Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Treating Drug Addiction With Hypnotherapy

'Malkovich' left this comment on my blog post "How Can You Be Addicted to a Behaviour?": 

'Hypnotherapy sounds exciting. Do you know any cases that managed to deal with drug addiction with this method? I think it's all in our minds most of the time.'
To answer this question I found a great article from hypnotichealing.co.uk/ that discusses some of the main points surrounding uses of hypnosis for drug addiction. Beneath that I have included some research (including a case study) that shows how effective hypnosis can be in successfully treating drug addiction. 
It has often been said that one of the hardest things to tackle is drug addiction. However there are ways to help people who are addicted to drugs. One of these is to use hypnosis. There are several centers that use group hypnosis to tackle this problem.
First of all, just as it would happen in an individual session, the sufferers will be prepared, by being given a thorough explanation of the process. Then trance will be induced, deepened and used by giving detailed suggestions geared towards cessation of the destructive habit.
Suggestions to this effect will probably make willing subjects give up their addiction for the foreseeable future, provided their motivation to change was strong.
The only problem with this is its generalized approach. Because the therapy is not individualized and since people get addicted to drugs for all kinds of personal reasons and might be at different stages in their process of healing,  it might be that this way of working is only suited to some and not to all.
It is well known that hypnotherapy can be highly effective in treating people with an addiction to cigarettes. In the same way other addictions can be treated very effectively because the same principle is at work: hypnosis bypasses the critical conscious mind and deals directly with the subconscious.
Clinical trials have showed that out of ten individuals that tried group hypnosis to treat their drug addiction, all of them stayed drug free for six months after their sessions came to an end. However, after two years had passed, seven out of ten stayed drug free while the other three went back to taking drugs.
Obviously these results are very positive, and while results may not show up immediately, after a few sessions it has been proven that people stay clean for an average of two years or more.
There are some factors that are going to influence whether an addict is going to respond positively to this “group” approach. First of all, as already mentioned, there must be a strong motivation to stay free of drugs and a willingness to try hypnotherapy.
One of the first things you should ask yourself, if you have a drug problem, is whether you are willing to admit that you do have a problem and if you would be comfortable to join a centre for rehabilitation. Once there you could try many of the different techniques that will be on offer and if you don’t succeed with the others, try group hypnosis.
If on the other hand you feel you’d rather seek individual treatment you could see a hypnotherapist as well as a counsellor / psychotherapist and tackle the problem with their joined support. It is very important when you do this that you are truthful and you collaborate fully with them. They are bound by confidentiality and they will be able to help you more if you answer their questions with honesty.
Hypnotherapy, whether used in a group or not is very helpful in the treatment of addictions and it has been found to be highly effective in treating people with all sorts of issues. The only prerequisite is to be open to it working.
Whether you decide to go for the group sessions or the individual therapy, one session is not going to enough. A few sessions will be necessary (probably more when group hypnosis is concerned), but you will be able to feel the results fairly quickly, within the fist few days or weeks after you have started seeing a hypnotherapist.
And for the research... (courtesy of http://www.answers.com/)
Hypnosis Shows 77 Percent Success Rate for Drug Addiction                                               Treatment has been used with 18 clients over the last 7 years and has shown a 77 percent success rate for at least a 1-year follow-up. 15 were being seen for alcoholism or alcohol abuse, 2 clients were being seen for cocaine addiction, and 1 client had a marijuana addiction                                                                 Intensive Therapy: Utilizing Hypnosis in the Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders. Potter, Greg, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Jul 2004.
Hypnosis For Cocaine Addiction Documented Case Study                                                       
Hypnosis was successfully used to overcome a $500 (five grams) per day cocaine addiction. The subject was a female in her twenties. After approximately 8 months of addiction, she decided to use hypnosis in an attempt to overcome the addiction itself. Over the next 4 months, she used hypnosis three times a day and at the end of this period, her addiction was broken, and she has been drug free for the past 9 years. Hypnosis was the only intervention, and no support network of any kind was available.                                           
The use of hypnosis in cocaine addiction. Page RA, Handley GW, Ohio State University, Lima, OH USA 45804. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1993 Oct;36(2):120-3

Significantly More Methadone Addicts Quit with Hypnosis. 94% Remained Narcotic Free Significant differences were found on all measures. The experimental group had significantly less discomfort and illicit drug use, and a significantly greater amount of cessation. At six month follow up, 94% of the subjects in the experimental group who had achieved cessation remained narcotic free.                               A comparative study of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy in the treatment of methadone addicts. Manganiello AJ, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 1984; 26(4): 273-9.


saulk ane said...

Use care when taking an addictive prescription drug. Your doctor may prescribe narcotics to relieve pain, benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety or insomnia, or barbiturates to relieve nervousness or irritation.Florida Rehabs

Greg said...

I totally agree with you Saulk. From my experience I would always say explore alternative solutions first. Hypnotherapy is one method but not the only one. With many problems I strongly feel the root of the problem (often psychological) should be tackled instead of the effect (the symptoms of). Depression is the obvious example where a worrying number of people are now on anti-depressants without really exploring the reasons why they became depressed in the first place...

addiction help said...

Nice post I Like your site very well and continue to do so. keep writing.

Greg said...

Thanks for the feedback!! I will certainly keep blogging.

Harold Russ said...

Hypnotherapy seems interesting. I think it is used as addiction treatment in california.

Greg said...

Yes, hypnotherapy is being increasingly used as a treatment for addictions

Will said...

Love your blog! I'm currently conducting a lot of research into addiction treatment and your article has proved really helpful so I trust wanted to say thank you!

Greg said...

I'm glad my blog was helpful to your research... I would be very interested to read it!

Andrea Desouja said...

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Andrea Desouja said...

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Victoria Snyder said...

Yes I agree. If you want to join a drug treatment centers then you must be willing to admit that you have a drug problem. This is a very important thing when you want to recover. ADmiting yourself that you have a problem with drugs and are willing to quit drugs then it will be easy for you to cooperate with specialist. With this, you will get recovered easily in no time :)

Greg said...

Great comment Victoria. Unfortunately I think this is one of the hardest steps for anyone to make with any kind of addiction; first seeing the problem then actually admitting it to themselves and others.