

No matter what stage of recovery you are in, there are benefits to behavioral narcotics addiction treatment. The professional team will be able to assist you throughout recovery.