Therapists who follow the disease model of addiction understand the condition to be a brain disorder. As such, it has physical symptoms. You experience this struggle when trying to overcome a psychological and physical dependence on a drug. These symptoms can range from mildly unpleasant to unbearable discomfort. However, what are your options?
Understanding Physical Dependence
If you experience withdrawal symptoms when quitting a drug, you’ve likely formed a physical dependence. For example, you may experience headaches when you quit drinking caffeine. Your body has come to rely on the substance. When you withhold it, the body reacts to the sudden loss of the chemicals.
Of course, a caffeine headache is benign. The withdrawal symptoms associated with other drugs, such as alcohol or opioid painkillers, are far more dangerous. A physical addiction convinces your body that it needs the substance to stay alive. In the case of alcohol, you might be dealing with seizures and severe nerve jitters.
Cocaine withdrawal may lead to bouts of depression. Staying away from heroin can result in anxiety. In short, every addictive substance has its own set of withdrawal symptoms that signal a physical addiction. The good news is that treatment lets you overcome this dependence.
Handling a Psychological Dependence
Overcoming a psychological addiction takes longer. You wrestle with the mental cravings for the drug. You want to relive the euphoric high you experienced when you first started using.
During rehab, you battle your brain’s pleasure center, which wants to experience the high again. It’ll try to persuade you to rationalize drug use. However, experts will encourage you to participate in addiction therapy services, featuring modalities such as:
- Individual therapy that allows for the exploration of disruptive patterns in thoughts and feelings
- Group therapy that opens the door for peer support
- Family therapy that makes it possible to build your support network by overcoming trust issues and rebuilding connections
- Holistic addiction treatment that embraces an overall wellness approach using yoga, meditation, and nutritional counseling
- Experiential therapy that encourages non-verbal communication of feelings and thoughts via recreational activities
Reality Therapy Helps Overcome Physical Dependence
Reality-based therapy refers to the practice of putting you into everyday situations. There’ll be plenty of assistance from counselors and therapists. Examples might include outings, such as a night at the movies or a trip to the bowling alley. The goal is to put you into a situation that you’ll find yourself in after treatment.
But now, you’re participating while sober. In the past, you were probably high, trying to get high, or attempting to buy the drug. By unlearning those behaviors in a real situation and acquiring new ones, you create a relapse prevention strategy. Combined with the other treatments, conditions that might stump someone else in recovery will be easier for you to handle.
Don’t let the fear of ending an addiction stand in the way of living life to the fullest. Reach out to the caring therapists at Crest View Recovery Center for help. Call 866.327.2505 today for more information.