Using CBT As an Effective Means of Addiction Counseling and Therapy

Life is not always a bed of roses. There are times when we have to face many challenges, trials and tribulations. This makes the task of facing up to life rather tough and challenging too. Sometimes these challenges are in the form of addictions that people contend with and find it very tough to come up trumps against.

Addictions can get quite debilitating sometimes. There are some folks who get so dependent on habits like taking drugs or alcohol, or perhaps even being addicted to sex that normal life becomes quite tough on them. You may have seen some people being so addicted to drugs or alcohol that they ruined their health as well as family life. Such people need help, and urgently, which could be in the form of CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is extremely helpful and has seen to be very effective in helping people kick off various kinds of addictions that they may have got entangled with.

The basic premise on which CBT is based on is the fact that we are creatures who are guided by our thoughts. Thoughts are the source from which emotions and actions spring up in our life. If you dwell on this, you will realize that this is quite true. When you feel sad or perhaps angry, you would know that thoughts would be at the root of such emotions, as we think first and then we feel or act. After all, we are thinking beings and not mindless zombies or robots.

CBT helps addicts to analyze their behavior patterns and addiction induced actions, so that they can isolate those thoughts that make them prone to addiction. It is true that an addict to drugs or alcohol is feeling some lack, which is prompting him to indulge in addiction to fill that need. With CBT, the trained therapist would be able to help the addict understand as to what are the specific situations and thoughts that act as triggers forcing the person to give in to addiction.

Using CBT, it would be possible for the patient to replace negative and addiction causing thought with positive and wholesome thoughts that can slowly but surely cause less dependence on the addiction. Thought replacement is a very powerful technique that CBT is able to very effectively induce. This helps the addict to kick the habit that is so harmful.

Florida Prescription Drug Addiction Can Lead to Deadly Polydrug Abuse

Prescription drugs can be dangerous to your health, and many are seriously addictive and can even kill you. But a recent Florida study of drug-related deaths in Florida reveals that far more people suddenly fall victim to lethal drug combinations — called polydrug abuse — than to individual drugs, and it can happen to recreational users as well as those trapped by prescription drug addiction.

It’s common knowledge that prescription drug addiction has become a national nightmare. But sudden death from prescription drugs is the topic of news stories every day. The Florida study, an analysis of 168,900 deaths statewide in 2007 by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, found that deaths from prescription drugs were three times the rate of deaths caused by traditional illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

For example, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine caused 989 deaths, whereas legal painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin caused 2,328, the report states. And benzodiazepines, including antidepressants like Valium and Xanax, led to 743 deaths. Although the number of people who died with heroin in their bodies increased 14 percent to 110, deaths from the opioid painkiller oxycodone increased 36 percent to 1,253 — more than 10 times as many as heroin.

Oxycodone is the heroin-like ingredient in the highly publicized and much-abused painkiller OxyContin, responsible for literally thousands of cases of prescription drug addiction, injury and death across the country. Obviously, heroin and oxycodone are interchangeable, and addicts are happy to get their hands on either drug.

But digging a little deeper into the statistics, we begin to see how polydrug dangers eclipse individual deaths. The report shows oxycodone implicated in 664 deaths in combination with other drugs, and only 41 by itself. The similar drug hydrocodone, available as Vicodin, Lortab, a ton of other brands, and generically, claimed 251 deaths in combination, and only 13 alone. Propoxyphene, well-known as Darvon, was connected to 76 deaths in combination with other substances, and only nine by itself.

Don’t forget that opioid painkillers, all on their own, are responsible for hundreds of times as many cases of prescription drug addiction than deaths, and every prescription drug addiction is a potential funeral just waiting to happen.

Now come the psych drugs — antidepressants, antipsychotics, tranquilizers and on and on, every bit as dangerous in their own lethal way as the opioids.

Diazepam, widely prescribed as Valium, was implicated in 171 deaths when combined with other drugs, and only three by itself. And alprazolam, best known by the trade name Xanax, was linked to 556 deaths in combination with other substances, and just six deaths alone.

This in no way minimizes the risk of prescription drug addiction caused by any single psych drug on its own, either. Every one of them, all on its own, can cause dependency or a prescription drug addiction, terrible side effects, withdrawal leading to injury, and even death.

But 10 times as many deaths from prescription drugs in combination with other drugs shows that polydrug abuse is a new and very serious problem. For those still alive and seeking recovery, a combination of prescription drug addiction and polydrug abuse is a complex problem for medical drug detox centers to deal with — more difficult to solve than a single prescription drug addiction. But thank goodness, when done properly, safe solutions are possible.

In the final analysis, the Florida report clearly illustrates how polydrug abuse can very quickly and unexpectedly end a life, before the victim has a chance to handle their dependency or addiction through a competent medical drug detox program.

Addiction Isn’t All In You’re Head

Traditionally, much discussion about addiction causes and the treatments has centered on the mind. The weak-minded and weak willed were more likely to become addicted, and treatment required a strengthening of mind and will. Somehow, it’s the addicts fault – whether the object of addiction is drugs, alcohol, smoking food, sex, gambling or any other “abnormal” craving.

Increasingly, however, research is showing that both cause and treatment for addiction centers on the brain – not just in the mind. Much as presence of certain genes is thought to trigger cancer and a host of other diseases, so now is the medical community learning that many addiction core causes and cures result from a variety of genes specific to different ailments. For example, the gene that causes food addiction is different from the one that causes alcohol addiction.
Here’s how it unfolds: the majority of people are born with about 400,000 brain receptor sites for the chemical dopamine, crucial to processing the stressful events of life. About one-third of the population, carriers of an addiction gene, is born with only half as many receptor sited, so dopamine can’t permeate the brain as it does in the non-addictive brain. These people have great difficulty processing stress, and tend to be anxious, depressed and on edge, as in the case of “road rage”.

Food, sex, alcohol, drugs gambling – as well as other substances and behaviors – trigger dopamine release. in the receptor-deficient population, the resulting dopamine flood tied to the specific addiction gene in that person’s body causes the brain to release a secondary, highly addictive chemical. From then on, the person intensely craves the feeling of normalcy brought about by the addictive substance.

In the case of substances like alcohol and drugs, use destroys more dopamine receptor sites, so increasing amounts of the substance are needed to create the same high. this accounts for the ever-increasing quantities of alcohol and drugs consumed to feel good and achieve some measure of stress relief.

Fortunately there are remedies for this physiologically based addiction cures. Treatments featuring proprietary mixes of amino acids, peptides, vitamins, minerals and certain nutrients are shown to help to reverse the genetic damage. Administered intravenously or orally, these treatments help repair the damage – thereby boosting the brain’s ability to produce dopamine.

Our Third Generation Genetic Repair System program, for example, is administered intravenously under the supervision of a licensed physician for about 10 days. While it has consistently produced dramatic results in reversing physiological addictions, a comprehensive psychological counseling program that supports the continuation of the persons newfound lifestyle also is critically important to long-term success.