Drug & Alcohol Treatment

Principles For Effective Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Numerous studies conducted over the course of the last three decades have demonstrated that treatment can help people change destructive behaviors, avoid relapse, and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance abuse and addiction. Recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has identified some key principles that should form the basis of any effective treatment program:

  • No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug addiction.
  • An individual’s treatment and service plan must be assessed often and modified to meet the person’s changing needs.
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness.
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are critical components of virtually all effective treatments for addiction.
  • For certain types of disorders, medications are an important element of treatment, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
  • Addicted or drug-abusing individuals with coexisting mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way.
  • Medical management of withdrawal syndrome is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
  • Possible drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
  • Treatment programs should provide assessment for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, and should provide counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place themselves or others at risk of infection.
  • As is the case with other chronic, relapsing diseases, recovery from drug addiction can be a long-term process and typically requires multiple episodes of treatment, including “booster” sessions and other forms of continuing care.

LICADD supports these principles and makes treatment referrals accordingly. If you or someone you love needs help with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call us at 516-747-2606 for immediate assistance.