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Addiction Disorders Treated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) at New York Behavioral Health

What is Addiction?

Drug addiction and alcoholism can make you feel out of control.  Addictions can make seemingly easy decisions seem impossible.  They can lead you to do and say things you regret soon after, and often time lead to not fulfilling your commitments, responsibilities, or maintaining your relationships.

Your job might suffer, your romantic partner and family members may suffer, your health may deteriorate- you may suffer in every area of your life.  Things that used to be enjoyable may be difficult to do, or may no longer be pleasurable. Maybe all of your attention is on the drug or thinking about your next drink, or maybe it is occasional, and you simply feel like you are only out of control during a binge.  Either way, feeling out of control, having regrets, and being anxious about if things will get worse can be scary.

If you are the loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, you are likely worrying and suffering from the hold drug addiction or alcohol abuse has on the person you love.  You may have difficulty sleeping, never knowing what he or she may be doing that could be dangerous.

There is good news.  New York Behavioral Health therapists can help.  NYBH psychologist and counselors can help those suffering from addiction and they can help loved ones of those with drug abuse and alcohol abuse problems.  Our NYBH therapists use scientifically supported techniques to provide the best addiction treatment we can to you or your loved one.

How Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help with Addiction

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been shown to effectively treat drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Our warm, caring professionals offer CBT in a comfortable setting at New York Behavioral Health, which is conveniently located on Madison Avenue at 42nd Street.  Our compassionate staff have been extensively trained in scientifically supported techniques to efficiently reduce the emotional suffering surrounding addiction as well as CBT tools to reduce cravings and urges and the ability to better cope with them.  We work with clients to determine realistic goals, and while abstinence immediately is the best course for many, reducing harm by gradually cutting down on use until it is at a point where he or she is leading a satisfying life.  Our CBT psychologists or counselors will continually assess the client's functioning to determine the best modifications to the treatment plan as the client improves.  

Starting treatment can be intimidating.  It is important to know we do everything we can to ease clients in to the process of ridding themselves of the suffering of addiction, while also addressing emotional issues (anxiety, guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, and depression), relationship problems, and work performance.  We know there is more to the person than addiction, which is just one way to cope, that may now not be seen as the best path forward. Comprehensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) will be used by an understanding therapist to help with all areas of your life, to reduce the suffering and help build the life you want.

For information about addiction treatment to reduce your suffering, please email or call New York Behavioral Health, and a staff member will be there to answer your questions.  Your privacy and comfort are a priority, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about addiction or addiction treatment.

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If you are interested in more technical details about Addiction, please continue to read below, but at any point feel free to call us if we can be of help.

Addiction Definition

Addiction is a persistent dependence on a substance, despite harmful consequences, that causes tolerance with use and withdrawal symptoms when use declines or ceases.

The DSM-IV-TR includes the terms substance abuse and substance dependence instead of addiction.

Substance abuse is the maladaptive use of a substance that causes significant functional impairment and/or distress.  It also involves at least one of the following symptoms, which must occur within the last 12 months:

  • 1) failure to meet the demands of one's social role (e.g., employee, parent, student)

  • 2) recurrent use where physical harm may result (e.g., operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated)

  • 3) use results in legal problems

  • 4) use continues despite causing or exacerbating social or other interpersonal difficulties (e.g., fighting or arguments)

Substance dependence is the maladaptive use of a substance that causes significant functional impairment and/or distress.  It also involves at least three of the following symptoms, which must occur within the last 12 months:

  • 1) tolerance

  • 2) withdrawal

  • 3) larger than anticipated amounts or durations of use than intended

  • 4) presence of desire and/or unsuccessful efforts to decrease or terminate use

  • 5) significant time and energy are used to obtain, use, or recover from use

  • 6) important activities are reduced or terminated because of use

  • 7) use continues despite knowledge of physical or psychological detriment

It may be specified if physiological dependence is present or absence

The DSM-V (yet to be officially published) is likely to combine and modify these diagnoses.

Addiction Description

Addiction is one of the most controversial terms in the diagnostic literature. It is defined very differently by various professions and from different theoretical orientations within the same field.  Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, nicotine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and many other substances are considered addictive.  A wide variety of behaviors or activities have also been labeled as addictive.  Examples include gambling addiction, compulsive shopping (aka retail therapy), binge eating, overeating, compulsive internet use, pornography addiction, sex addiction, or even exercise.  However, these do not adhere to the standards some use to define addiction.  Some experts that address these issues may even prefer terms of compulsions or abuse, which complicates matters.

Addiction Treatment

There are many different theories of addiction and treatments for addiction. Twelve Step Programs, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, pharmaceutical interventions, and religious interventions are all common.  There is a great deal of evidence that treatment is effective.  The earlier someone addicted seeks help the better. But, it is vital to be in the care of a professional, as withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, therefore it is important for a proper assessment to be conducted and treatment plan to be developed.