Why Therapy Alone Isn’t Enough in Getting Clean


Mental health counseling can play a crucial role in addiction recovery. Therapy gives patients the tools they need to avoid triggers, cope with unpleasant feelings, and resist the urge to use drugs and alcohol.

Therapy, however, isn’t enough for addicts to get clean. People living with substance abuse need help from medical professionals who know the most effective ways to reach and maintain sobriety. Therapy can play an important role in long-term sobriety, but it often fails when patients don’t receive the medical care and support that they need.

Withdrawal Symptoms Need Medical Management

Withdrawal symptoms force a lot of addicts to use drugs and alcohol. During the pain of withdrawal, people will do practically anything to escape the side effects.

Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the substance a person abuses. For example, alcoholics who quit “cold turkey” may experience symptoms like high blood pressure, fever, hallucinations, confusion, and anxiety. People severely addicted to alcohol can even die from seizures caused by sudden withdrawal.
Medical detoxing lessens the severity of withdrawal symptoms and makes it easy for addicts to survive the first stage of getting clean.

The Meadows Texas takes an evidence-based approach to manage the symptoms of withdrawal.

Medications Used to Encourage Getting Clean

The Meadows Texas uses a variety of medications to help patients get clean. Patients addicted to alcohol benefit from:

  • Naltrexone that reduces alcohol cravings and the rewards from drinking.
  • Acamprosate that makes long-term withdrawal symptoms manageable.
  • Disulfiram that diminishes the appeal of drinking by making people sick when they consume alcohol.

Patients recovering from heroin and opioid addictions get help from:

  • Methadone that reduces symptoms and changes how the brain responds to pain.
  • Naltrexone that reduces cravings and prevents the rewards of using opioids.
  • Buprenorphine that produces a weak reward while withdrawing from opiates.

Including these medications in treatment plans increases the chances of long-term sobriety by helping people get through the withdrawal period and finding substances less satisfying to use.

The Meadows Texas campus

Addicts Need Help From Support Networks

Medical detox helps addicts make a big step toward recovery. Everyday challenges, however, can lead to setbacks. That’s why recovering addicts need strong support networks that they can turn to when they feel tempted to use.

Twelve-step programs give millions of people access to support networks and sponsors. Making a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can help addicts remain sober even when they encounter triggers.

Family can also provide much-needed support. The Meadows Texas gets family members involved during the first steps of addiction recovery. Family education teaches loved ones about how addiction functions as a disease; how they can provide support without enabling unhealthy behaviors; and how they can forgive addicts for the mistakes they’ve made.

The center also encourages family to visit their loved ones during recovery. Reestablishing family bonds can create a family support network that addicts need while repairing the harm that addiction may have done to relationships.

Therapy is an integral part of learning to live a sober life. But it is only one part of an effective treatment plan. When addicts get help from experienced medical professionals, they get to recover from their addictions without suffering some of the painful withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to learn strategies for long-term sobriety.