Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Treat Substance Abuse



Substance abuse behavior therefore results mainly from the long term substance exposure on the functioning of brain. Substance abuse and addiction is certainly a brain illness that affect the functionalities of the brain circuits, such as those involving memory and learning, reward and motivation, as well as inhibitory control over behavior. It is worth noting that, substance addiction and abuse are viewed as learned behaviors that are acquired through experience. Cognitive behavioral therapy treatment is an approach geared towards improving the behavioral and cognitive skills of the patient abusing substances by changing their substance use behavior. The term cognitive behavior therapy or treatment refers to the idea that behaviors and feelings are usually caused by an individual’s thoughts, and not on outside stimuli such events, situations, and people. According to therapists of cognitive behavior, individuals may not be in a position to change their situations, but they are capable of changing how they think about these circumstances and therefore change the way in which they feel and behave (Sanchez, 1996). In the treatment of substance abuse, the objective of Cognitive behavioral therapy is therefore, to teach an individual to be able to recognize circumstances in which they are most likely to use such substances, avoid these situation if possible, and how to cope with other behaviors and problems which might lead to their substance abuse. Although Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat a variety of other disorders such as anxiety, phobias, depression and other mental disorders, study shows that this form of treatment is very valuable in helping individuals who are addicted to substance abuse most especially as part of an overall program of recovery (Monti., at el 1999). Finney, is of the view that Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short term, therapeutic approach aimed at helping substance dependant individuals become abstinent by applying the same learning procedure the individual used initially to develop the behavior of substance abuse(1998). Behavioral treatment therefore, assists patients of substance abuse to engage in the process of their treatment, by means of modifying their behaviors and attitudes related to substance abuse, and alleviate healthy life skills. Certainly, this form of treatment can enhance the viability of medication and assist individuals entangled in substance abuse stay in the treatment long enough to full recovery. Discussion According to Miller &amp. Mastria, the deficits in skills for coping with the consequences and antecedents of substance abuse are considered to be a major factor in the development and endurance of the abusive behavior (1997). Accordingly, considerable effort has been devoted to evaluating the veracity of cognitive behavior coping skills treatment, to determine whether or not it has practical utility as a method of effectively mitigating the risk and curtailing substance abuse behavior. A majority of clinical research on this form of treatment have produced an overwhelming evidence of its effectiveness compared to other methods of substance abuse treatment (Monti., at el 1999). Even though there are a number of vital issues regarding the cognitive behavioral therapy that are not yet resolved, this form of treatment has a firm theoretical foundation, and the proof supporting the treatment efficacy and relapse prevention is equal if not