Why is Therapy So Important in Addiction Recovery?

People often confuse physiological dependence with substance use disorder (SUD). While dependence and the experience of going through withdrawal is certainly part of addiction, SUD encompasses more than that. Addiction is a complex brain illness that may cause someone to relapse long after they’ve fully detoxified.

Fortunately, addiction is treatable. The right treatment will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs. However, there are several evidence-based approaches that have been proven effective at helping someone get and remain sober. Often, this involves a combination of medication and therapy.

One of the many harmful effects of prolonged misuse of certain substances is how they can hijack the motivation and reward centers of the brain. When this happens, therapy is vital to alter problematic thought and behavioral patterns and reward positive changes.

Patients must also learn to recognize, avoid, and overcome triggers that cause them to want to use drugs or alcohol.

It’s also important for patients to become invested and motivated in their own sobriety and to learn to form and maintain strong interpersonal relationships.

There are several forms of therapy that have been proven effective at treating drug and alcohol addiction. Some of these include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Contingency management interventions.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy.
  • Motivational interviewing.
  • Family therapy.
  • 12-step facilitation therapy.

Many rehab centers, like Recovery First, offer alternative therapies in addition to the evidence-based approaches listed above. When used in conjunction with proven techniques, supplemental therapies may help someone become more invested in their own recovery or provide other intangible benefits. Recovery First offers the following alternative therapies and more:

  • Recreational therapy.
  • Art therapy.
  • Writing and recovery.
  • Meditation and mindfulness.

The continuum of care at Recovery First encompasses several treatment options. Since addiction treatment is a highly individualized process, adjustments may need to be made throughout the process based on an individual’s needs. It is common for someone to complete a more intensive treatment level and “step down” to a less-intensive option. The levels of care offered at Recovery First include:

  • Medical detox.
  • Intensive rehabilitation.
  • Residential treatment.
  • Partial hospitalization (day treatment).
  • An intensive outpatient program.

There are also specialized treatment tracks for veterans and first responders and healthcare professionals.

Finally, aftercare is an important component of rehabilitation treatment as well. Recovery is a life-long process and former patients may benefit from staying in a sober-living facility after completing rehab or attending counseling, weekly peer-support meetings and sober events. Recovery First facilitates entry into an aftercare program that meets the patient’s needs. Former patients are given access to the Alumni App, which makes it easy to stay in touch with their peers in recovery, track recovery milestones, and get notified about upcoming sober events.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can seem hopeless at times. But it’s not too late to get help. Please reach out to an admissions navigator at to learn more about the treatment options and care provided at Recovery First.

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Recovery First is located in Hollywood, Florida, which is easily accessible from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Our small groups means you get more one-on-one support and make stronger connections with the community. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Florida's Atlantic coast or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.