Principles of Effective Treatment

 

  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.

  • No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.  

  • Treatment needs to be readily available.

  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her substance use.

  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.

  • Behavioral therapies—including individual, family, or group counseling—are the most common approaches for treating SUD.

  • Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.

  • A patient’s treatment plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to meet his or her changing needs.

  • Many SUD patients also have other mental disorders.

  • Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term substance misuse.  

  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.

  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment can occur.  

  • Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk-reduction counseling and link patients to treatment if necessary.