Hey Folks, I know I may not have the rights to call some of you that but, hear me out. Depression is real and sometimes, some people self-medicate to deal with it. No, they do not go to pharmaceutical stores to get medications such as antidepressants. They go to the bars or the stores to get pints or cans or bottles of alcohol. Substance abuse includes the abuse of Alcohol, illicit drugs such as Marijuana, Opioids, Cocaine, Nicotine or the abuse of various combination used together.

The need for a Solution against Substance Abuse

Have you ever wondered why alcohol is cheaper than visiting a psychologist? Well, I do not know either, but human beings tend to go for the more pleasurable and less expensive option in most situations. However, when the alcohol does not work, they turn to addictive substances like narcotics.

Some do not even have to be depressed, they just start taking these drugs for the sake of social mingling and recreation, and before they realize it, they are spiraling down the void of addiction. What happens at the stage of addiction is that these vices start interfering with one’s social status, occupational responsibilities, and biological functionality. Hence, the need for proper intervention and the psychologist will have to be visited for solutions regardless of the price.

These healthcare professional employ the use of antidepressants to treat the disorder of drug and substance abuse. Although, after intensive studies, they observed that individuals get non-compliant in following the drug regimen and the withdrawal backlash from that can be extremely traumatic. It is due to this fact that the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) comes into play.

The Epiphany of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

According to some literature what CBT does is simply a prescription for common sense. CBT assist individuals, who abuse drugs and other substances, in living a balanced and healthy life. Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychosocial therapy used for improving the psychological state of a person. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be traced to as far back as the third century when the philosophy of Stoicism began. It was founded by Zeno of Citium was greatly influenced by certain aspects of the teachings of Socrates.

Clinical researchers have carried out a number of trials to prove the competence of the treatment in the management of substance abuse as well as depression in patients. The result of the studies on the role of Cognitive Behavioral therapy in the treatment of substance abuse has helped physicians in prioritizing the systematic development of individual coping mechanisms to face their current challenges with courage and also implement a favorable and healthy life schedule that influences their minds and belief system.

What do I get from participating in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment Session?

There are quite a few ways that one could experience or partake in the Cognitive Behavioral therapy such as joining a group which has been shown to be productive. Another way is reading self-help CBT guides, which has been shown to be effective as well, most especially when the reading is guided by a psychologist, who can monitor and help them progress systematically.

A very unique and contemporary example is the Computerized Cognitive Behavioral therapy, which eliminates the need to meet with a therapist physically. The only challenge with this method is that the results of individuals who finish the exercises vary, and similarly to the self-help Cognitive Behavioral therapy-guides, the supervision of a therapist may still be required to achieve the optimal productivity.

The final type of access that has been proven to be relatively more efficient in comparison to the remaining modes of participation is the face-to-face therapeutic sessions. The Cognitive Behavioral therapy sessions are scheduled to suit the needs of the patient, and it could range from about six to triple that number for the programme to be completed. Usually, the meetings last about an hour and the interval between successive sessions is from a week to about three weeks depending on the programme. There are specific assignments to be done within those intervals and a report of it given to the therapist at the next meeting.

Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Effective in the Management of Substance Abuse

What makes CBT suited for the treatment of people suffering from substance abuse is the fact that it focuses on their feelings, behavior and thoughts system. Most people only take these substances to reinforce their smitten spirit, enhance their social performance, create a euphoric moment, alleviate their emotional and physical stress, treat an underlying medical problem or cope with withdrawal syndromes. The reason for the dependence is that these substances tend to provide solutions to the reason they are being used without experiencing the vast majority of the consequences.

Then, even when the disadvantages now outweigh the advantages, the user still believes that the use of the substance is rewarding and serving its purpose. But what CBT brings to the table is the analysis of that mentality of the abuser and evaluation of the so-called rewards and implementing basic steps to follow through on the journey to sobriety. This new attitude gives the patient a different form of reward, as they now derive satisfaction and benefit from abstaining and inculcation of positive behavior.

There are two primary approaches CBT takes in treating patients of substance abuse. The first one is to prioritize being sober over the pleasure of the substance use, while the second way is to reinforce the abilities necessary to maintain sobriety without relapsing. This reinforcement could be achieved by

  • Being resolute over the decision to remain sober.
  • Increasing the motivation to change.
  • Rewarding sobriety.
  • Inculcating positive attitude and character in order to discourage the allure to take the substances.
  • Employing the aid of loved ones and support group members to create events that rewards sobriety.
  • Debunking myths.
  • And ultimately developing skills to cope with certain situations and emotions such as fear, loneliness, anxiety, sadness and so on.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is extremely useful in the management and treatment of people suffering from substance abuse and addictions. One can be afforded the chance to get an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation depending on the severity of the addiction. There are aspects of CBT that are also incorporated into the twelve-step program of recovery from alcoholism.






Miller, L. (2016). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Treating Addiction. [online] Project Know. Available at: [Accessed 28 Feb. 2018].

Newman, C. F. (2001). Cognitive therapy of substance abuse. Guilford Press.

Field, T. A., Beeson, E. T., & Jones, L. K. (2015). The new ABCs: A practitioner’s guide to neuroscience-informed cognitive-behavior therapy. Journal of Mental Health Counseling37(3), 206-220.