Principles of Effective Addiction Treatment

According to NIDA - the National Institute of Drug Addiction - there are some principles that must be followed for an addiction treatment program to be effective. These 13 principles have now been broadened to make them applicable in the treatment of chemical dependence.

Understanding the Principles of Addiction Treatment

By following these principles, addiction treatment programs can now improve the outcomes that their patients enjoy. To this end, it is recommended that you check into a facility that follows this principles. By so doing, you can increase the chances of achieving full recovery from your substance abuse and addiction.

The principles include:

a) Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you have received a dual diagnosis for addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, it is essential that you get both of these conditions treatment. The treatment should also be integrated so that it can deal with all the disorders that you are struggling with.

Often, mental disorders and addictive disorders can occur at the same time. If you present for either of these conditions, you should ensure that you get assessed to see if you have the other disorder. In case both disorders are found to be co-occurring, your addiction treatment should also address them.

b) Continual Assessment and Modification

Even after you have been in an addiction treatment program for a while, it is essential that the treatment plan is assessed on a regular basis. It should also be modified as required. By so doing, the rehabilitation program can ensure that the treatments are meeting your changing needs.

Further, you may find that you need different combinations of treatment services and components over the course of your recovery. Apart from psychotherapy and counseling, you may also require family therapy, vocational rehabilitation, social services, legal services, medical services, family therapy, or medications.

In the same way, it is essential that you ensure that the approach taken by the addiction treatment program is appropriate to your culture, ethnicity, beliefs, gender, and age for it to be effective.

c) Counseling

Most addiction treatment programs offer counseling, including group and individual therapy. They might also provide other behavioral therapies because they are now deemed critical components of an effective drug rehabilitation program.

During therapy, you will get the opportunity to address the issues of motivation that are linked to your substance abuse. You will also be able to build new skills to help you resist substance and alcohol abuse. At the same time, therapy can help you start replacing your drug use with rewarding and constructive activities that do not revolve around drugs.

In the same way, addiction treatment therapy can help you improve your problem solving skills. Further, it can facilitate the improvement of your interpersonal relationships as well as your ability to continue functioning as a productive member of your community and family.

d) Multiple Treatment

For your drug rehab to be considered successful, it has to deal with your multiple needs - and not just your substance abuse. The program will, to this end, address all the legal, vocational, social, medical, and psychological problems associated with your addiction.

e) Medical Detoxification

When you check into an addiction treatment program, you will first be required to undergo medical detox. However, NIDA asserts that detox cannot alter long term substance abuse in the long term.

Even so, medical detox is useful at the start of any recovery program. This is because it can help you manage all acute withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that arise when you stop taking intoxicating and mind altering substances.

Although by itself detox cannot help you achieve long term sobriety and abstinence, it is an essential component of an effective addiction treatment program. As such, you should not try to detox on your own without medical assistance.

f) Medication Management

For some substance use disorders, it is essential that you take medications to help you in your recovery journey. However, you need to combine these medications with other behavioral therapies and counseling.

In particular, LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol) and methadone are commonly used in the context of drug abuse treatment. They can prove effective in helping you overcome an opioid use disorder linked to heroin and other opiates.

Alternatively, you might receive a prescription for naltrexone. This drug is effective in dealing with opioid use disorders as well as other disorders involving alcohol dependence and addiction.

If you are addicted to nicotine, the addiction treatment program might recommend that you take nicotine replacement products. These products may come in the form of oral medications like bupropion, as well as nicotine patches and gums.

On the other hand, medications might be used if you are diagnosed with addiction and a co-occurring mental health or medical disorder. However, you would have to take these medications in combination with behavioral treatments for them to work.

g) Universal Treatment

According to NIDA, there is no single treatment program that would work for everyone struggling with a substance use disorder. To this end, you have to enroll in an addiction treatment program that will match the setting of rehabilitation, the services provided, and the interventions used to your particular needs and problems.

By so doing, the treatment program can improve your chances of achieving success. Creating individualized and personalized recovery programs might also make it easier for you to overcome your addiction and return to your previous productive functioning in society, the workplace, and your family.

h) Continuous Monitoring

NIDA also reports that it is essential that the treatment program continues monitoring your potential drug and alcohol use when you are enrolled in rehabilitation. This is because most addicts have a high risk of relapsing even after checking into a rehab center.

To this end, drug rehabs will monitor your ongoing substance abuse through tests like urinalysis. This could help you withstand any urges that you might develop to start using drugs.

Monitoring can also provide the treatment program with evidence that you have been using drugs and drinking alcohol early enough. When this happens, the program will adjust your recovery plan.

i) Others

The other additional principles of effective addiction treatment include:

  • Addiction recovery is a long term process and it might require more than one episode of treatment
  • It is critical that you remain in the treatment program long enough for it to prove effective
  • Rehabilitation does not have to be voluntary for it to be effective
  • The treatment program needs to assess you for any infectious diseases you might have developed in the course of your addiction, such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS
  • Treatment programs should be easily accessible and readily available

Overall, checking into an addiction treatment program that follows these principles and abides by them to the letter can increase your chances of achieving full recovery from your substance use disorder and any other co-occurring disorders that you might have been diagnosed with.


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