May 11, 2023

What is Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction?

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Dr. Priya Chaudhri
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You’ve decided it is time to get help for a substance use disorder and are considering your treatment options. As you begin researching various treatment programs, you may come upon the term “evidence-based treatment.” So, what is an evidence-based rehab?

What is an Evidence-Based Rehab?

The term “evidence based” refers to therapeutic techniques that have been studied and shown to cause a positive treatment result. Clinical trials and other forms of research yield data regarding the efficacy and safety of various forms of therapy.

In addiction recovery programs, the most often used therapies include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT looks at both the thoughts and behaviors of the person, and helps them change unhealthy thought patterns. CBT teaches them to change negative or disordered thoughts toward self-affirming and positive ones.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Similar to CBT, DBT identifies the active connection between accepting the need to change and then making those changes. DBT helps treat the compulsive behavioral patterns using new coping techniques.  The four basic tenets of DBT include mindfulness, interpersonal relations, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy: MET is a short-term therapy composed of four steps. It is often used with other types of therapies at the outset of a treatment program. MET deals with the ambivalence that many may have about living a sober life. MET helps persuade the person to embrace their recovery and helps them become motivated from within.
  • Contingency Management. CM is a treatment approach that uses rewards to reinforce the new desired behaviors. Rewards used in CM can include vouchers that can be used toward activities that are consistent with a sober lifestyle. CM sometimes involves cash prizes over the course of the treatment program when certain benchmarks are met. A benchmark may be three consecutive negative drug or alcohol screenings, for instance.

What to Look for in an Evidence-Based Rehab

While searching for the best rehab fit for you, it helps to have a list of features to look for. Consider asking about these, and better yet, schedule a tour of the rehab facility:

  • Privacy must be a priority. Look for a rehab that is committed to client privacy. Inquire about which measures they take to protect your data and ensure your privacy.
  • Customized treatment plans. The evidence-based rehab should offer treatment plans and case management that is tailored to each person’s unique needs.
  • Evidence-based approach. Ask if their program features evidence-based treatment elements.
  • Qualifications. Inquire about the staff credentials to make sure they are trained and licensed addiction specialists.
  • Client-to-staff ratio. Ask about the ratio of treatment staff to clients, as this will tell you how much personal attention you will receive there.
  • Rehab licensing. The rehab should be fully licensed with the state and hold accreditation with CARF and/or Joint Commission.
  • Clean and orderly. The rehab should appear clean, organized, and well-maintained.
  • Respectful environment. Look for a comfortable positive sense of trust and respect present in the rehab and in interactions between staff and client.
  • Aftercare services. The rehab should offer access to aftercare services and alumni support.

Evidence-Based Treatment Include Holistic

It isn’t only psychotherapies that are studied for efficacy in addiction treatment. Holistic methods are also a focus of research and have been found to be a positive addition to the treatment elements at most rehabs.

Holistic treatments work in tandem with the clinical therapies. These are activities that teach clients how to reach a calm, relaxed state of being. This can be very helpful in the rehab setting, as some may find it anxiety provoking. But these methods are quite useful as basic recovery tools beyond the treatment setting to help manage stress.

Holistic treatments may include meditation, yoga, massage, mindfulness, and journaling.

Preparing for Rehab

Before you begin treatment, it is always best to do some preparation. These are things to plan and prepare for during your absence, assuming you are heading to a residential program:

  1. Check your insurance. Because each health insurance plan is unique, you should reach out to the provider and ask about coverage. They will walk you through your benefits, and also help estimate your out-of-pocket expense for rehab.
  2. Gather a support network. In recovery, you will need a solid network of support. It helps to know you’ll have at least one or two friends or family members that are there for you.
  3. Tell your employer. Work out your leave of absence with your employer to safeguard your job after rehab.
  4. Tie up loose ends. Before taking a leave from your family, it helps to prepare finances and daycare arrangements if needed.

How to Make the Most of Your Evidence-Based Rehab Experience

Rehab is what you make of it. Try to go in for treatment with a positive attitude. Here are some things that will increase your benefits from rehab:

  • Research. Do some research on your detox and treatment planning to know what to expect, so you can be mentally prepped. If you read up on medical detox to learn how your symptoms will be managed, it reduces anxiety.
  • Participate. Engage in the treatment elements. Make an effort to participate as much as possible in treatment. This includes therapy sessions, group therapy, family therapy, and group activities. The more you engage, the more you own your recovery.
  • Gratitude. Even though going through detox and treatment is no fun, there is still much to be grateful for. Consider taking a journal with you to rehab so you can find three things daily to jot down. This simple practice cultivates a positive attitude.

Now that you know what evidence-based rehab is, you can see why it is so important to recovery.

Elevation Behavioral Healthcare Provides Evidence-Based Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Healthcare is an evidence-based rehab. As a private residential mental health and dual diagnosis treatment center, our use of evidence-based treatment is intentional. If you or a loved one has any questions about our program, please reach out today at (888) 561-0868.

Our team of experts is here to help you.