CBT worksheets for substance abuse (Top 3)

This page will provide you with some effective worksheets to help people who use or abuse substances build healthy thought patterns that can help them cope with the urge of using. 

Some of these worksheets have been created by us while others have been curated from reputable third-party websites.

What are CBT worksheets for substance abuse?

CBT Substance abuse developed based on the premise of the Cognitive Behavioural therapy concepts help individuals cope with substance use thoughts and behaviour by using the CBT approach.

The worksheets enable individuals to change their cognitions about substance use and with it, change behaviours related to substance use. ,

These worksheets help them to identify urges and aid them in coping with these urges effectively to help prevent substance use behaviours.

What is CBT for Substance use?

CBT for substance use disorders include various interventions that are either used in combination or in isolation of each other in both group and individual settings. 

These treatments include motivational interventions, contingency management strategies, and Relapse Prevention strategies. 

Each of these strategies are based on the theoretical substance of COgnitive behavioural therapy that stresses that changing cognition to be more adaptive can have a positive effect on behaviour and change it towards healthier ways of doing and being. 

In a study that analysed the efficacy of CBT for substance use disorders, the researchers found CBT to be highly effective when used on controlled trials and were even more robust in their efficacy when used in tandem with pharmacotherapy treatments.

Let us look at some worksheets that are often used in CBT sessions with the guidance of a professional. 

Challenging Thoughts About Substance Abuse

The thoughts of people who use substances highly influence their behaviour related to it and so, their thoughts need to be challenged so as to prevent the behaviour.

What does this worksheet do?

The Challenging thoughts about substance abuse worksheet is an effective worksheet that has been designed to help the individual challenge their own thoughts and beliefs about their substance use behaviour. 

This worksheet invites a person to reflect on their beliefs and substewunelty challenge them with more rational thoughts. 

How will this worksheet help?

By inviting the individual to reflect on more rational thoughts, thoughts that take into account the rational consequences of their substance use behaviour- the worksheet can help develop an awareness of the individuals own maladaptive beliefs.

This awareness of their beliefs related to substance use can help prevent behaviours that would otherwise affect their recovery.

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, take a moment to sit down and reflect on the thoughts you have about substance use behaviour. 

It could be something like “One glass is nothing” or “I am in control, I can control myself”.

Write down these thoughts on one side of the column.

Now, take a moment to challenge these thoughts based on your context as someone who struggles with substance use disorder. 

Be rational as you begin challenging these thoughts- “Am I really in control?” or “Is one glass really nothing?”

Ask yourself the last time you thought similar thoughts which lead to behaviour that was unhealthy for you- let this be evidence as you challenge your thoughts. 

Note down these challenging and rational arguments against your thoughts of using. 

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Modifying Substance Abuse Behavior

Substance use behaviours can be modified by challenging belief systems. This worksheet enables a person to change their belief systems based on the realities of substance use disorders.

can modify their behavior related to substance abuse by changing their belief system and replacing their old thoughts with positive, new thoughts, focusing on the realities of substance abuse.

In this way, they can modify their behavior, prevent addiction and escape from the negative impacts of substance abuse on them.

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed with the intention to help a person explore their belief systems and replace them with positive or newer-healthier belief systems that are based on the realities of their substance use behaviour.

This worksheet invites a person to reflect on how their thoughts based on beliefs impact their behaviour to be unhealthy.

How will this worksheet help?

By helping a person reflect on their thoughts, the worksheet helps them gain a sense of awareness of the beliefs that they hold. 

The worksheet, along with awareness development also invites a person to develop new and more positive ways of thinking which can positively influence healthier behaviour. 

This process that the worksheet encourages helps a person modify behaviour by modifying beliefs and thought processes. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, begin by noting down a thought that is related to substance use and then write down the behaviour that follows. 

Be kind to yourself and honest as you reflect on your thoughts and behaviour. 

Next, take the effort to consider a healthier way of replacing these thoughts with rational and reality based thoughts. 

For example, you might think “I am a drunk. I am worthless” which leads you to drink.

However, you can replace the thought with “I am an alcoholic and I am doing my best to recover.”

Now, predict the behaviour that you think might follow after changing your thoughts to be kinder to yourself but based on the reality of your substance use disorder. 

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Recognizing the Effects of Substance Abuse

Another worksheet for substance use behaviour is one that invites people to recognise the impact of substance use on their lives. 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet invites people to look at the realities of the impact substance use behaviors have on their lives. 

The worksheet enables people to face reality and take into consideration how it affects their family, their health, their mind, and their responsibilities such as parenting, and jobs. 

How will this worksheet help?

By inviting a person to reflect on the impact substance use has on an individual, this worksheet can help create steady awareness that reveals the realities of their behaviour.

This awareness can help people realise how they have been affected and how it affects others and work towards recovery.

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, you begin with reflecting on the positive effects of using a substance. 

Make a point to note how long these effects last and how it impacts your sense of self, your family, your job, your friendships, and other reasons of your life. 

Note down these effects.

Next, take a moment to note down the negative effects of the substance use in the various areas of your life and how long or extensive these effects are. 

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Building Discrepancy Worksheet

Building discrepancy worksheet is based on the CBT Motivational interviewing technique where individuals are asked to reflect on the discrepancy of their behaviour and their desired goals and positive behaviours. 

You can access the worksheet from here

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet has been designed to be used in sessions by a clinical or a mental health professional. 

The worksheet invites a person to reflect on the consequences of their using or quitting the behaviour and help build the  discrepancy between the client’s current behavior and their desired behavior. 

This can be achieved by highlighting the differences between the current and desired behaviors.

How will this worksheet help?

By highlighting the differences between current substance use behaviour and desired sober behaviour, this worksheet can help create an awareness of discrepancy. 

This can help your client understand how their current behaviour affects important areas of their life and imagine how different things would be when they change this behaviour. 

How to use this worksheet?

To use this worksheet, you begin by asking yourself how your life will change if you choose to quit or continue using the substances. 

Then reflect on the effect either behaviours will have on various areas of your life like school, job, relationships, health etc. 

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