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Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment in California: Why It Matters

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Home recovery Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment in California: Why It Matters

People with substance use disorders are not all the same.  Each person has unique strengths and weaknesses, comorbid disorders, and environmental issues that may have fueled their substance use. Therefore, substance abuse is motivated by different reasons for each individual.  For these reasons, and more, the use of evidence-based addiction treatment is a recommended and proven method for treating substance use disorders.  

What Is Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment?

Evidence-based addiction treatment uses scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of the treatment methods.  It may include behavioral therapies, medications, and other treatments that are customized for each person’s specific situation.  

Components of Evidence-Based Practices

Evidence-based addiction treatment focuses on what type of approach is best for each individual.  Various treatment models can be combined and adjusted to provide personalized care based on the patient’s progress.

The core components of evidence-based treatment are:

  • Best available evidence – If the individual makes significant progress with a certain treatment, it will be continued.
  • Patient’s preferences and needs – If the patient is uncomfortable with the treatment, or has other concerns, the treatment approach must be changed.
  • Therapist’s knowledge and skills – The therapist will facilitate a treatment plan using their skills and knowledge of available options to determine the best approach for each patient.

Features of an evidence-based treatment plan are skills training, psychoeducation, and relapse prevention.  These features aim to help prepare individuals for real-life situations and stress as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

An evidence-based approach to treatment matters because addiction is a complex disorder.  No two people’s stories are the same nor do they respond to treatment the same way.   Each patient must be matched with the best treatment plan for their circumstances.

Evidence-Based Practices in California Addiction Treatment

Family Therapy Sessions in Addiction Treatment in California

Addiction rehab programs offer different versions of evidence-based treatment.  However, most of them involve the following practices:  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

CBT is a type of psychotherapy.  It helps people change negative thought patterns and learn to focus on the here and now.  This form of therapy is effective in helping people who have mental health disorders, phobias, PTSD, OCD, depression, and anxiety.

Group and Individual Counseling

Counseling is an evidence-based therapy that helps people work through the many life challenges that contributed to their substance use.  Patients learn effective methods for coping with life stressors such as job loss, relationship problems, or the sudden death of a loved one.  In group counseling sessions, patients learn how to communicate and interact with others better.

12-Step Facilitation Therapy

The 12-Steps therapy is an evidence-based addiction treatment based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Steps program.  The therapist helps patients understand how the 12-Steps apply to their situation and can help them reduce drug and alcohol cravings.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT was originally developed to treat personality disorders, but shown to be an effective tool in treating substance use disorders.  It is a type of talk therapy that is proven to help people with borderline personality disorders and other mental health disorders as well.  

DBT has four main components:

  • Mindfulness – Helps individuals focus on the present and be more aware of their emotions and thoughts.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – Helps a person learn how to manage difficult situations productively.
  • Distress tolerance –  Helps individuals learn to cope with their emotions in a healthier way.
  • Emotion regulation – Helps individuals find effective, healthy ways to manage emotions.

Studies show that these four components provide a comprehensive approach that is effective in treating substance use and addiction.

Experiential Therapy

As a form of psychological therapy, experiential therapy helps patients learn how to process difficult emotions to help resolve past trauma and learn to cope with stress.  Some examples of experiential therapy activities include:

  • Music, art, role-playing, or drama therapy
  • Creative writing or poetry therapy
  • Animal-assisted therapies
  • Adventure therapy

This form of therapy works in stages to help patients play an active role in activities that engage their emotions and enhance their skills and knowledge.

Family Therapy Sessions

Family therapy is an evidence-based treatment approach that involves working with the patient’s family to identify and address underlying issues that contributed to the addiction.  This form of therapy focuses on addressing emotional issues, communication problems, and family dynamics.  Research shows that families who participate in family therapy see positive results such as improved family functioning and increased abstinence rates.

Evidence-Based California Addiction Treatment at Design for Change Recovery

At Design for Change Recovery, we realize the complex nature of addiction and how it can devastate a person’s life.  That’s why our programs are designed to provide an individualized approach to treatment based exclusively on evidence-based practices.  

If you or a loved one needs help with substance use or addiction, reach out to our Lancaster, CA facility now.  One of our representatives is standing by to answer your questions and help you choose a treatment plan that is right for your needs.  


Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment in California: Why It Matters