Most people with substance use disorder recover despite our chronically underfunded treatment services for addictions and other mental health disorders, not because of them. Even more will recover once we have publicly funded, timely, compassionate and evidence-based treatment for all. There are great reasons for hope, as there is a new awareness that our system requires significant change and that this change is necessary as soon as possible. As the stigma of addiction and other mental health disorders lifts, more people will seek treatment sooner, which will provide a faster path to recovery.
If there is life, it's never too late to recover. The Addiction Center receives advertising payments from treatment centers that answer calls to toll-free numbers listed on the websites and is not associated with any specific treatment provider. However, in residential and community treatment programs across the country, these evidence-based treatments are relatively scarce, according to the CASA Columbia report. At the severe end of addiction, treatment is likely to involve detoxification to control withdrawal, residential treatment, outpatient treatment while in a sober home, and ultimately reintegration into the community with ongoing medication supervision by professionals and participation in self-help groups.
Unfortunately, solving the problem of drug treatment in the United States will not be as simple as requiring that all authorized treatment programs implement CBT, motivational interviewing, or some other evidence-based approach. Medications are available for the treatment of addiction to opioids (heroin, prescription pain relievers), tobacco (nicotine), and alcohol. According to the American Addiction Centers, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a valuable treatment tool because it can be used for many different types of addictions, including, but not limited to, food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction. Drugs for the treatment of addiction have the most effective results when taken together with a comprehensive treatment program.
Federally funded clinical treatment programs should report their patients' response to treatment or “results during treatment” in a standard manner. Residential treatment centers can use a variety of therapeutic approaches and are generally intended to help the patient live a drug-free and crime-free lifestyle after treatment. Addiction treatment to reduce substance abuse usually consists of a combination of group and individual therapy sessions that focus on teaching people in recovery the skills needed to be sober and stay sober, as well as how to cope with various situations without resorting to drugs or alcohol. The length of treatment required, whether residential or outpatient treatment, depends on the severity and duration of a person's addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Several examples come from the Clinical Trials Network (CTN), a NIDA-sponsored initiative in which community treatment programs implement and study evidence-based treatment methods, according to John Kelly, PhD, associate director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The Addiction Center does not endorse any treatment center or guarantee the quality of care provided, or the results that will be obtained, in any treatment center.