AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Around 10% of people suffer from serious addictions. Drinking, gambling, shopping, smoking, adult movies, casinos etc. There are several treatment options. Sessions in counselors’ offices are frequently chosen but clinics, self-help programs and self-help groups are options, too. Which are the differences between specialized clinics and self-help programs?

Self Help Programs Addiction Therapies   In A Clinic Or With Self Help Programs

Is one of them better than the other?

Obviously, clinics and similar institutions were built to make addicts quit their addictions and there are dedicated ones for each of the major addictions. Physicians, counselors and nurses work seven days a week to take care of their patients. Usually, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy and physical education are used to support addicts breaking their habits. Psychoanalysis serves to retrieve problematic experiences from earlier in life. Such life events can be the reasons why addictions develop.

What do patients learn in a clinic?

Another important element is cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s directed both to present times and to the future. Addicts apply new strategies how to manage pressure, stress and craving in a healthier way and they learn how to prevent and contain relapse. In clinics, specialists are available to answer questions and they will help analyze psychological problems. Patients usually feel less alone. Addicts will meet others with similar problems and may open up and talk about their own hopes, frustrations and traumatic experiences that they might have experienced earlier in life.

Disadvantages of clinics

Although these are many advantages, there are also several shortcomings of addiction therapies in clinics and similar institutions. First of all, costs are high and intimidate many people. Usually, rehabs will last between one and three months and cost thousands of dollars. It goes without saying that self-help programs are much cheaper. The 24/7 support in a clinic can become a disadvantage, too. Addicts are taken care of around the clock and the world inside the clinic is somewhat artificial. Addicts can find it very stressful to face normal life with all its temptations once they are at home again. Three out of four patients face strong relapses within the first year after going to rehab.

Self-help programs

With self-help programs, addicts learn how to break their addiction within their usual environment. Progress can be less fast and relapses can happen more often in the beginning. On the other hand, in the long run, progress can be greater and can be achieved while investing much less money into the treatment . Another good thing about self-help programs is that the therapy and the subsequent progress can happen immediately. Rehab centers and counselors normally have many months of waiting time. Moreover, self-help programs are available independent of the addict’s location. What is missing in those programs is the one-on-one assistance. Participants are by themselves. No psychotherapist is sitting next to them. Good self-help programs offer individual coaching by email and chat, though.

Several keys to success

Therefore, discipline in really sticking to the program is key. Patients should spend an hour or two per day working through all the materials that they receive. If they stay focused on it during a period of several weeks, they have good chances to overcome their problems and improve their quality of life substantially. The advantage of rehab center is that patients can be fully concentrated on their therapy and don’t face major distractions.

About Author :  Frank Lavario, founder and author of the Lavario self help programs against addictions. My colleagues and I have been supporting addicts from numerous countries and cultures during the last few years. Every now and then we write articles about our experience.


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