Despite the harm to themselves, loved ones, and their life, someone with an addiction will seek out their substance of choice. However, a person can be addicted to more than drugs and alcohol. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, a person can receive treatment for substance addiction, as well as sex addiction treatment.
Addiction and Treatment
According to the National Institute on Druga Abuse (NIDA), once your body is exposed to substances, you may experience “functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control.” This makes it hard for a person to stop using or want to stop using without treatment.
The point of addiction treatment is to help a person stop engaging in their addiction. This means if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are assisted in stopping their substance use. For other addictions, it starts with stopping engaging in the activity, such as gambling or sex.
Once you are able to stop engaging in the source of the addiction, you can start working on other aspects of the addiction. Addiction treatment is effective when combined with psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and, in some cases, medication-assisted therapy (MAT).
The existence of a mental disorder and substance use disorder (SUD) is called dual-diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. It is common for someone with substance use disorder to develop one or more mental disorders due to chemical changes to the brain circuits.
However, someone with a mental disorder is also more prone to developing SUD. This is because mental disorders change the brain as well, so a person cannot feel pleasure or stress at appropriate levels. Some people turn to substances to help alleviate the symptoms of their other disorders.
When someone has co-occurring disorders, treatment is not effective unless it targets all aspects of a person.
Holistic Healing in Substance and Sex Addiction Treatment
When treating one or more disorders, effective treatment works to heal the whole person. Historically, addiction treatment only focused on helping a person eliminate substance use from their life. This does not pay any mind to other aspects of a person that adds to addiction, such as trauma and biology.
When a person is learning to live with their addiction, appropriate healing helps them identify the drivers of their addiction. This is where holistic treatment is beneficial, as it helps a person heal their mind, body, and psyche.
By using holistic treatment, a person can expect better outcomes, such as:
- Reduced or discontinued substance use
- Improvement in disorder symptoms
- Improved functioning
- Increased chances of treatment success
- Improved quality of life
Addiction does not only include substances. Gambling and sex addiction are commonly known disorders but often overlooked when discussing addiction.
Sex addiction is the constant need to engage in sexual activities, with an unquenchable desire to engage in sexual behaviors. An estimated 80% of people with sex addiction also live with a co-occurring disorder.
Sex Addiction Treatment
Since there is such a high number of people with a sex addiction who also have SUD, many substance addiction treatment centers are now offering treatment for dual diagnosis. Effective sex addiction treatment includes psychotherapy, group support, and, when needed, MAT.
One of the most effective treatments for any mental disorder is psychotherapy. A person can work through trauma by verbally communicating and processing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps a person target inaccurate and distorted thoughts. By processing a person’s thoughts and feelings, they can come to understand their behaviors. Through CBT, a person can realize that their thoughts, emotions, and behavior are all connected. By working through trauma and the cognitive distortions related to that trauma, a person can heal.
Focused Group Support
An important part of healing is having acceptance and understanding. When you need sex addiction treatment or treatment for SUD, you will attend group therapies. Whether in outpatient, inpatient, or sober living homes, group therapy sessions are beneficial for healing.
Working with peers, you get a sense of:
- Universality: Understanding that others share similar thoughts, feelings, and experiences
- Altruism: Improving self-understanding and confidence by helping others
- Hope: Witnessing the success of other group members, can envision success for themselves
- Social techniques: Learning effective ways to interact with others
- Cohesiveness: Experiencing support, trust, and belonging to the group and one another
- Self-understanding: Understanding the factors that influence behavior and emotions
Since everybody interacts with other people and has to work in groups, the practice you get in group therapy can be integral if you were not able to learn certain life skills in childhood.
Medication Treatment Plan
Clinical professionals who handle medications for patients have to be careful with a dual diagnosis of sex addiction and SUD. For someone with a sex addiction, “Medications decrease dopamine when engaging in sexual triggers, stifling the need to pursue specific actions that may result in addiction.”
This means a person can receive relief from sex addiction triggers, but they will have to be mindful of their medication treatment plan and their triggers. However, you do not need to worry as you will work with your treatment team to manage your medications.
Are you living with sex addiction and substance use disorder? Fortunately, there are treatment programs that can help co-occurring disorders. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, you can receive support and understanding for any combination of co-occurring disorders, including sex addiction. Your healing journey is a unique path, and you have specific requirements for your needs. With a safe and supportive environment, Lighthouse Recovery Texas offers different levels of care so you can heal and take care of your out-of-treatment responsibilities. Family, friends, plants, pets, work, and many other life commitments require your attention, but so does your mental health. Contact us at (214) 396-0259 to hear how we can help you heal.