The Role of Reality Therapy in Drug Addiction Treatment
Smooth transitions from drug rehab clinics to the outside world can make or break drug addicts’ recoveries. Residential inpatient programs help people make rapid lifestyle changes, but applying those changes to real-life situations can be difficult. Rehab lasts for a few months at most, but addicts must proactively deal with their cravings for the rests of their lives. The struggle to maintain sobriety begins as soon as they leave their treatment facilities. Thankfully, addiction specialists have developed a variety of reality-based therapies to help their patients transition back into society. The following are the three most important ways these therapies are used to apply clinical teachings in the real world.
Bridging the Gap with Lifelike Environments
The most subtle way drug rehab clinicians use reality therapy is to mimic lifelike environments for their inpatients. Addicts’ living facilities contain many of the amenities they would find in their houses and apartments. They have access to television, movies, gyms, and other modes of recreation and relaxation. They also must cook, clean, shop, schedule appointments, and perform other daily activities for themselves – even as they receive fifty or more hours of counseling and other treatments per week.
The effect of these environments is that inpatients quickly learn to apply their new lifestyles and thought patterns to everyday life. By the time they return to their homes, they are already accustomed to living clean and maintaining daily recovery efforts. Overall, this type of therapy drastically reduces the otherwise-stark contrast between the clinical environment and the rest of the world.
Situational Awareness and Control
The central teaching of reality therapy is that there are some situations addicts can control, and others they cannot control. When they learn to recognize the difference, they can make appropriate decisions to avoid drug cravings when possible but mitigate them when necessary.
The practical application of this lesson is that addicts can effectively choose various coping strategies they learned during their individual counseling sessions. In situations they can control, the best option is typically to avoid their addiction triggers – the people, places, and behaviors which threaten relapse by compelling them to use drugs.
However, uncontrollable situations will often produce unavoidable cravings. In these situations, addicts must use various cognitive techniques they learned during rehab to calm their minds, ease their stress, and stay positive. It is impossible to avoid all cravings, and knowing when to employ these stress-management techniques is essential for lasting sobriety.
Forming Better Friendships
Finally, rehab specialists use reality therapies to help patients form better relationships. Another central tenant of this method is that people must learn to satisfy their own needs without infringing on the needs of others. With this goal in mind, addicts learn to relate to people in positive ways – and not to hurt them with their addictive behaviors.
Healthy human connections are important for anyone’s happiness, but they are especially crucial for people struggling to avoid relapse. Even addicts who make great progress during clinical treatment can find it impossible to deal with later cravings without the support of others. Whether they reconnect with lost friends or make new ones, forming better relationships is an indispensable aspect of addicts’ recoveries.
Reality therapy is a fundamental principle of the most successful drug addiction treatment programs in the country. To find out if this type of treatment is right for you, call the number at the top of your screen now. It doesn’t matter what time it is or where you are located – we can help, and the call is completely confidential. Why wait any longer?