Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with substance abuse and addiction and looking for treatment, you will most probably be concerned about finding a program that has the highest likelihood of succeeding. Among these programs are evidence-based addiction treatment programs.

The Science of Addiction Treatment

While seeking addiction treatment services, you will find information recommending options that are scientifically sound and evidence-based. However, it might be difficult for you to know what this means and what you need to look out for.

For this reason, it is recommended that you ask about the science behind the treatment program that you are hoping to enroll in. In the same way, you need to find out about the success rates that you can expect to gain from the therapy options that you will be able to receive.

Research studies show that there are some treatment programs that are scientifically sound - and as such - founded on evidence. However, it might not be immediately clear to you what this means.

Even so, the important thing to keep in mind is that you need to find a drug or alcohol addiction rehab program that can provide you with the best possible positive outcomes both in the short as well as in the long term.

Even so, there is a challenge in the use of language while describing a program as trusted and based on evidence. This is because you might be confused about the meaning of research-based treatment and evidence-based treatment, as well as about the difference between these options.

About Evidence-Based Drug Rehab

Evidence-based treatment is a type of drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation program that follows specific actions that are based on the effects that they have been observed to cause. To this end, programs that are based on results from previous clients that ended up providing successful outcomes can be said to be based on evidence.

For instance, when a treatment program encourages its clients to enroll in 12 step recovery programs and most of them attaining sobriety, recovery, and abstinence in the long term, this type of program could be said to be based on evidence.

Research-based treatment, on the other hand, is somewhat different. It refers to programs that are based on scientific research. This is in the sense that researchers would have observed particular outcomes before formulating, testing, and measuring these outcomes to determine if they are predictable in other instances.

In the case of 12 step recovery programs, those that are research based tend to consider the fact that these programs have provided positive outcomes. These outcomes would then be tested on other clients and found to be quite as effective.

More on Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment

According to the American Educational Research Association, research that is scientifically sound and based on science would have a couple of common attributes. These include but are not limited to:

  • Experimental controls were used to verify the fact that the results derived were not as a result of any other factor
  • It is possible to build on the findings
  • Rigorous, objective, and systematic, methods were used to obtain data and knowledge
  • The data analysis methods were appropriate
  • The reasoning was logical and evidence-based
  • The research design provided reliable results
  • The results were peer reviewed
  • There was a repeatability of results

To this end, when a program is research-based and it has followed all of these processes and rules, the results derived from it would be considered to be dependable and reliable enough for it to be considered to be evidence-based.

Addiction treatment professionals and experts often look for recovery methods that are evidence-based from processes that are scientifically sound. For instance, research studies have determined the fact that addiction - or a substance use disorder - is an illness of the brain that is chronic in nature. In this way, it is similar to diabetes and its chronic effects on the body.

As a result, research has shown that it is possible to treat addiction. This in the knowledge that this condition continues over time and even leads to a relapse. For this reason, it needs to be managed as soon as possible.

According to NIDA - the National Institute of Drug Addiction - addiction treatment would most likely lead to long term sobriety and recovery if it is able to help the client learn how to manage their substance abuse and dependence.

To this end, evidence-based addiction treatment should follow a continuum of care starting with medically supervised detoxification and followed by behavioral therapies before closing off using post-treatment strategies and tools like relapse prevention and aftercare planning. The goal of these tools would be to support the client so that they can continue managing their substance abuse and addiction.

All these processes are mostly implemented in inpatient or residential drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs. This is because these types of programs will allow you to detox fully from the addictive drugs that you were abusing through ongoing medical support. You will also get the opportunity to spend a great deal of your time going through therapy and counseling to learn how to overcome and eventually manage your addiction. Further, you will be prepared using support structures and other tools.

These processes are evidence-based in the sense that they can be assessed both during as well as after your treatment to prove their efficacy - something that has been done for a period of time and shown to lead to sustained abstinence and long-term sobriety and recovery.

Choosing Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment Programs

While looking for a rehabilitation program that is scientifically sound, it is important that you consider all the above mentioned elements. This is because evidence-based practices are effective because they lead to predictable outcomes - including long term recovery.

For you to determine whether an addiction treatment program is based on scientific evidence, to this end, you need to ask some questions. The answers to these questions will be able to inform you about the nature of that program.

Getting Help

Overall, research studies have long shown that evidence-based addiction treatment is one of the most effective options that you can rely on while trying to overcome your substance abuse and chemical dependency.

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