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Why Is It Important that My Treatment Is Research-Proven

Why Is It Important that My Treatment Is Research-Proven

If drug addicts seek research-proven treatment, they can get the best care possible to overcome addiction

Countless San Diego drug addicts get sober thanks to 12-Step support groups and residential and outpatient clinics. Unfortunately, many also fail even after they spend large sums of money to attend rehab. However, if you fall into the latter camp, then take heart. according to Medline Plus[1], a publication by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)[2], of the 23.5 million teenagers and adults who with substance abuse disorders, only about one in ten gets treatment. One reason for this issue is that sometimes a single bout of treatment is insufficient for recovery to take hold. Furthermore, as relapse is a predictable part of the addiction cycle, experts in the field argue that some people require more intense and more frequent treatment before they can achieve abstinence.

However, a second issue also feeds relapse rates. According to a report published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse[3], the New York Times[4] recently examined treatment programs and found that most of them use outdated treatment methods. Although scientific studies show that newer approaches better help addicts achieve and maintain sobriety, many facilities stick with their old-school ways. The bottom line is that patients undergo treatment, yet leave rehab having never addressed the factors that underlie their addictions. In short, San Diego drug addicts should seek research-proven methods to get and stay clean.

Out with the Old, in with the New

The aforementioned report was based on findings from research conducted at the Columbia University[5]—it found that most addiction treatment providers are not medical professionals, nor are they equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of services that San Diego drug addicts need. In a nutshell, many of today’s drug addicts receive treatment that resembles the approach doctors had in the 1950’s.

To find addiction treatments with the highest probability of success, perform the following research:

  • Independently assess your problems and the kind of treatment needed. Seek an expert who is unaffiliated with the program you are considering.
  • Verify the rehab program’s credentials with its personnel to make sure its top clinicians hold Master’s Degrees at the minimum
  • If the therapist is a physician, then make sure she is officially certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine[6]
  • Make sure that the facility’s approach to treatment fits with your beliefs and values
  • Meet with the therapist who will treat you and ask what your treatment plan will be
  • Ensure that you will be treated by a licensed addiction counselor who will see you in one-on-one sessions

Lastly, find out if you will receive therapy for any underlying condition, like depression or a social problem that could sabotage your recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse[7] states that treatment must address drug abuse and associated medical, psychological, social, vocational and legal problems for it to be effective. For San Diego drug addicts to avoid relapse, they must treat all of the problems that promote drug abuse.

Gold Standards: Which Treatment Methods Excel

Treatment modalities abound, but most well-regarded programs share the following core beliefs:

  • Treatment should be customized to the individual
  • Addiction is a complicated yet treatable disease that affects both the brain and behavior
  • Treatment must meet multiple needs at once, not just the addiction
  • Stay at a treatment center for an adequate period of time
  • Medications can be helpful, especially in concert with counseling and other therapies
  • Treatment and service plans must be assessed continually to modify them as needed

There are over 13,000 specialized treatment facilities in the US, but San Diego residents need not feel overwhelmed to pick the right one for them. To narrow your selection, find out what menu of treatment methods the facility uses. Make sure your final choice sticks to models backed by ample scientific research that proves they work. Several likely options include the following list:

  • 12-Steps – An abstinence-based model that focuses on chemical dependency as a progressive, chronic disease that requires constant monitoring and preventative care
  • Cognitive Behavioral Treatment – A time-limited approach that addresses negative feelings and thoughts that feed substance abuse, thereby teaches people to redirect their thoughts and emotions in healthy ways
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy – This therapy combines standard methods for emotion regulation and reality testing with meditative concepts such as distress tolerance, acceptance and mindfulness
  • Bio-Psycho-Social Model – This experiential, peer-centered approach treats addiction at its roots to find environmental, cultural, social, peer and family influences for drug abuse
  • Harm-Reduction Model – An alternative to abstinence, this model teaches people to minimize negative consequences without abstaining entirely from those factors.

Do not settle for anything less than the best treatment option you can find, because your health is worth the effort. San Diego drug addicts can recover with the right help.

Help for San Diego Drug Addicts

If you or a San Diego loved one struggles with addiction, then know that you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness, so you address addiction if you reach out for help. Please call now to start your recovery today.


[1] The Science of Addiction: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring07/articles/spring07pg14-17.html

[2] http://www.nih.gov

[3] Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science & Practice | CASAColumbia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.casacolumbia.org/addiction-research/reports/addiction-medicine

[4] Effective Addiction Treatment – The New York Times. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/effective-addiction-treatment/?_r=0

[5] Columbia University in the City of New York. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.columbia.edu

[6] American Board of Addiction Medicine -American Board of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.abam.net

[7] National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov