Best Therapeutic Approaches for Addicts
Before you decide where to send your loved one to treatment, it’s important to look at the treatment center’s clinical philosophy and the type of therapies they currently use. Unfortunately, there are many treatment centers with antiquated, ineffective treatment methods- so it’s important to do your research. One of the largest offenses treatment centers are guilty of is not providing care that is long-term enough. The typical 30 day rehabs have been proven ineffective, if they are not followed up with consistent therapy/12-step meetings. Since addictive behavior is ingrained, especially after long-term use, short-term fixes will often lead to people going back to their ways. You can often deduce the length of a typical stay at any treatment center on their website, but there are more specific things you may want to have a sit-down with the staff to discuss before you or your loved one commit to a specific rehab or program.
You will also want to consider which therapeutic approach the treatment centers use- some therapies have been proven more effective than others. Certain therapies that have been proven quite effective in combating substance abuse include: cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and relapse prevention.
Motivational interviewing entails a therapist empowering a client or patient to change a destructive behavior in their life via motivation and positive reinforcement. It encompasses four central parts: engaging (talking to the patient and establishing a positive relationship with trust), focusing (starting to discuss the unhealthy behaviors the client wishes to change), evoking (empowering the client to change by stating the importance and accessibility of change) and planning (determining specific steps the patient can implement to achieve their goals). Research has found motivational interviewing to be quite helpful- leaving 3 out of 4 patients with a significant and clinically relevant change in affect.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another addiction treatment method that has been found to be effective. Cognitive behavioral therapy entails clients trying to change their traditional ways of thinking and trying to understand why they engage in certain behaviors. It is a short-term, goal-oriented type of therapy. And though therapy should certainly be continued past the CBT phase, CBT has been proven to show significant strides quickly, boasting an impressive success rate of approximately 50 percent. Relapse prevention techniques are also somewhat obviously helpful and imperative during substance abuse treatment. Relapse prevention therapy utilizes CBT to have patients develop self-control strategies regarding abstinence. This treatment approach includes the identification of high-risk scenarios and the creation of alternative coping mechanisms. There is significant research that suggests relapse prevention therapy increases the likelihood of continued sobriety after treatment. Some prescription drugs have also been proven to be successful in combating cravings. These include: naltrexone (manages alcohol and opioid dependence) and acamprosate (reduces cravings for alcohol).
However, there are some treatment methods that are proven to be less effective. Confrontational therapy, for one, has been proven widely ineffective in treating addicts and alcoholics. Confrontation therapy is a model that has been employed in many treatment centers (more particularly, in the past) and entails the therapist (or other patient) telling the patient who is allegedly in the wrong exactly what they feel and how they think of them, often using aggressive or pejorative terms. In a study in a treatment center in Bergen, Norway, 46 clients were either given confrontational therapy or not. No significant difference was shown in drinking after 6 months and actually the control groups had somewhat higher rates of abstinence. That’s why its important that when confrontation is necessary (such as in an intervention) it be done in a loving, supportive way, such as is the case with Recovery Care Partner.
Of course each addict is an individual and individuals will respond better or worse to certain treatments, depending on their personalities and lifestyles. That’s why it’s so important to do proper research before committing to one program- and remember, Recovery Care Partner can help you with all of your treatment needs.