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The 13 Principles of Effective Drug and Alcohol Treatment

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When it comes to drug and alcohol treatment, things are not black and white and there is no right way. Yet, there are things in life that work better than others, and that’s why we have published our principles of effective drug and alcohol treatment.

These principles are used by both treatment centers and individuals to find, provide, and get the best treatment possible and improve outcomes post-treatment.

Principles of Effective Drug and Alcohol Treatment

  1. There is not one specific treatment that is right for everyone. Different people will respond to different types of treatment better, including the setting, types of interventions, and services that can are provided.
  2. When someone is ready for treatment, it needs to be readily available. When a person can immediately get into drug and alcohol addiction treatment when they decide to go, their chance of success improves.
  3. When an individual is addicted, treatment needs to focus on more than just the drug use. Addiction impacts the whole person, and needs such as medical, psychological, and vocational should be addressed.
  4. Drug and alcohol treatment should be flexible and be able to grow with the person as they overcome their addiction. This requires an ongoing assessment of needs, sometimes as often as once a week.
  5. While many addiction programs are 28 days, the longer a person stays in treatment, the better his or her success. When an individual can get at least three months of inpatient care, there is a direct correlation to their success.
  6. A variety of treatment modalities works best, including group therapy, individual counseling, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and interpersonal relationship skills.
  7. For some addicts and alcoholics, medication may give them the best chance at success. Discuss this with your treatment center.
  8. If the addict or alcoholic also has a mental health diagnosis, an integrated approach is the best chance for success.
  9. While detox is necessary for many people, it is NOT drug or alcohol treatment. It is merely the first stage of treatment to protect the individual from withdrawal.
  10. While it’s always better when someone is internally motivated for change, treatment does not need to be voluntary to be successful.
  11. Because of the nature of addiction, it’s not always possible to trust what an addict or alcoholic says. Therefore, regular drug testing is appropriate during addiction treatment.
  12. Because of the risk for certain diseases, those in addiction treatment should be tested for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and STDs.
  13. While addiction treatment may last from 14 days to six months, that doesn’t mean it’s over. Recovery from addiction is a long-term process that has its ups and downs.

Are You Ready for Drug or Alcohol Treatment?

If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol and looking for a solution, call 800-654-0987. Our addiction professionals can answer your questions, discuss your treatment options, and get you the help you need, before it’s too late.