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What Kind of Therapy is Recommended for Prescription Drug Addiction?

By Kristen Gasnick
Therapy plays an important role in the treatment of prescription drug abuse to help with recovery and prevent relapse.

Counseling plays an important role in treatment for prescription drug abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, therapy for prescription drug abuse can teach you strategies to manage cravings and recognize destructive thought processes, emotions and situations to avoid relapse. These strategies can help improve your ability to take care of yourself, work and maintain relationships. There are several types of therapy you can choose to get you on track to recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches you to recognize negative thought processes, emotions and situations that increase your desire to use prescription drugs. You will learn to replace negative thoughts and actions with healthy ones. 

“This is especially important in the treatment of drug dependence because negative thoughts and feelings can lead to relapse, so developing healthier thought patterns and coping mechanisms is key,” Lin Sternlicht, LMHC, MA, EdM, cofounder of Family Addiction Specialist, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

Contingency Management 

Contingency management involves using rewards to reinforce positive behaviors that keep you away from using prescription drugs, clinical psychologist Tala Johartchi, PsyD, tells WebMD Connect to Care. These rewards could include things like cash prizes or vouchers that can be exchanged for goods and services. You receive rewards when you reach a goal, such as consistent treatment attendance and number of days sober.

Family Therapy

Because addiction affects your relationships with your loved ones and because your loved ones can affect your addiction, you may benefit from including family members in your treatment plan. Your family can help you with recovery and provide a supportive environment that encourages you to stay sober.

“Addiction is a family disease, not an individual disease, so often systemic patterns, behaviors and roles influence and play a role in the individual’s addiction,” Johartchi says.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is often used with individual therapy to provide an outlet where you can be supported by your peers who undergo similar struggles and challenges. This type of emotional support helps to reduce negative emotions associated with addiction drug dependence. 

“Group therapy improves various interpersonal skills, such as communication and conflict resolution skills, improves self-esteem, and results in reduced feelings of isolation and loneliness,” Sternlicht says.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

Substance addiction can affect all areas of your life, so it is important to seek the care you need. Learn to recognize the signs of prescription drug addiction and seek help early on for optimal recovery and rehabilitation. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help. 

Life After Treatment: General Information