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Why Should You Choose Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment?

If you or a loved one hope to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, appropriate evidence-based addiction treatment is a must. But where do you start?

Even a quick search on the Internet will provide you with dozens of potential treatment options including evidence-based treatment.

How can you possibly make a decision about which one to choose?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to help decide which options are the best.

Evidence-based treatments can make it easier for you to get sober. They can also make it easier for you to stay sober long-term.

What Is Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment?

Researchers around the world examine the usefulness of drug and alcohol treatments. To do this, they use several methods.

First, they gather information for individual studies. They can also gather together the results of multiple studies.

In addition, they can use all available information to answer specific questions about an addiction treatment.

The purpose of all this is to gather evidence for and against any treatment option.

If most high-quality studies say that a treatment works, it’s considered evidence-based (or research-based). In other words, there’s plenty of supporting information to back its usefulness.

Not all options for addiction treatment qualify as evidence-based practices. In some cases, researchers may find that a treatment option doesn’t work.

In other cases, there simply might not be any studies available at all.

Benefits of this Type of Approach

So, what are the benefits of evidence-based addiction treatment?

A basic example can help us answer this question. Say, for instance, your loved one has been diagnosed with opioid abuse or addiction (i.e. opioid use disorder). To provide the help you need, a doctor or addiction specialist will look for the best types of available treatment.

But how do these experts decide what “best” means?

Probably the most effective way of doing this is to find treatments backed by a lot of research. This means that multiple studies have looked at a medication or therapy and found that it produces good results.

The treatment may not work all of the time for everyone. However, it works for most people, and experts see it as a proven option.

Programs that rely on these proven treatments can increase the odds that a substance abuser will make a lasting recovery. In the U.S., evidence-based care is the gold standard for addiction treatment.

That’s true for addiction specialists. It’s also true for general physicians and public health officials.

Examples of Research-Based Treatments

Research-based addiction treatment comes in two basic forms: medication and behavior therapy. Medications work by making helpful changes in the body of a substance abuser. Behavior therapy works by helping you change the behaviors that lead to drug or alcohol use.

Doctors often use medications and behavior therapy together. This combination is called Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Medications for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

All medications used for evidence-based alcohol treatment and drug treatment are designed to do one of two things: help you stop taking a substance or help you stay sober once you quit. The specific available options depend on the source of your addiction.

However, common examples include:

  • Acamprosate (which helps combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms)
  • Naltrexone (which helps reduce alcohol cravings by making drinking less pleasurable)
  • Methadone (which helps prevent continuing opioid abuse)
  • Buprenorphine (which also helps prevent continuing opioid abuse)

Methadone and buprenorphine are both opioids. However, research shows they’re effective and safe when used properly in treatment.

To help prevent any problems, you may receive a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone helps limit the narcotic effects of buprenorphine.

Behaviorial Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

As with medications, the type of behavior therapy depends on the form of addiction.

Your treatment may include options such as:

  • Motivational Incentive (also known as contingency management)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy

Motivational incentives help you stick to your treatment plan and meet your recovery goals. CBT helps you increase your stress tolerance in high-risk situations. That’s important because stress can make you more likely to drink or use drugs. When you develop new coping skills, your risks for substance go down.

Twelve-step facilitation prepares you for active involvement in a 12-step program. These programs can help you stabilize your recovery and remain sober.

Additional Therapy Options

The treatment center you choose may also offer other types of evidence-based therapy. One common option is family behavior therapy. This treatment helps you understand how your home life can make substance abuse more likely.

In addition, there are treatments designed for teenagers. These include multisystemic therapy and brief strategic family therapy.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is another possible option. This form of therapy mainly addresses severe mental health issues. However, these issues often go along with serious drug or alcohol problems. One common example is the combination of PTSD and substance abuse. For this reason, DBT may form part of an addiction recovery plan.

Evidence Based Addiction Treatment Vs. 12 Step Treatment

You may wonder how evidence-based treatment compares to participation in a 12 step program. The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Twelve-step participation may help you consume substances less often. It may also help you lower the overall amount you consume.

However, by themselves, 12-step programs don’t always have the best scientific backing.

The situation changes when you combine them with medication and therapy. Together, standard treatment and a 12-step group can help reinforce your ability to stay substance-free.

That’s one reason why 12-step facilitation is considered an evidence-based treatment option. You can join a self-help group without going to treatment. Still, for the best results, you should enroll in both.

Evidence Based Treatment Vs. Faith Based Treatment

You may also wonder how evidence-based addiction programs compare to faith-based programs. As with 12-step groups, the answer to this question can vary from case to case. That’s because the term faith can refer to a specific religion. However, it can also refer more generally to spirituality or a spiritual outlook.

In addition, not all faith-based programs are the same. Some programs may follow current standards for evidence-based care. However, others may not follow these widely accepted standards. The results are clearest when we focus on spirituality.

Studies show that a spiritual outlook can help improve your addiction recovery. The most obvious example is enrollment in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

These groups place a lot of emphasis on spiritual concepts. In turn, spiritual concepts can help strengthen your desire to maintain your sobriety. That’s especially true when you combine them with research based treatment.

Evidence Based Addiction Treatment –  The Next Step

Looking for effective help for drug or alcohol problems? Your best option is evidence based addiction treatment. Evidence based programs do several important things.

First, they provide you with proven options for medication and therapy. By doing so, they also follow the current recommendations of the top addiction experts. In addition, research-based programs tend to meet an overall high standard for quality.

Need more information on what’s available for you or your loved one? Just contact us at 855-458-0050.

You’ll find everything you need to make your decision. And remember, the most important thing is to act.

The sooner you receive expert care, the sooner you can recover and return to sobriety.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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