Five Types of Therapy That Can be Used to Treat Alcoholism

Five Types of Therapy That Can be Used to Treat Alcoholism

Five Types of Therapy That Can be Used to Treat Alcoholism

Alcohol addiction is a complex and challenging condition affecting millions worldwide. It is a chronic disease characterized by a person’s inability to control or stop their consumption of alcohol, despite the negative consequences it may bring to their physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Recognizing the gravity of this issue, it becomes crucial to shed light on effective treatment approaches that can help overcome alcohol addiction and regain control of their lives.

At AspenRidge, a leading alcohol rehab center in Denver, we understand addiction’s complexity and the challenges families face when trying to help their loved ones.

In this article, we will explore five types of therapy that can be used to treat alcoholism. By understanding the various therapeutic modalities available, individuals struggling with alcohol addiction and their loved ones can gain insights into the options and make informed decisions about the most suitable treatment path to pursue. We will also explore the addiction treatment process and what clients can expect when enrolling in an alcohol addiction program.


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Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction, also known as alcoholism, is a chronic and progressive disease characterized by a person’s compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol. It goes beyond occasional excessive drinking and involves a physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. Individuals with alcohol addiction experience a loss of control over their drinking, continue to drink despite negative consequences, and may even prioritize alcohol over other aspects of their life.

Alcohol addiction is a pervasive issue in society, affecting individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It can lead to severe health problems, strained relationships, legal issues, and a decline in overall quality of life. The scope of alcohol addiction reaches far beyond the individual, impacting families, communities, and society as a whole.

Five Types Of Therapy That Can Be Used To Treat Alcoholism

Impact of Alcohol Addiction on Individuals and Society

The impact of alcohol addiction is far-reaching and multifaceted. On an individual level, alcohol addiction can lead to physical health problems such as liver disease, cardiovascular issues, and neurological impairments. It can also contribute to mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide. Additionally, alcohol addiction can negatively affect personal relationships, employment stability, financial well-being, and educational attainment.

At the societal level, the consequences of alcohol addiction are significant. Alcohol-related accidents and incidents place a burden on emergency services and strain public resources. By understanding the impact of alcohol addiction, we can recognize the urgency of effective treatment and support systems.

“61.3% of excessive alcohol use deaths in Colorado are from chronic causes, such as Alcohol Use Disorder.”

Dual Diagnosis: Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders

Dual diagnosis refers to the simultaneous presence of a substance use disorder, like alcohol addiction, and a co-occurring mental health disorder. It is not uncommon for individuals struggling with alcoholism to also experience conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or bipolar disorder.

The significance of dual diagnosis lies in the fact that addressing both alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders is crucial for successful treatment outcomes. These conditions often interact and influence each other, making it essential to develop integrated treatment approaches that target both aspects simultaneously. Failing to address the co-occurring disorder can hinder progress in recovery and increase the risk of relapse.

Common Co-Occurring Disorders with Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction frequently co-occurs with various mental health disorders. Depression is one of the most prevalent co-occurring disorders among individuals struggling with alcoholism. The relationship between alcohol and depression is complex, as alcohol initially provides a temporary escape from depressive symptoms but can ultimately worsen them over time.

Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder, also commonly co-occur with alcohol addiction. People with these disorders may turn to alcohol as a means of self-medication to alleviate their anxiety symptoms, leading to a harmful cycle of dependence and increased anxiety.

Other co-occurring disorders with alcohol addiction include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often seen in individuals who have experienced trauma, and bipolar disorder, characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania. Recognizing and addressing these co-occurring disorders alongside alcohol addiction is crucial for providing comprehensive and effective treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Addressing Co Occurring Disorders

Five Types of Therapy for Treating Alcoholism

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used therapeutic approach in treating alcohol addiction. It focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to alcohol abuse. Through CBT, individuals learn coping skills, develop strategies to manage triggers and cravings, and cultivate healthier habits and beliefs. This therapy empowers clients to understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and actions, enabling them to make positive changes in their lives.

“According to a National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) in 2020, Colorado recovery centers used the CBT approach in therapeutic programs at a rate of 93.1%.”

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is designed to enhance a person’s motivation and commitment to change their addictive behaviors. This therapy recognizes that individuals may have mixed feelings or ambivalence about quitting alcohol. MET employs empathetic and non-confrontational techniques to help clients explore and resolve their ambivalence, increase their motivation for change, and set achievable goals for recovery. By addressing the individual’s intrinsic motivation, MET can be a valuable tool in the treatment of alcohol addiction.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) combines elements of cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices. Initially developed to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT has also shown effectiveness in addressing substance use disorders, including alcohol addiction. This therapy helps individuals regulate their emotions, cope with stress, improve interpersonal skills, and develop effective strategies for managing cravings and urges to drink. DBT provides clients with practical skills to navigate challenging situations and build a life worth living without relying on alcohol.

Family Therapy

Family therapy plays a crucial role in alcohol addiction treatment as it recognizes the impact of addiction on the entire family system. It aims to improve family dynamics, foster understanding, and enhance communication among family members. Through therapy sessions, family members learn about addiction, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and rebuild trust and support within the family unit. Family involvement and support significantly contribute to the success of an individual’s recovery journey.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy

12-Step Facilitation Therapy is a widely recognized and widely used approach based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its 12-step program. This therapy encourages individuals to participate in self-help groups, such as AA, and embrace the spiritual and social support they provide. It focuses on accepting powerlessness over alcohol, surrendering to a higher power, and actively engaging in the recovery process. 12-Step Facilitation Therapy has shown effectiveness in promoting abstinence, maintaining sobriety, and building a supportive sober network.

“39.9% of the rehabilitation centers in Colorado in 2020 used 12-Step facilitation in their addiction recovery programs.”

Aspenridge Recovery's Approach To Treatment

AspenRidge Recovery’s Approach to Treatment

AspenRidge Recovery offers comprehensive alcohol addiction treatment programs encompassing various therapeutic approaches. At our locations, clients will find various support options, such as:

With a team of experienced professionals, we are dedicated to guiding clients on their journey to recovery and building a fulfilling life in sobriety.

We can help guide you through the different stages of alcohol rehab and next steps. It’s also critical to understand that treatment is different for everyone and, therefore, a tailored treatment approach is important. Contact us today for more information about Colorado alcohol rehabilitation at 855-281-5588.