What Makes Drug Treatment Effective?
With so many types of drug addiction treatment programs and services to choose from, it can be difficult to discern which one might be the most effective. The fact is that there is no one kind of treatment or combination of treatment services that will work for everyone hoping to recover from drug and alcohol use or addiction.
For each person, the most effective treatment is a program that is personalized to meet their needs.
This article will discuss the components of effective drug rehab programs and what to look for in an addiction treatment program.
What Do Effective Drug Treatment Options Provide?
1. Medical Care
Medical detox is an important first step in drug addiction treatment. For those who experience withdrawal symptoms – physical symptoms, mental health symptoms, or both – it is a critical period of transition from active drug use to sobriety.
Depending on the drug of use, the dose at the time of detox, potential for medical complications, and treatment goals, there are different types of detox that may stand out as a more effective choice.
The long-term use of treatment medications may be an option for some patients.
For example, when low-dose opiate addiction is the primary issue, Suboxone or Subutex (drugs with buprenorphine as the active ingredient) may be used. They work by binding to the opiate receptors in the brain that are used to binding with a steady influx of opiates (e.g., heroin, prescription painkillers, etc.) without creating the same high.
This can help the person to avoid the bulk of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate detox and streamline the transition into therapeutic treatment.
Though the goal is to slowly taper down the dose of the medication, for some patients, it may be necessary to continue some use of the medication for years if not indefinitely. Patients are encouraged to work closely with the prescribing physician and therapeutic team while taking the medication.
Many people living with addiction are tempted to undertake detox at home alone without medical supervision. This can be a dangerous and risky choice.
Professional treatment is generally recommended to ensure patients are as safe and comfortable during the detox process.
2. Individualized Treatment
Each person’s experience before addiction and during periods of active drug and alcohol use is unique, and the treatments chosen in treatment should be tailored to address the challenges and needs that arose as a result of that experience.
With the help of a team of addiction treatment professionals, patients in recovery can create a personalized treatment plan that is comprised of the medical and psychological treatment needed to get back on track.
Evaluation and Assessment
The process of creating a unique treatment plan starts with a thorough evaluation and assessment process. This can include:
- Medical exam, screenings, and tests: These are intended to identify all underlying medical issues.
- Medical history: Diagnosed medical and mental health disorders will inform treatment for addiction.
- Drug history: The drugs of use and the reason for using them can inform the types of therapies that will be helpful.
- Screenings: In the absence of a formal diagnosis but in the presence of certain mental health, behavioral, and/or medical symptoms, certain tests and screenings can help to identify the cause of certain issues.
All of this information, together with the individual’s treatment goals, can help to determine the best course of action.
A treatment plan is truly a collaborative effort. Medical professionals, therapists, and alternative treatment providers who specialize in substance use disorder treatment should work together with the client to create a treatment plan that will be workable by the individual, capitalizing on strengths and working on any challenges.
A team of professionals with different perspectives who collaborate and analyze data results acquired through treatment that includes group and individual therapy can ensure that all are doing the most possible to help a person move forward in treatment.
3. Regular Check-Ins
As an individual invests time and effort into therapy, the original treatment goals that informed the first treatment plan choices may be met. It is important that, as this occurs, new treatment goals are created and new therapies are chosen, or changes to therapies are made in order to avoid stagnation in treatment.
Additionally, if there are any issues preventing progress from occurring in treatment, they should be caught early and adjustments should be made to jumpstart the recovery process.
Regular meetings with a case manager or personal therapist can give a person a consistent forum where any questions can be answered, concerns addressed, and possible changes can be discussed.
Rather than waiting for a specific issue to trigger the need for a meeting, regular get-togethers that start with asking how the client is feeling about treatment and what changes have occurred can facilitate an ongoing discussion throughout the treatment process.
Similarly, regular meetings held among the treatment team to discuss the person’s individual needs can identify obstacles noted across therapies and allow for a collaborative effort to address the issues.
Clients are encouraged also to check in with themselves daily, even multiple times a day, to assess how they are feeling and what situation or experience may have triggered those feelings.
Though it is important to note what issues may contribute to feelings of discomfort or lack of focus, it is also important to identify the situations that trigger positive feelings.
Both inform the choices that can be made to encourage positive feelings and manage or keep to a minimum any negative feelings that may arise.
