Whether you are looking into substance abuse treatment for yourself or your loved one, it is important to understand the different approaches to treatment, and which one will provide the best outcome for your situation. Not all treatment centers and programs are the same. How a treatment center understands addiction will have a tremendous impact on how the issues, in your life or your loved one’s life, are treated. We are going to discuss three common treatment frameworks, what to consider when making your choice, and what to expect from each.
- The problem is looked at as a spiritual malady: often these treatment centers view addiction as a spiritual problem, and rely mostly on 12-step based programs, and sometimes religion, as the main treatment model. Centers which only focusing on this often don’t track results so it is hard to show the outcome and success rates.
- The problem is considered a disease: in these treatment centers health professionals consider addiction to be a biological condition the same as Cancer or Heart Disease. They refer to addiction as a chronic disease that needs to be managed daily. They also recognize addiction as a condition that limits an individual’s power to change their life experience. Typically this method includes a lot of outside support, a less empowerment for the addicts themselves. Sometimes these programs rely heavily on medication-assisted treatment (i.e. Suboxone, methadone, etc.) rather than a more balanced approach.
- The problem is a neurological/ behavioral disorder: these treatment centers focus on leading science edge research that identifies addiction as a behavioral disorder that changes the structure and function of the brain. These facilities use a variety of evidence-based treatment methods that both work to expose as well as heal the underlying psychological causes of addiction; they change the way the brain functions, so that the addict can learn to live a healthier, addiction-free life. The framework for this method focuses on changing the neural connections the addict’s brain has developed during the addiction process. This method of treatment allows for both psychological and behavioral therapies, and interventions, making it a versatile way to treat a complex condition innately unique to each individual.
All of these three methods offer different views of substance use disorders, and different ways of treating them. There are a few programs around that grab the benefits from each of these models, and put together a comprehensive treatment plan using various proven methods to recover. Which ever you feel would fit you or your loved one best, is up to you. It helps to be aware of all available options so you can then use the information to find which treatment center will best fit the individual in need.