What are the Most Effective Types of Addiction Treatment?

Searching for a rehab? Find out which type of addiction treatment is most effective for you.

In recent years, the stigma against drug addiction has grown much smaller, while the variety of treatment options for substance abuse grows larger. With so many different treatment options available, it can be difficult to decide which will be the most effective.

What Makes Some Rehabs More Effective Than Others

To understand what the most effective form of treatment is, you have to understand what exactly makes an addiction treatment program successful or unsuccessful. According to NIDA’s principles of effective treatment, a proper rehab program should do all of the following:

  • Help you stop your addictive behavior (drugs, alcohol, compulsive gambling or sex, etc.)
  • Help you stay sober/ refrain from addictive behavior
  • Help you be productive in your family and community

Since each individual’s addiction is different and needs to be treated accordingly, it’s sometimes difficult to label one type of treatment as more effective than another. What works best for your neighbor might not work best for you. However, researchers and psychologists are learning to discern particular traits that are shared among successful treatment options. The most effective treatment will blend all of the following into a solid treatment plan for their clients.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Program

1. The Treatment Makes Use of Evidence-based Techniques

You wouldn’t want to get a surgery done at a hospital that doesn’t use well-researched techniques. Likewise, you shouldn’t seek treatment for addiction at a facility that doesn’t adhere to evidence-based treatment methods.

2. Therapy is Administered by Specialized Addiction Experts

It’s surprising how often addiction treatment is handled by medical professionals that aren’t specialized in addiction. For example, a large number of doctors qualified to provide opioid maintenance therapy with the popular medication Suboxone are just family physicians. Suboxone can be prescribed in America by any physician who applies for the proper waiver. This can lead to improper treatment and dangerous situations.

By contrast, many rehab facilities don’t have the certification or staff to provide the full level of medical treatment that a recovering addict needs.  This makes it difficult for someone seeking treatment to find a facility that can both evaluate their needs and treat them properly.

Clinical expertise is necessary for a treatment to be highly effective. Ideally, the staff should be dedicated to working with recovering addicts and have a strong understanding of the treatment process. This allows them to properly assist clients in identifying the steps they need to take to recovery.

3. The Rehab Identifies and Treats Underlying Mental Health Issues

The most effective programs don’t simply get their patients to stop using drugs and send them on their way. This is likely to result in relapse. Co-occurring mental illness is observed in the majority of substance abuse problems – a comprehensive treatment program needs to assess the underlying issues that led to substance abuse in the first place.

Even if you’re able to stay sober for the duration of a treatment program, the underlying issues that caused your addiction in the first place remain. If you haven’t dealt with your mental issue, you’re highly likely to relapse.

4. The Program Offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely known as one of the most effective treatments for substance abuse problems. CBT addresses the thought patterns of an individual and aims to help them understand how these affect their behavior.
Understanding your thoughts is a key factor in learning to control compulsive behavior. One of the most effective CBT methods for treating addiction is known as contingency management, which uses positive reinforcement to reward a recovering addict for taking steps toward sobriety.

A good treatment program will staff certified therapists who use CBT in combination with a variety of therapeutic approaches.

5. Aftercare and Connection to the Recovery Community are Available

Recovery doesn’t end when you complete treatment – in fact, it’s only just begun. One of the most important things for minimising the chance of relapse is aftercare. This includes any resources that allow a client to continue their recovery practice after they’ve graduated from the program, such as:

  • Counselling
  • Follow-up, stepped down outpatient rehab
  • 12-step meetings
  • Family support
  • Connection with recovery peers in your home community

6. Individualized Addiction Treatment

Quite possibly the most important factor in determining a treatment’s efficacy is their capacity to individualize your treatment plan. All effective treatments should include a combination of the above, but to be effective for different people, the facility must be willing to assess their patients individually and prepare treatment options to best suit them.

It’s important for a treatment center to recognize that different treatment regimens are required for different addictions, needs, preferences and personalities.

Compare Thailand’s Best Rehabs to Find the Best Option for You

So, what’s the most effective treatment option? The most effective treatment should include a combination of comprehensive clinical evaluation, a variety of therapeutic offerings and aftercare. They should be run by specialized medical professionals who are qualified to work with addicts as well as provide the necessary psychiatric or medical care. Most importantly, the facility providing the treatment must be willing to accommodate the specific needs of each client.

If you’re in need of addiction treatment, use our handy comparison tool to find a treatment center near you.