Therapy to Quit Addiction
Functioning Psychology offers a Short-Term Therapy (25 sessions) to quit addiction, focused treatment based on Cognitive-behavioral approach, to help (cocaine, cannabis, nicotine) dependent individuals become abstinent from the substance. This approach targets learning processes as the key elements in the development and continuation of cocaine, cannabis, nicotine abuse and dependence. During therapy, the same learning processes can be used in order to reduce the substance use.
RECOGNIZE, AVOID AND COPE: these are the treatment key words.
Why CBT to Quit Drugs Addiction?
Research has shown that CBT approach is particularly promising as a treatment for cocaine abuse and dependence because has been extensively evaluated in rigorous clinical trials and has solid empirical support as treatment for cocaine abuse. CBT is structured, goal-oriented, and focused on the immediate problems faced by abusers entering treatment who are struggling to control their substance use. In addition, CBT is a flexible, individualized approach that can be adapted to a wide range of patients. CBT is also compatible with a range of other treatments the patient may receive, such as pharmacotherapy.
General Components of CBT
CBT has two important elements: Functional analysis useful to identify the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and circumstances before and after the substance use, and skills training, a highly individualized training program that helps substance abusers unlearn old habits associated with abuse and learn or relearn healthier skills and habits.
Therapy Format to Quit Addiction
Length to Quit Addiction and Drugs Abuse
The short term program is offered in 25 sessions ( individual sessions of 60 minutes ), usually over 20 weeks. This comparatively brief, short-term treatment is intended to produce initial abstinence and stabilization. In many cases, this is sufficient to bring about sustained improvement for as long as a year after treatment ends.
For many patients, however, brief treatment is not sufficient to produce stabilization or lasting improvement. 1n these cases, CBT is seen as preparation for longer term treatment. Further treatment is recommended directly when the patient requests it or when the patient has not been able to achieve 3 or more weeks of continuous abstinence during the initial treatment.
It is recommended to continue weekly sessions during the 6 months following the initial treatment phase.
Unique Intervention to Quit Addiction
The key active ingredients that distinguish CBT from other therapies and that must be delivered for adequate exposure to CBT include the following:
– Functional analyses of substance abuse
- Individualized training in recognizing and coping with craving, managing thoughts about substance use, problem solving, planning for emergencies, recognizing seemingly irrelevant decisions, and refusal skills
- Examination of the patient’s cognitive processes related to substance use
- Identification and debriefing of past and future high-risk situations
- Encouragement and review of extra-session implementation of skills
- Practice of skills within sessions
The Short-Term Program to Quit Addiction is recommended by the Treatments Guidelines of NIDA (National Institute for Drug Abuse, USA).
Francesca Eleuteri worked at the Ward for Addictive Disorders at the Day Hospital of Clinical Psychiatry of the “A. Gemelli” University General Hospital in Rome and Lumsa University, Department of Cognitive Psychology and Child Neuropsychology, and at the Santa Lucia Foundation, Neurorehabilitation centre in Rome. She also holds a certificate in “Understanding drugs and addiction” from the King’s College London.
Academic Researches on Addictions
- “Sex differences in tobacco withdrawal: effects on executive functioning”
- Abstract: Tobacco abstinence is associated with impaired cognitive functioning, particularly in the area of sustained attention and working memory. Recently studies focused on individual differences, such as gender, to explain some nicotine addiction features. It seems that tobacco abstinence significantly reduces memory performance under full attention conditions for males but not for females. Smokers were tested twice after 2 hours abstinence in a counterbalanced order on the Italian version of JEF® task. Smoking status was manipulated within subjects in a repeated measures design. The results from this study are not consistent with our first hypothesis, that acute smoking abstinence would be associated with a decrease in executive functioning, whereas is consistent with our second hypothesis, that there are sex differences in performance in response to abstinence. In abstinence condition, males performed better than on ad libitum condition and compared to females, whereas, females performance remained steady across the two conditions.
- University Partners: Lumsa University in Rome, Goldsmiths University in London
Academic Publications on Addictions
- Eleuteri, F., Jansari, A., Falcone, C. and Arduino, S.L. (2015). Sex differences in tobacco withdrawal: effects on executive functioning, Psychopharmacology, (in preparation).
Academic and Public Health Presentation on Addictions
- “Gender differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functions”, poster presentation to International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS), Vienna, Austria, 23-25 March, 2017. Program.
- “Gender Differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functions”, poster and oral presentation to XXII° National AIP Congress, Experimental Psychology Division, Rome, Italy, September 20-22, 2016. Read the programme here.
- “Effects of Tobacco Withdrawal on Executive Functioning”, poster presentation to International Neuropsychological Society 2016 Mid Year Meeting, London, UK, July 6th -8th, 2016. The website of the INS 2016. Read the programme of INS 2016 here.
- “Sex Differences in Tobacco Withdrawal: Effects on Executive Functioning”, poster and oral presentation to thirty-fourth European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology: an interdisciplinary approach, Bressanone, Italy, January 24-29, 2016. Read the abstract here.
- Lecturer at the conference “Project Punto&Capo: results and prospects of the work did in the district F2 on addictions ” at the Council Chamber of the City of Ladispoli (RM), 14/11/2013.
Preview of our Books on Drugs Addiction (Italian Language)