Understanding Addiction Treatment

Substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite negative consequences. Because of the condition's complexity, each person diagnosed requires a unique and personalized treatment plan. Your therapeutic approach should consider your physical, social and psychological needs. Proper treatment is determined by the intensity of your addiction, as well as whether you have a mental problem or a chronic medical ailment. Understanding treatment principles will assist you in making the most of your program.

Dimensions for Assessment of Clinical Status and Needs

The American Society of Addiction Medicine treats people who have SUD with dignity, respect and compassion. The ASAM's multidisciplinary members all wish to help these individuals. ASAM members also share core values they used to establish treatment principles. These ideologies shape the treatment options and level of care for new or returning patients after detox and during inpatient rehabilitation or intensive outpatient programs. The ASAM Patient Placement Criteria (ASAM PPC), now known as the ASAM Criteria, helps clinicians determine the best therapy for their patients. They are organized into six dimensions:

Dimension 1: Acute intoxication and withdrawal potential

Understanding a person's past and current drug or alcohol usage and withdrawal is the chief aim of this dimension. For example, a person with alcoholism may require treatment for acute alcohol poisoning before beginning a rehabilitation program. Their provider may also use the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Scale (CIWA-Ar) to assess withdrawal potential for a medically aided withdrawal. They may also evaluate whether they can tolerate withdrawal without hospitalization.

Dimension 2: Biomedical conditions and complications

Untreated acute or chronic medical issues might make SUD treatment difficult. So, a physician would first assess the necessity of health care services. For example, if you attend a residential treatment facility, caregivers must know whether you are contagious to other people, including patients and hospital staff.

Dimension 3: Emotional, behavioral, or cognitive condition and complications

This component examines thoughts, emotions, and mental health issues to determine the need for psychiatric care. Considerations:

  • • Are there any co-occurring mental issues that might complicate or sabotage treatment?
  • • Do you require long-term mental health stability or treatment?

Dimension 4: Readiness to change

A clinician investigates your openness to and desire for change. There is only one question to ask when assessing this dimension and that is: are you prepared to limit or quit using drugs or engaging in addictive behaviors?

Dimension 5: Relapse, continued use or continued problem potential

Since relapse or continued drug or alcohol use is hard for everyone, identifying the need for relapse prevention programs is crucial. Considerations:

  • • What are the risks of continuing to use drugs or being mentally ill?
  • • How can you lower your chances of relapsing or deteriorating your mental health?
  • • Do psychotropic and addictive substances offer any benefits?
  • • Do you see a relationship between drug usage and dire consequences or dangerous behaviors?

Dimension 6: Recovery environment

In this dimension, a provider identifies the need for family, job, housing, legal or child care support. Considerations:

  • • What are the people, places, and objects in a person's immediate surroundings?
  • • Are there any connections or situations that might affect your health or capacity to engage in therapy?
  • • Is there a plan in place for a successful recovery?

What Is Behavioral Therapy?

Behavioral therapies are an essential aspect of addiction treatment. They assist people with SUD or AUD in changing their attitudes and actions toward substances and alcohol. As a result, patients can better cope with stressful events and triggers that may induce relapse. Behavioral therapy may also help patients stay in treatment longer.

How CBT Works

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used method of psychotherapy in rehabilitation. It also helps with the management of depressive symptoms, anxiety and other mental health conditions. CBT assumes that ideas, emotions and actions are interrelated. Therefore, the practice is the modification of thoughts and feelings to change your behaviors.

Receiving Contingency Management

Contingency management has been used for decades in addiction treatment. The premise is to offer rewards for good behaviors like attending therapy sessions and submitting to drug screens.

How MET Works

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a therapy strategy that helps substance users seek treatment. A therapist or counselor usually conducts MET for several sessions. Techniques include identifying difficulties linked with substance use, developing a personal desire to quit using, and taking the first steps toward change.

Being a Part of Family Therapy

Family therapy helps persons with drug issues (particularly young people) and their families overcome drug use and its impact. It enhances general family functioning and a more supportive atmosphere. Family counseling offers psychoeducation and problem resolution.

What Is the TSF?

The 12-step facilitation (TSF) is a commonly used and proven therapy for SUD and AUD. The therapy is based on 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and helps people prepare for and take part in 12-step recovery. TSF can boost the probability of people starting and staying in treatment.

How MAT works

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an essential and successful element in substance use therapy as a biopsychosocial paradigm that incorporates all aspects of a patient's life and medical history. The treatment combines medication with behavioral modalities like CBT, psychotherapy, group and family therapy to care for a "whole patient."

Every day, individuals suffer from substance and alcohol use disorders, and seeking help requires a lot of bravery. Having an experienced medical or mental health professional usually makes getting help simpler. Finding a substance use treatment program that is right for you is one of the best things you can do for yourself. So, it's essential to become educated on the level of care you need. When you're more informed on what you must go through, you're likely to have a more successful recovery.

Related Posts
The Optimal Inpatient Experience: Treatment Designed for You

Holistic, Luxury, Inpatient, Psychiatrist, Dual Diagnosis , Individual rooms with private bathrooms, Best Clinical team, Individual approach, Continuing care

Why can’t I stop drinking so much or using drugs?

Your brain adapts to substances with continued use, which makes stopping hard. It requires the right treatment to re-program your mind to live without them.

Treating Substance Use Disorder with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Using dialectical behavioral therapy to treat addiction is very popular and successful. Learn about acceptance-based and change-focused skills in recovery.


Get a Consultation Right Now!

Call: 800-641-2588

We are a group of professional and experienced psychologists and psychiatrists


Get a free, confidential consultation