Why is a psychological evaluation and therapy necessary?
While many people assume that physical withdrawal and cravings are the main driver of opioid abuse, actually the main contributors are strong survival responses of the subconscious brain to trauma emotions and other uncomfortable mental triggers that result in powerful cravings for relief. The brain places an extremely high priority on escaping from these painful emotions. The drive to “escape” from these emotions is as high as the irresistible survival craving for water after not having anything to drink for days in the desert. Resisting the drive to satisfy these “escape” urges is almost impossible. Feelings like sadness, despair, fear, boredom, stress, anxiety, rejection, anger, overwhelm and betrayal can all trigger these powerful cravings to “escape” by using opioids. Therapy, both group and individual, have a great depth of data showing effective aid in helping the brain overcome addiction cravings.
Our psychologist will perform a global psychiatric evaluation to help identify personality disorders, mood disorders and traumas that may act as triggers for intense craving, even a year after detox. Therapy is so essential that we make it a mandatory component of our treatment. We will refer patients to excellent local therapists. Alternatively, our addiction psychologist, will lead virtual group therapy sessions that you can select to participate in to satisfy our therapy requirement. While group therapy has been shown to be more effective than individual therapy for addiction treatment, there are many mental health issues that need an individual therapist. We will guide you to the appropriate type of therapy and tell you if you need individual therapy.