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What are the Different Types of Addiction Treatment?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of addiction treatment programs, and some may be more successful than others depending both on the addict and the subject of the addiction. Drug addiction treatment and gambling addiction treatment, for example, are usually very different processes. Typically, a combination of therapy, support, and learning help people overcome addiction. When the addiction is physical, additional medications or even institutionalization may be required.

Addiction treatment can take many forms, and some are more intense than others. A person who simply wishes to recover from addiction without any outside help can often manage to treat his or her addiction by resolving to cease the activity to which he or she is addicted through any number of self-help mechanisms. Minimal help can be obtained through therapy or support groups, and intense help can be found in residential programs that fully control the behavior of patients inside. The exact method by which addiction is treated depends both on the philosophy of the program and the type of addiction at hand.

Drug addiction, for example, is usually treated both with therapy and detoxifying drugs. People who are addicted to drugs often have other problems as well, and sometimes resolving underlying problems can help improve a person's chances of overcoming drug addiction. Gambling addiction is sometimes also treated with medications, as this problem is sometimes related to impulse control. Talking about addiction is almost always a part of addiction treatment, as understanding the nature of addiction can help an addict take control of his or her situation.

It is also possible to treat addictions to other substances, like food or the Internet. Addictions that are almost entirely mental are usually treated through support groups and therapy alone, particularly when the addiction is not life threatening. Some people find that attending special retreats or camps to help jumps tart the recovery process is extremely helpful in this process. These retreats often offer supposedly healthy alternatives to the object of an addiction, such as substituting an obsession with dieting and exercise for a food addiction.

Some people claim that alternative forms of addiction treatment, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, or other alternative medicine procedures, can help overcome addiction. Individual success with these methods may vary, but it is certainly true that seeking treatment can by itself resolve addiction in some cases, because seeking treatment is a manifestation of a person's desire to get better. Personal strength and activities that build mental resolve can be extremely helpful when trying to overcome addiction as well. Any activity that decreases obsession with the object of the addiction can be used as an addiction treatment.

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