If you are not sure what evidence-based treatment is, then you should know these practices are specific treatments known to work because the best research available documents their success. Evidence-based treatment practices are sometimes abbreviated as EBTP, but they always take three things into account. The first is the most recent research, the second is the clinical experience of y our therapist or healthcare professional, and the third is your personal preferences and values as a client. Clinicians who employ evidence-based practices put together all three of these categories of information to formulate your best potential outcomes in treatment.
Evidence-Based Treatments for Addiction
For something to be an evidence-based practice, it should apply treatments based on research, and these treatments are customized to meet the personal preferences, needs, and cultural expectations of the client who is being treated. Evidence-based treatment for addiction and other conditions has been previously tested rigorously through sequences of case studies or randomized and controlled trials. An evidence-based treatment center is an establishment that deliberately chooses treatments based on their proven ability to deliver effective outcomes.
These treatments are often more effective than other options, and data backs this up. Evidence-based treatments have scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness, making them attractive options compared to treatments that don’t have a supporting body of evidence. Many of the studies done have looked into both evidence-based treatments and alternatives at the same time. People suffering from the same condition might be split into groups A and B and receive different treatments. If treatment A looks more effective than B, it’s more likely to be considered evidence-based. Its usefulness could grow with more study and research demonstrating its higher success rate in treating clients.
Evidence-based care can prove more effective for several reasons. For starters, it’s ethical and safe, free of subjective bias. Second, evidence-based treatments are cost-effective because the therapies are tested and proven to work in many cases. Third, clients are likely to feel better sooner rather than later when symptoms are reduced quickly and quality of life improves. Fourth, evidence-based counseling can be personalized to meet clients’ unique circumstances and needs. Finally, this kind of counseling applies to multiple disorders in different settings; it’s a toolkit clinicians can use broadly to treat many clients.
Types of Evidence-based Behavioral Therapies for Addiction Treatment
Even though evidence-based treatments have their roots in proven effectiveness and hard data, they can be applied in many different ways that help clients out with their addictive conditions, ranging from outpatient addiction treatment to medication-assisted treatment. Specific behavioral therapy pathways include CBT, DBT, MET, 12-step programs, and family therapy.
CBT is the acronym for cognitive behavioral therapy. This kind of psychological treatment is known to be useful in dealing with numerous issues, such as eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, depression, anxiety, marital problems, and serious mental illness. Bountiful research studies indicate that CBT improves clients’ quality of life, who can better function in their personal lives after therapy. Advances in CBT happen due to research and work done in clinical practice. CBT operates on the two assumptions that psychological issues are partially based on unhelpful thinking and that learned patterns of negative behavior can be changed by learning coping methods. This kind of treatment helps clients gain a better understanding of their motivations. Hence, they stop creating their problems, develop more self-confidence, eventually minimize their symptoms, and improve their quality of life. Specific behavioral strategies might include learning to calm down and relax, role-playing potentially troublesome interactions with others, and facing individual fears rather than practicing avoidance.
Another option is dialectical behavioral therapy. DBT is a form of talk therapy used with clients who experience intense emotions. Clinicians frequently employ this type of therapy for individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, but it’s also effective for many different mental health conditions. This form of psychotherapy is based on CBT and helps clients understand how their thoughts impact their emotions and, eventually, their decisions and behaviors. The emphasis is on helping clients accept their behaviors and lives so that they can learn how to change things. DBT is often effective in treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use disorders, PTSD, and self-harm. These conditions have a common thread of individuals having trouble regulating their emotions, which are often intense and negative.
Motivational enhancement therapy, or MET, is a client-centric directive therapeutic approach that emphasizes improving a person’s motivation for change. Many clients fully know how their behaviors hurt their relationships, social abilities, family life, and health and well-being. Yet, they may also have self-destructive attitudes and minimal motivation to improve themselves. MET therapists can help clients see their behaviors objectively to empower them to change. Five motivational cornerstones guide a clinician working with a client in this therapy, including expressing sympathy, developing discrepancy, avoiding arguments, rolling with resistance, and supporting self-efficacy.
