Two of the most common questions we at The Discovery House are asked are “Why is it so hard to recover from substance addiction?’ and “What is the best way to get sober again?”
In order to understand the answers to these questions, you must first understand the nature of the disease. DrugAbuse.gov points out that “drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences.”
“While the path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs, over time a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive. This behavior results largely from the effects of prolonged drug exposure on brain functioning. Addiction is a brain disease that affects multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and inhibitory control over behavior.”
But substance addiction is treatable and with the right drug abuse treatment program, an alcoholic or addict can once again live a productive and sober life.
Since drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual’s life, substance addiction treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences. Addiction treatment must help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. Because addiction is typically a chronic disease, people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients require long-term or repeated periods of rehabilitative care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery.
What Approaches Have Been the Most Effective in Treating Substance Addiction?
An article in the New York Times addressed the question of why so many addiction rehab centers fail at helping their clients successfully recover their lives. In Effective Addiction Treatment, the author states that out of the 23.5 million people that are addicted to drugs or alcohol, only 1 in 10 get the treatment. What’s more, is that they fail to maintain their recovery because many treatment centers don’t implement evidence-based methods that are meant to deal with the underlying factors of addiction.
“According to recent examinations of treatment programs, most are rooted in outdated methods rather than newer approaches shown in scientific studies to be more effective in helping people achieve and maintain addiction-free lives. People typically do more research when shopping for a new car than when seeking treatment for addiction.”
So what are those newer and more successful addiction treatment approaches?
5 Effective Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Therapies
Here at The Discovery House, we understand that not every treatment center is created equal. We assess your individual needs and take into account where exactly you are in your addiction. We then formulate a custom treatment plan based on your unique needs, utilizing only the most effective treatment therapies.
Relapse prevention is a form of therapy that helps patients identify the situations and behaviors that could lead them back to substance use. Clients develop strategies to handle these triggers and resist the temptation to use again.
CBT is based on the concept that a person’s behavior is strongly influenced by their thought patterns. By replacing destructive thought patterns with more realistic, healthier ones, patients can change the way they react.
While other treatment approaches focus on changing the patient’s behavior, the goal of motivational interviewing is to inspire a desire to change. Motivational interviewing is utilized by The Discovery House addiction counselors to help patients resolve their ambivalence toward treatment.
Trauma-informed counseling at The Discovery House helps patients develop coping skills to help them heal from their traumatic experiences. This counseling approach also teaches patients behavioral techniques to help them manage their trauma symptoms and prevent a relapse.
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
Rational emotive behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach that focuses on currently held attitudes, painful emotions and maladaptive behaviors that can be disruptive or self-defeating. This method of treatment by The Discovery House involves an REBT practitioner who personalizes a set of techniques for helping individuals examine their own thoughts, beliefs, and actions and replace those that are self-defeating with more life-enhancing alternatives.
Key Principles at Our Treatment Centers
Based on this research, key principles, such as the recognition that addiction is a complex disease that affects brain function and behavior, have emerged that should form the basis of any effective treatment program:
· No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
· Treatment needs to be readily available.
· Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. Many drug–addicted individuals also have other mental disorders (dual diagnosis).
· Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
· Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
· Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
· An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
· Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long–term drug abuse.
· Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
· Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.
· Treatment programs should assess patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. Targeted risk–reduction counseling helps patients modify or change behaviors that place them at risk of contracting or spreading infectious diseases.
Finding the right drug addiction treatment center can be the hardest part of beginning the recovery process. The Discovery House, located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, agrees with NIDA’s findings and utilizes a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that allow each client to receive the individualized care they deserve, even if they suffer from co-occurring disorders.
The Discovery House certified substance abuse counselor caseloads are designed to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment experience and we maintain a 3 resident to 1 counselor ratio for that purpose. Our expanded staffing ensures that our highly credentialed treatment team can deliver the highest level of care to our residents.