5 Qualities of the Best Addiction Treatment Programs
Addiction is more than an individual problem. It has repercussions across a broad range of family dynamics with health and social implications that have reached epidemic proportions. According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users. Of the estimated millions of people who need treatment annually, only about 20% actually receive it.
With research and proven technologies we are better able to understand the complexity of addiction and its effects and consequences. Improvements in the effectiveness of treatments are being made to bridge the gaps that have, historically, been swept aside and the following, are 5 qualities of the best addiction treatment programs.
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1.) Easy Access
According to the NIDA, “Treatment needs to be readily available.” The cycles of addiction involve frequent bouts of intoxications and withdrawals that leaves little time frame to take advantage of the person’s willingness to enter an addiction treatment program. When they are intoxicated, they are typically not worried about the consequences of their substance abuse and when they are withdrawing, the main thing on their minds is to get more of the drugs. Treatment needs to be easily accessible in order to be useful.
2.) Well Staffed
According to the NIDA, “An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.” The best addiction treatment programs employ a staff that is knowledgeable, caring, and able to form a trusting relationship with the patient, supporting and guiding them in their goals and recovery efforts
3.) Psychosocial Support
According to the NIDA, “Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse. The best addiction treatment programs will provide access or referrals for needed medical, psychiatric, family, social, legal and vocational services. Having these services available when needed improves treatment outcomes and gives the patient a greater degree of confidence and motivation to remain abstinent and engaged in ongoing treatment plans.
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4.) Comprehensive and Integrated Services
The best addiction treatment programs will integrate individual, group, and family counseling with behavioral therapies and psychosocial support throughout the course of treatment. Addiction becomes embedded in every aspect of the person’s life and changes, typically, come about in varying degrees with some areas needing more improvements than others. According to the Institute of Medicine (US), “Response to treatment is not a matter of all or nothing, complete success versus total failure, but of degrees of improvement.” By integrating services in a comprehensive plan that improves the overall negative aspects, concurrently, healing can be expected much quicker.
5.) Proven Efficacy
The best addiction treatment programs have a proven effectiveness in their treatment approaches. Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. The treatment program should be up to date in its practices and recovery methods and able to appropriately treat the addict for the type of substances they use as well as their age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.