4. Inclusion of the Family
Addiction does not just impact the individual living with the disorder; it also affects those who are closest to that person. For this reason and because family members have the opportunity to play a uniquely positive role in a person’s recovery, it is important that family education and support be made available. This can include:
- Educational workshops for family that illuminates some aspect of addiction and/or treatment.
- Support groups solely for family members seeking to support someone through addiction.
- Family therapy and counseling sessions.
- Personal therapy sessions, often with a focus on mental health issues, such as PTSD, trauma, depression, anxiety, and/or co-occurring substance use disorders.
Just as the person in drug addiction treatment is an individual with a unique experience, so, too, is the family member, and a range of family addiction resources should be available.
Personal Growth and Healing for Family Members
Living with and loving someone who is struggling with a potentially fatal disease is traumatic, and close family members may be scarred by the experience.
Personal recovery and growth are necessary, but the person living with addiction may not be in a place to begin that process and help to facilitate that healing for a very long time.
Thus, family members may wish to seek their own personal path to recovery, one that includes therapy sessions and support groups focused on the challenges of living with and supporting someone with addiction.
Family Members and Their Loved One With Addiction
Family therapy can be an essential component for growth and healing when recovering from addiction. Meeting in a safe place with the objective guidance and assistance of a therapist can help both parties to speak freely about concerns, fears, and feelings that may have started before or during addiction and not yet been resolved.
Additionally, learning how to positively communicate with one another can help both people get their needs met without further harming the other person. Over time, it may be possible to rebuild trust, reconnect, and enjoy a healthy relationship together.
5. Long-Term Aftercare and Support
As important as monitored medical detox and long-term, intensive therapeutic treatment are to recovery, aftercare and support are critical to helping clients remain relapse-free.
Without an ongoing dedication to continued mental health treatment and interaction with others who are also living clean and sober lives, recovery can quickly grow stale and lonely.
But with continued engagement with treatment services and support groups, clients can sustain the support they need to avoid drugs and alcohol as they transition into independent living in recovery and build new lives for themselves.
Building a Support Network
Meeting others in recovery and building positive relationships can feel challenging at first, but with regular attendance at 12-Step meetings and other support groups, these connections are often authentic and happen spontaneously.
People are encouraged to share their personal experiences at these meetings, go out for coffee afterward with groups, and talk to others on breaks as well as exchange phone numbers for support.
Continuing to Grow in Treatment
Continuing to actively pursue health and wellness through therapy and meeting with a doctor regularly if taking medications for mental health symptoms are musts for ongoing stability in recovery.
It can take time to make real headway on some issues, including trauma and mental health disorders, and a 30-day treatment program, no matter how intensive, is not designed to serve as a comprehensive lifelong treatment for ongoing symptoms.
Learning how to manage symptoms begins during drug addiction treatment, but lifelong healing occurs through ongoing, comprehensive care.
Similarly, because addiction is a chronic disorder that is often defined by relapse, it is essential to continue to engage regularly with therapy and treatment that address the issue. Personal therapy, alternative therapies that were effective during rehab, and holistic treatments can all be effective parts of an aftercare plan.
What Treatment Will Be Most Effective for You?
The treatment that will be most effective for you depends on several factors. By choosing a drug and alcohol rehab facility that offers individualized treatment programs you can better ensure the treatment matches your specific needs.
It is also important to look for drug and alcohol rehabs that employ evidence-based treatment methods. Certain therapies are found to be effective in the treatment of substance use disorders such as:1
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Contingency management.
- Motivational enhancement therapy.
- 12-Step groups.
- Family behavior therapy.
Get Effective Addiction Treatment at Recovery First
If you are struggling with addiction or if someone you love is in need of treatment, reach out to Recovery First Treatment Center—a drug rehab near Miami that is known for providing effective treatment for substance use disorder.
Recovery First is accredited by The Joint Commission and our team of licensed mental healthcare professionals tailor treatment for each patient. Various levels of addiction treatment are available including:
- Medical detox.
- Inpatient addiction treatment.
- Partial hospitalization addiction treatment.
- Intensive outpatient drug rehab.
- Outpatient drug rehab.
Our Florida drug and alcohol rehab is in-network with many major insurance providers. To verify if your insurance covers rehab, simply complete the confidential now. Effective treatment is available. Contact us for help today.