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What is the Most Effective Treatment for Substance Addiction?

effective addiction treatment in connecticut

Families want what is best for their loved ones. If your son or daughter is struggling with substance addiction, you want (perhaps more than anything) for them to get on a healthy path. You want to find an addiction treatment program that will work, or that will be most effective, in helping your loved one overcome their substance abuse. However, with so many types of addiction treatment programs out there, you may not know where to begin.

Addiction in the family is devastating, and when you are so filled with emotion, it can be difficult to decide on the “right” rehab program. With so many options available, it is common to feel overwhelmed. You likely want to find the best program out there, that promises the most effective treatment for addiction.  

The truth is, while many factors can contribute to effectiveness, the most effective addiction treatment will differ for each individual. Drug treatment is not one-size-fits-all. There is no one type of treatment or even combination of treatments, that will work for everyone in recovery. Rather, the most effective treatment for addiction is one that is personalized to meet each individual’s needs. It offers the therapies needed to treat a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and even social needs – and it is adaptable and can evolve throughout the recovery process.

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains in their Principles of Effective Treatment, “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone… Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.”

With this in mind, the most effective treatment for addiction will be cognizant of your loved one’s:

  • Age and gender
  • Ethnicity and culture
  • Substance(s) of choice
  • Medical needs
  • Mental health state
  • Psychological disorders
  • History of trauma
  • Legal troubles (if applicable)
  • Social challenges and relationships
  • Academic and vocational needs
  • Openness or reluctance to treatment

The best treatment program for addiction will also be willing to change course over time. As your loved one progresses through recovery, their needs will change. Great treatment will adapt accordingly. This is key to success.

Other Components of Effective Addiction Treatment 

As noted above, some factors can contribute to treatment efficacy. For example, an effective treatment program will typically use evidence-based therapies for treating substance addiction. Evidence-based therapies are treatments that are supported by science and have proven successful at one point in time. Below are examples of evidence-based treatments for substance abuse and addiction:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on relapse prevention. It teaches individuals how to identify and correct the problematic behaviors or ways of thinking that have led them to substance use. It also prepares them with coping skills to avoid difficult cravings and situations in recovery. 
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET): Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a counseling method designed to engage individuals in the treatment process, strengthen their motivation to change, and build a plan for their recovery. Like CBT, MET also teaches coping strategies for dealing with high-risk situations.
  • Family Behavior Therapy (FBT): Family Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based approach that has been found effective for both adolescents and young adults. It is designed to get family members, such as a parent, sibling, and/or spouse, involved in their loved one’s treatment, and teaches skills that all parties can use at home after treatment is complete. FBT is associated with particularly strong outcomes for adolescents battling addiction.
  • 12-Step Facilitation Model: 12-Step Facilitation Therapy is an active engagement strategy used to promote abstinence. It requires clients to participate in meetings with other individuals in recovery, and helps them to accept and overcome their drug abuse problems.

As you research treatment programs, be sure to ask about which evidence-based therapies they utilize in the recovery process. In addition, you may also assess the program’s structure to ensure it is equipped to meet your loved one’s individual needs. Ask the following questions to determine if it will be an effective treatment for your loved one’s addiction:

  • Does the facility offer long-term treatment programs? 

According to the NIDA, remaining in treatment for at least 3 months is essential for overcoming addiction. Longer bouts of treatment are associated with longer periods of abstinence. 

  • Does the program offer inpatient rehabilitation if needed?

Another principle of effective addiction treatment is that it offers continuous monitoring. When substance use is continuously monitored, clients feel more accountable in recovery. In an inpatient setting, continuous care and monitoring are guaranteed, and clients have access to recovery services and support at all times.

  • Is the treatment program prepared to treat other co-occurring disorders?

Substance use disorders often go hand-in-hand with other health conditions. For example, mental health disorders (like depression or anxiety) are extremely common among those struggling with addiction, and have many causal effects. Sometimes, health conditions like HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases could be at play. It is important to speak with your treatment program to see if they have clinicians who specialize in co-occurring disorders. 

Finding Effective Treatment for Addiction

It is difficult to define “effective addiction treatment” because the word “effective” cannot mean the same thing for everyone. How successful a certain treatment program or therapy might be, will depend on how much it is tailored to a person’s individual needs. It will depend on their drug of choice, their age and experiences, their mental health condition, and how ready they are to get help. Remember that treatment does not have to be voluntary to be effective; however, treatment programs must be readily accessible when a person does show any willingness (or has an obligation) to start.

The important thing to know about substance addiction is that recovery is possible. While addiction is a chronic disease, it can be treated successfully with active and ongoing care. For the most successful outcomes, substance addiction should be treated in a professional setting. 

Professional treatment, according to the NIDA, is most effective in treating substance use disorders. “Most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.” However, they explain, the efficacy of treatment will depend on several factors. “Individual treatment outcomes depend on the extent and nature of the patient’s problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems, and the quality of interaction between the patient and his or her treatment providers.” As you seek an addiction treatment program for your loved one, ask yourself: 

  • What does your loved one need to overcome their substance abuse? 
  • What will best set your loved one up for success in recovery? 
  • What type of environment will your loved one thrive in?

To learn about the adolescent and young adult treatment programs at Turnbridge, please do not hesitate to reach out. We specialize in treating co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders in teens, young women, and young men. We are here to answer your questions, and get your loved one on the path to sobriety. Call 877-581-1793 to learn more.