Many clients facing various kinds of addiction might wind up involved in 12-step therapy for their particular substance. This all started with Alcoholics Anonymous as a spiritual basis for individual recovery from alcohol abuse disorder, but the 12-step recovery model has been expanded to narcotics and other substances. The 12 steps are intended to be a pathway to long-term sobriety and a lifestyle free of substance abuse, and the meetings are intended to be a chance for fellowship where individuals gather together to share their personal experiences. Some clients wind up using these groups as a primary resource for behavior modification. Still, they can also serve as complementary treatment just as much as they are a primary form of counseling.
One more kind of talk therapy is family therapy. While other forms of talk therapy emphasize the client as an individual, this format works on improving family relationships. There is still work on specific substance use disorders, but family members might participate in various combinations in these sessions. Family therapy doesn’t always restrict itself to blood relatives who share common genetics, as a client might also consider guardians, friends, and caregivers their family. This kind of therapy can help resolve relationship conflicts, death, grief, aging changes, and medical conditions that impact family dynamics. Many mental health conditions and even substance use disorders might run in the family, so group treatment that helps one individual might make life easier for everyone involved. Family therapy is guided by someone licensed and trained in this kind of work so that the client gets the guidance, support, and education necessary to function better and enjoy a healthier life moving forward.
Medication Assisted Treatment as Evidence-Based Practice
Medication-assisted treatment is also known simply as MAT. In this methodology, healthcare professionals utilize medications in conjunction with behavioral therapies and counseling to treat clients who have substance use disorders. Clients who specifically struggle with opioid use disorders might receive medications that deal with the physical hardships they experience when they cease opioid use. Applying MAT can help restore normal functioning in a client’s neurological system, and this minimizes cravings for addictive substances while lowering the odds of a future relapse. The longer a client stays in treatment, the better able they can manage their dependency while advancing toward recovery. There is abundant evidence showing how certain medications can help manage several substance use disorders. They make it less likely that clients will contract or spread infectious diseases, engage in criminal activities, drop out of treatment, overdose, or withdraw from gainful employment.
One medication used in MAT is disulfiram, specifically for alcohol use disorder. This medication blocks an enzyme the body needs to break alcohol down. Someone who consumes alcohol while under this prescription is likely to experience very uncomfortable side effects that motivate them not to drink in the future. Disulfiram isn’t a cure for someone diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, nor does it work by itself without non-drug treatments. Counseling support, psychotherapy, and behavior modification are still necessary on top of disulfiram if you want the best odds of putting alcohol use behind you.
Another MAT option is naltrexone, a prescription medication used in the treatment of both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. It can help you stop your use of either substance and stay off of it. Naltrexone is a member of a class of drugs called opioid antagonists, and it functions by blocking the human body’s mu-opioid receptors. As opioid medications and sources of alcohol have their effects blocked, it’s not possible to become intoxicated because of them. This drug also changes how the adrenal gland, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus interact in ways that suppress how much alcohol you consume. Naltrexone is available as Vivitrol, an extended-release form of intramuscular injection; name-brand versions of the oral tablets are discontinued but available in generic formats.
One more MAT option is suboxone, which has a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone blocks opioid medication effects, such as the good feelings or pain relief thought to contribute to opioid abuse. Buprenorphine itself is a narcotic opioid medication. Suboxone isn’t used as pain medication but can be a part of treatment for narcotic addiction.
Granite Recovery Center’s Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment Centers
We utilize a hands-on approach at Granite Recovery Centers, giving our clients higher chances of success by implementing numerous evidence-based models of care alongside the R.E.S.T. program. Many of our clients battling addiction might start with our medical detox services to undergo withdrawal symptoms of their substance of choice safely. We offer inpatient residential treatment for those who can benefit from 24-hour support after detox, but we also have intensive outpatient treatment programs or IOP for those who need to continue treatment but don’t need around-the-clock supervision. Call us at 855-712-7784 to learn what options may be right for you.