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Behavioral treatments focus on changing attitudes and actions related to substance use. Specific approaches help patients engage with and remain in treatment, modify their substance use behaviors, and prepare them to handle cravings and stressful situations (or triggers) without using substances.

Behavioral approaches also help patients rebuild their lives. Substance use disorders (SUDs) can cause patients to fall behind in school or at work and can have profound impacts on their relationships. Counseling can help patients engage in healthy relationships with loved ones, meet daily responsibilities, build a strong support system of people who are supportive of their recovery, develop a career path, and initiate meaningful pursuits.

Behavioral treatments can occur one-on-one with a counselor or in a group session.

Types of Behavioral Treatments:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): helps patients change thoughts and behaviors to improve health.

  • Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives: interventions that involve rewarding patients for achieving specific goals, such as abstinence.

  • Community Reinforcement Approach Plus Vouchers: aims to eliminate factors in a patient’s life that reinforce substance use and increase reinforcements for healthy behavior.

  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy: explores the patient’s own concerns with their substance use, helps to strengthen their motivation, and build a plan for change.

  • The Matrix Model: a non-confrontational intensive outpatient approach in which the counselor provides education and support to help the patient develop and follow a recovery plan.

  • 12-Step Facilitation Therapy: involves a healthcare provider facilitating the patient’s engagement in a 12-step recovery support program.

  • Family Behavior Therapy: involves joint sessions with members of the patient’s family that work to address both substance use issues as well as co-occurring conditions and family conflict.

  • Multisystemic Therapy (Primarily for Adolescents): addresses antisocial behavior among patients with substance use problems.

Behavioral Treatment


(301) 769-5966


11810 Grand Park Ave, Suite 500
North Bethesda, MD 20852

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