Reality Therapy for Drug Addiction
The most widely used and statistically proven treatments for drug addiction are called “evidence-based” therapies because of their demanding testing and government approval. These therapies include one-on-one counseling sessions, peer-group discussions, and family therapy. However, there are other highly successful drug addiction treatments which rehab clinicians across the country use every day to treat their patients.
One of these methods is known as reality-based therapy. This group of treatments is designed for two dominant purposes. The first is to mimic the “real” world to which addicts will return after they complete their intensive treatment programs at rehab clinics. The second purpose is to teach addicts coping and problem-solving strategies for facing the unavoidable challenges of a drug-free life. Understanding the way addiction specialists use reality therapy is crucial for addicts making decisions about attending various treatment programs.
One of the problems which rehab specialists must address is the difference between the clinical ecosystem and the outside world. Addicts may make be able to include their therapies and make positive choices in clean, supervised settings, but it becomes much more difficult to continue sobriety in a world filled with drugs.
To make transitioning into everyday life easier for recovering addicts, reality therapists seek to create clinical environments which mimic the outside world as closely as possible. Residential inpatients cook, clean, shop, and manage their living spaces at their clinics just as they would in their houses or apartments. In some situations, they may already make their own appointments and manage their own schedules during their thirty-to-ninety day in-house stays.
Creating such realistic environments allows addicts to connect the positive mental and emotional changes they make during evidence-based therapies with the experiences of everyday life. Blurring the line between the safe, clinical ecosystem and the more risky, consequence-filled outside world allows addicts to make positive choices and continue sobriety as they rejoin society.
The basic philosophy of reality-based therapy is that every person must live in a world filled with other people. Everyone must satisfy his or her own needs without harming other people or preventing them from satisfying their needs. What this method is that everyone is going to encounter some situations which they can control, and others which they can’t control. Addicts who undergo reality therapy learn to recognize the difference and act appropriately.
For example, alcoholics who drink when stressed may not be able to control all of the stressors in their lives. They might not be able to control their workloads at their jobs, or the negative behaviors of certain family members and friends. For these situations, they develop coping mechanisms which allow them to alleviate stress without turning to alcohol.
However, other stressors are under their control. They may be able to break ties with negative people, or they may quit jobs which include continued stress. Alcoholics who undergo reality therapy learn to recognize these types of situations and make proactive decisions to change or avoid them. By exercising control in this way, they altogether avoid temptations to drink.
Overall, reality therapy is one of many effective treatment methods for drug addiction. If you are currently experiencing an addiction, you don’t need to struggle alone. Use the links below to get a toll-free consultation with one of our dedicated addiction specialists. We can find a treatment plan that’s right for you and get you started on the path to recovery.