REBT On Recovering Drug Addicts


With studies and scientific approaches on drug addiction treatment evolving, there are various ways to combat the dependency which promises success. REBT or Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is one of those approaches. Combined with sheer will and determination, an ex-drug addict can achieve permanent sobriety through REBT and live a healthy drug-free life.

What Is REBT?

“The first step was to understand that our goal was to mainstream addiction treatment into the general delivery of health care.” –Navdeep Kang, PsyD

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy or REBT is an evidence-based therapy method. It was designed by Dr. Albert Ellis more than sixty years ago. His intent was teaching people suffering from mental health problems, including drug addiction, to realign their thoughts through his program. REBT attempts to teach recovering addicts to maintain a healthy lifestyle through positive behavior and beliefs.


How Does REBT Work On Recovering Addicts?


In REBT, a person is believed to be a “thinking and feeling” individual. Now, if you think and feel negative, then, your emotions and habits will manifest adverse outcomes. Addictive behavior is one of those, and it is damaging to a person. Drug abuse can alter a person’s state of mind and can surely hasten the body’s deterioration, as well. With REBT, this can change.

“Therapy doesn’t need to be an arduous never-ending process; however, the length of therapy depends on many factors.” –Nathaniel Cilley, LMHC

The thoughts, perceptions, ideas, and opinions of a recovering addict shift to a more positive vibe. Negative behavior will be eliminated through REBT exercises so that a person’s addictive behavior is curbed. As a result of that, the recovering addict will feel a genuine sense of fulfillment. One day sober is indeed a step to success, right?


REBT will also assist a recovering addict in building his or her self-confidence, and self-esteem. Most drug addicts lack these attributes, and with the use of drugs, they get that false sense. With REBT, there is no need to use drugs just to feel esteemed and confident. You will have all that only by being your sober self as you learn to accept “you.”


A set of choices, when faced with a struggle, is imparted to a person under the REBT program. A situation occurs (let’s say, a trigger to use again), and the recovering addict is in a dilemma. How must he react to it? Will he think of logical thoughts (I can’t take drugs because it will kill me) or irrational beliefs (Drugs will make me feel better)?


After thinking of the stressful event, and acting upon it through rational or irrational behavior, there will be consequences. After the consequences, there are disputes, and then, the effects. Instead of thinking irrationally, REBT will force a person to change his emotions and behavior. By changing your belief, you are also changing the outcome of the situation.


The REBT Method – For Recovering Addicts

First, a recovering addict is taught to question his irrational beliefs. He will tell himself that drugs are the cure, but he has to fight that, and a qualified REBT counselor can work on this matter. The person will also learn to shift his addictive actions to positive behavior. He will have to accept himself and control his actions. He will not let the drugs “control” him.


“The benefits of therapy are vast, including having an objective perspective on happenings in your life, a sounding board for you to talk through options before taking action, a place where you can deepen self-awareness, access resources to support your growth and personal development, and much more.”  Robin D. Stone, LMHC elaborates. While REBT is a great way to help recovering addicts from relapsing, it must not be used as a therapy program on its own. It is a short-term type of treatment, and therefore, it is not long-term as CBT for Addiction or Talks Therapy. It is an additional tool, and it is beneficial at that.


Facts on REBT available online and how to enroll in such a program for recovering addicts is detailed in the site as well.