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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

02-03-16 | By

The Online Addiction Therapy Program That Could Revolutionize Addiction Treatment As We Know It

Online Addiction Therapy

Successfully completing a drug treatment program is a major accomplishment that give you an overwhelming sense of pride. No matter how long your treatment program, the combination of medical detox, individual and group therapy, life and coping skills training and aftercare programs and sober living helped to address and overcome the issues that kept you stuck in the downward spiral of addiction.

However, the structured and stable environment of drug treatment is vastly different to the environment you are coming home to once treatment is done. It is often said the first few months of recovery are when those newly sober are most vulnerable, and the triggers and temptations that can lead to relapse are ever present. In order to minimize the chances of backsliding into active drug use, those who are newly sober need to have many relapse prevention tools at their disposal.

While these relapse prevention tools are beneficial in maintaining long-term recovery, those new in recovery need to protect their newfound investment by any means necessary. One such tool that may change the way we view addiction treatment is an online addiction therapy program called CBT4CBT.

What is CBT4CBT?

CBT4CBT stands for Computer-Based Training for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and it is a computer-based program that teaches those who are in recovery the skills they need to reduce the possibility of relapse in their sobriety. The techniques are based on the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Model (CBT) which enables patients to realize those thoughts and feelings which influences their behaviors.

In the context of drug treatment and relapse prevention, those newly sober can better understand patterns of substance use and learn how to recognize and deal with cravings and urges to use. Additionally, CBT allows people to address their own thoughts and feelings about substance use that can lead them to relapse.

Why Was CBT4CBT Created?

This online addiction therapy program was created by Yale psychiatry professors Kathleen Carroll, Samuel Ball and Steve Martino. CBT4CBT was created from their observations there had been many substance abuse providers who weren’t providing cognitive-behavior therapy to a degree that would be of most benefit to clients who were in treatment.

As a result, CBT4CBT was created as an online supplement to standard CBT offered in drug treatment. This online online addiction therapy program was tested by Carroll, Ball and Martino and there results were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2008. In the study, Carroll, Ball and Martino randomly assigned 77 outpatients who met dependence criteria and who had used drugs or alcohol in the last month to receive the standard treatment of weekly CBT sessions or the standard CBT treatment plus access to CBT4CBT.

After eight weeks of testing, they had found that just over half of those who received just the standard CBT treatment gave urine specimens that tested positive for drugs compared, By comparison, only 34 percent of the specimens submitted by those who also used standard CBT treatment along with the online addiction treatment program tested positive for drugs. Additionally, the participants using the CBT4CBT program also had longer periods of abstinence during treatment.

How Does the CBT4CBT Program Work?

At the core of the CBT4CBT program are seven modules that represent different content areas. These specific lessons focus on familiar CBT themes as understanding patterns of substance use, recognizing triggers that lead to cravings and urges to use, addressing thoughts about substance use that can set you up to use, learning how to effectively say ‘No’ to offers of alcohol or drugs, and how to be more aware of patterns of thinking and decision making that can lead to drug and alcohol use.

The presentation style of the modules in an interactive mix of graphic illustrations, games, videotaped examples, questions, verbal instructions, audio voiceovers, interactive assessments, as well as practice exercises. These modules are meant to be taken once weekly and take about an hour to complete. For those who utilize this online addiction treatment program, they can choose the order in which to take the individual modules and can take them at their own pace.

Is the CBT4CBT Program Available to Everyone?

The program is for anyone who has experienced past issues with drug and alcohol abuse, or who are currently having addiction problems. At the current time, CBT4CBT is only available for those individuals who are currently enrolled in a clinical program or are working with a psychiatrist or psychologist who offers the online addiction treatment program as part of their services. According to the CBT4CBT website, there is testing being done in non-treatment populations.

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