evidence based treatment

What Does Evidence-Based Treatment Mean for Addiction?

Addiction is an incurable disease, but that does not mean that it needs to continue on perpetually for the remainder of one’s life. Addiction can be treated so that those who battle overwhelming cravings and compulsive substance abuse can live happy, healthy, sober lives free from the consequences of active addiction. 

An exceptional amount of research has been conducted regarding addiction treatment over the years, and today there are several different combinations of therapies and medications that can be used to treat those battling this disease. Of the therapies and treatments that are utilized in addiction treatment programs are evidence-based. 

What is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Evidence-based treatment is a treatment that has been researched and scientifically proven to be effective in treating a condition or disease. Addiction treatment facilities that incorporate evidence-based treatments into their care plans for their clients are using the most cutting-edge, studied treatments known to improve the health and wellbeing of addicts and alcoholics alike. And while it might seem like every type of therapy or treatment that is used in a professional setting must be proven to work, the truth is, that is not a requirement. That is why facilities that practice evidence-based treatments are often regarded as being some of the best in the business. 

So, what does it take for a treatment to become “evidence-based?” Those who are studying the treatment at hand are attempting to determine which level of efficacy the treatment meets. Based on their research, it can be decided that the treatment falls between levels 1 and 5, which are described below:

  • Level 1 – Well-established treatments
    • Very strong research support
    • At least two large-scale randomized controlled trials
    • Not affiliated with treatment developers

  • Level 2 – Probably efficacious treatments
    • Supported by research 
    • Does not have independent research support
  • Level 3 – Possibly efficacious treatments
    • Known as “promising treatments”
    • Minimal research support

  • Level 4 – Experimental treatments
    • Being used but is not properly tested
  • Level 5 – Tested but did not work
    • Tested but resulted in no positive findings
    • May cause harm

Hearing that a treatment is evidence-based does not automatically mean that it is a level 1 treatment and is the cream of the crop. In many cases, evidence-based treatments are used despite being a level 2, 3, or 4. That does not mean that they do not help, rather it means that the research that has been conducted thus far has only produced these results.

Types of Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction

There are currently several behavioral and pharmacological evidence-based treatments regularly used in the majority of addiction treatment facilities nationwide. Their level of efficacy is trusted and expected to provide positive results. Some behavioral evidence-based treatments include:

The pharmacological treatments that are evidence-based and utilized to help treat the physical effects of drug and alcohol addiction include:

Depending on the needs of the client, their treatment plans may include several of the above listed evidence-based treatments. It is expected that regardless of which level of addiction treatment a person enters into, that they will participate in individual therapy and group counseling, two of the most widely used evidence-based treatments in the United States.

Importance of Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction 

Why is it so important to have evidence-based treatment for addiction? Why do therapies, approaches, and pharmacological resources need to go through such extensive research prior to being given a stamp of approval? Well, addiction is an extremely complex disease to treat. There are several mental, physical, and emotional components that are all tied up into one big knot that needs to be slowly but surely untangled. When there are treatments to pull from that have been scientifically proven to work, the challenge of treating such a complex disease becomes slightly easier. The guess work is removed and healthcare providers can rest assured knowing that the care they are offering has the ability to produce highly positive outcomes and even get their patients into long-term recovery. 

Evidence-based treatments are safe. They are treatments that have proven themselves to be helpful rather than harmful. Because treatments are studied and researched to determine if they work or not, there is a strong element of comfort in knowing the difference. The more treatments are studied, the more treatments can be deemed positive or negative, which quickly roots out the treatments that might even be dangerous to participate in. Being able to ensure one’s safety at a time when they are most vulnerable is absolutely critical, as utilizing ineffective or harmful treatments can make one’s situation worse. 

If you are looking into obtaining professional addiction treatment for yourself or your loved one, consider asking what types of evidence-based treatment the facility you are interested in offers. When facilities offer evidence-based treatments, it shows that they are focused on providing top-of-the-line clinical care to each and every patient. Ask any and all questions you may have regarding the evidence-based treatment they offer to gather more information to help you make your decision.

Do You Need Help? 

Having an active addiction is much more difficult that most people ever think. Your mental and emotional wellbeing gets destroyed, and while you may desperately want to stop using, the compulsion to do so is so powerful that it stands in the way of you getting help. That constant, everyday challenge does not need to be your reality any longer. If you are ready to stop using and begin recovering, call us right now. We understand the challenges of addiction and are ready to support you along your path towards recovery.

So, do not wait any longer. The more time you waste, the closer you come to an early death. Reach out and call us right now. We will answer any and all questions and help you get moving in the right direction. 

Do not wait. Call right now. We can help.

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