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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Originally Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was developed to help the individual with alcoholism recognize trigger situations or events and prevent relapse by improving the individual’s self-control and developing coping methods. Since then it has become a therapy used for cocaine and many other drug addiction.

It is based on recognizing problems or behaviors that would put the person at risk of using and learning new skills to deal with these and prevent or stop usage. This demands self-control and developing insight into one’s own feelings and knowing how to deal with situations or recognizing and avoiding the high-risk events that can occur.

There are several approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

How CBT is Applied

In CBT, each cocaine use during treatment is used to identify the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and circumstances before and after the substance is used. This identification, called functional analysis, plays a critical role in early treatment in helping both patient and therapist determine the situations or events that are likely to lead to alcohol or drug use and provides some insights into what triggers usage. The urge to use drugs can be attributed to situations of interpersonal difficulties, unavailable satisfaction in the person’s life, and many others. Later in the treatment, this same therapeutic analysis can help identify the lingering situations in which the person still has difficulty coping.

Addiction Treatment Setting

CBT is usually an outpatient treatment program. Because it focuses on the reasons for substance abuse the day-to-day life of the patient will bring about situations and events to work on. The therapist will also be able to develop and refine functional analyses to help the individual develop new skills by knowing what their life is like, what they do to spend time, and where they live. Also by living in their regular lives it becomes easier to see how they can apply these new skills on a daily basis and immediately see what works and does not work for the individual and permits the development of new “strategies” or skills to cope.

Who Qualifies for CBT

CBT is not recommended as an outpatient program for all cases. The patient must have a stable living arrangement. A medical physical pre-assessment is mandatory.

To receive immediate assistance for alcohol or drug treatment in Canada, call and speak with one of our experienced drug addiction counselors.


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