On the last page, we learned about evidence-based treatments. Now, letʼs take a look at one of these proven treatments for alcohol and other drug use, called CBT for Substance Use Disorders.

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Click on this video to learn about CBT for Substance Use Disorders treatment.

Click the wheel icons to view the treatment steps. The current step will be at the top of the wheel.

Let’s learn about Proven Treatment for Substance Use

What is CBT for Substance Use Disorders?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders (CBT-SUD) is an evidence-based “talk therapy,” or counseling treatment, proven effective in treating alcohol and other drug use. CBT-SUD helps people make and maintain changes in their substance use, better cope with cravings and urges, and improve skills related to alcohol and other drug use, including skills for managing mood, improving communication, and solving problems.

Watch this video to learn more about CBT-SUD treatment. And check out the wheel at the bottom of this page to learn about the specific parts of treatment!

Many years of research have shown that CBT-SUD is an effective treatment for many people with substance use disorders.

CBT-SUD is effective for treating problems related to substance use, like problems with feeling down or on edge, relating to others, and solving problems or making decisions.

Overall, Veterans who participate in CBT-SUD report reduced alcohol and other drug use and improved quality of life.

Substance Use vs Quality of Life

CBT-SUD is recommended by experts as a treatment option for many Veterans with substance use disorders.

CBT-SUD is effective for people of many different backgrounds and for different types of substances.

What Happens in Treatment?

CBT-SUD helps people learn new skills so they can cope better with urges and cravings and make changes in their substance use. It also teaches proven skills for improving communication, better managing mood, and increasing social support.

Click on an item on the wheel to learn about the different steps of CBT-SUD!

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Manage Urges and Cravings

A key part of reducing substance use is learning how to deal with urges and cravings to use alcohol or other drugs. During treatment, you will learn to identify cues (people, places, situations) that increase your desire to use alcohol or other drugs. You will also develop a Coping Plan that includes effective strategies to manage urges and cravings you have.
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Improve Communication Skills

Certain situations, settings, and people can make it hard to resist alcohol or other drugs. Treatment involves learning effective strategies for saying no and getting your needs met. It also involves learning listening skills for improving communication and relationships.
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Learn to Better Manage Mood

Some people use substances to cope with difficult emotions. These emotions are often connected to negative thoughts and to spending little time doing things that bring joy or meaning. When this is the case, treatment includes learning proven skills for changing negative thoughts and spending more time doing things that make you feel good about life.
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Improve Social Support

Having people you care about and can count on is important for feeling good and managing life challenges. For some people, treatment may involve learning skills to improve or increase relationships and support. You and your therapist may choose to invite someone close to you to join one or more sessions to discuss how they can best support you.

Click the arrows below to learn about the different steps of CBT for Insomnia.

Manage Urges and Cravings

A key part of reducing substance use is learning how to deal with urges and cravings to use alcohol or other drugs. During treatment, you will learn to identify cues (people, places, situations) that increase your desire to use alcohol or other drugs. You will also develop a Coping Plan that includes effective strategies to manage urges and cravings you have.

Improve Communication Skills

Certain situations, settings, and people can make it hard to resist alcohol or other drugs. Treatment involves learning effective strategies for saying no and getting your needs met. It also involves learning listening skills for improving communication and relationships.

Learn to Better Manage Mood

Some people use substances to cope with difficult emotions. These emotions are often connected to negative thoughts and to spending little time doing things that bring joy or meaning. When this is the case, treatment includes learning proven skills for changing negative thoughts and spending more time doing things that make you feel good about life.

Improve Social Support

Having people you care about and can count on is important for feeling good and managing life challenges. For some people, treatment may involve learning skills to improve or increase relationships and support. You and your therapist may choose to invite someone close to you to join one or more sessions to discuss how they can best support you.

Next, let’s look a bit closer at what CBT for Substance Use Disorders looks like.

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