Therapy is an essential tool for fighting an addiction. Therapy can help an individual suffering from substance dependence to pinpoint the psychological, emotional, and behavioral factors that may have contributed to the progression of the disease. When a substance abuser detoxifies and the drug or substance is no longer in their system, therapy is an essential part of the process of preventing relapse. Although the body’s purely physical need for the drug is not necessarily present, cravings may still occur. Different forms of therapy can help an individual to identify the situations, people, or places that trigger cravings and how to avoid them. Since cravings may not be avoided in every case, therapy also offers recovering substance abusers the chance to develop strategies to overcome cravings when they occur.

There are a number of different types of therapy, each of which have unique components. Twelve step facilitation therapy is rooted in the twelve step philosophy used by widely-accessed post-addiction treatment programs such as Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA). Motivational enhancement therapy is used to help addicts outline goals and self-motivating factors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another form of therapy that helps individuals who suffer from addictions to actually change their thought processes and emotional patterns. Family behavioral therapy uses aspects of CBT but involves family members in the process. Indeed, combining various types of therapy has been shown to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic forms of treatment.