What is Evidence-Based Treatment? | California Behavioral Health
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What is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Treatment centers across the United States offer several different services that are designed to help those struggling with substance use disorders put an end to their active addictions. If you are looking to obtain professional addiction treatment, knowing more about services such as evidence-based treatment can help you better prepare for what to expect. 

Many of the therapies and approaches that you may hear about as you are trying to enroll in an addiction treatment program may be referred to as “evidence-based”. Evidence-based treatments are some of the most highly regarded forms of therapeutics when it comes to treating substance use disorders. But what are they exactly? And what does “evidence-based” mean? And is an evidence-based treatment center the best type of treatment center to attend?

What is Evidence-Based Treatment?

A treatment that is evidence-based is one that has been thoroughly researched and proven effective in treating substance use disorders. Prior to being deemed an evidence-based treatment, however, the specific therapy must be tested and meet specific requirements. These requirements include the following, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • The method has been researched, scientifically studied, and the research has been published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • This method has provided the desired outcome(s) regarding the objectives of the addiction treatment
  • The method has been standardized so it can be repeated. This means that instructions have been printed, detailing how the addiction treatment method should be used, with whom it should be used, the overall goals of the method, and any other materials needed to complete the method successfully
  • The method has been studied in more than one environment and has provided consistent and effective results 
  • A measure could be (or has already been developed) to determine how well the implementation of the treatment method is adhering to the protocol that was originally researched 

When a treatment can tick all of these boxes, it can be labeled as evidence-based. This means that the treatment is scientifically sound, has been heavily researched, and has proven to provide positive outcomes for patients. Evidence-based treatments are the gold standard when it comes to treating substance use disorders. This is due to how highly effective they are. 

Types of Evidence-Based Treatment

There are therapeutic and pharmacological types of evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder.  Some of the most widely used pharmacological evidence-based treatments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Disulfiram – Disulfiram is often prescribed to patients with alcohol use disorder. It works by making the individual feel ill if they drink alcohol, thus helping them abstain from drinking. 
  • Acamprosate — Acamprosate works to reduce cravings for continued alcohol use in people with alcohol use disorder. 
  • Methadone/buprenorphine — Methadone and buprenorphine are two medications commonly used to treat individuals with opioid use disorder. They work by fully or partially (depending on which one is being used) binding to opioid receptors in the brain to help reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Naltrexone — Naltrexone, known by the brand name Vivitrol, is used to help prevent relapse in individuals with opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. It interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain like methadone and buprenorphine do but is non-addictive. 

Many psychological therapies are also evidence-based and used in an evidence-based treatment center.

Evidence-Based Therapies

  • Family therapy — Addiction is viewed as a family disease, as it impacts everyone within the family unit. Family therapy focuses on bringing family members together to work through their difficulties. This therapy helps establish healthy, functioning relationships with each other.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy — Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is an evidence-based treatment that challenges patients to push back against their negative thinking patterns. CBT is designed to improve emotional regulation and additional healthy coping skills. 
  • Contingency management — Those patients who struggle to stay sober may be put on a contingency management plan. This means that they will set recovery goals for themselves and be rewarded by their therapist when they achieve them. Their reward is often something such as a gift card, movie tickets, scratch tickets, etc. 
  • Motivational interviewing — A therapist will conduct motivational interviewing with a patient who is having difficulty getting motivated in their own recovery. The therapist works to help patients develop behaviors that support their drive to get sober and maintain their recovery. 
  • Twelve-step therapy — Twelve-step therapy is an evidence-based treatment that brings communities of people together to help one another remain accountable in their recovery. Each of the twelve steps is designed to help recovering addicts and alcoholics develop coping skills, achieve personal growth, and establish a spiritual foundation in their recovery. 

Other evidence-based treatments include individual therapy, group counseling, multi-dimensional family therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and couples therapy. 

Benefits of Enrolling in an Addiction Treatment Center

When it comes to recovering from a substance use disorder, putting forth your very best effort from the start can lay the groundwork for your future success. Every person seeking professional help has different needs and may require different approaches to treatment. However, evidence-based treatments are some of the most highly-regarded forms of addiction treatment available today. They can reach people with all types of various needs. 

If you enroll in an evidence-based treatment center, you can benefit from the following:

  • You will receive the most heavily researched and scientifically proven treatments available for substance use disorder
  • You will have the greatest possible chance for establishing a healthy footing in recovery and developing skills on how to maintain that recovery
  • You’ll have both therapeutic and pharmacological resources available to you should you have a condition where both forms of evidence-based treatment can benefit you
  • You will be in the care of professionals who value science, research, and positive outcomes 

Thankfully, if you are looking for an evidence-based treatment center, you should have no problem finding one. Evidence-based treatment centers are very popular because of these and other benefits and are located throughout the United States and abroad. 

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Palm Springs, CA

We understand how serious substance use disorders are. We also understand how imperative it is to provide the very best treatment possible for this specific disease. At our evidence-based treatment center, we can help you overcome your struggles with substance use disorder. Our team will help you and begin establishing a life that is happy, healthy, and sound. 

Do not wait any longer. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you here in Palm Springs, CA.


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