13 Principles of Effective Addiction Treatment

In 1999, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published 13 principles of effective treatment for drug addiction, which remain valid today. These principles were formulated after years of research and evidence demonstrating that all of these must be applied together for treatment to be successful.

Effective addiction treatment

should emphasize empathy and compassion, rather than judgement. People with drug and alcohol addiction need treatment that heals their mind, body and spirit, not punishment for their past mistakes.

No one develops an addiction overnight, so it's unreasonable to expect that a treatment center can work miracles in a few days. Each addiction treatment program aims to help clients stop using drugs or alcohol, stay sober, and become productive members of society. To adequately address the full scale of needs patients may have, a full-service addiction treatment center, such as the Stepping Stone Center for Recovery, is better prepared to access and develop a strategy that holds the key to lasting recovery. Treatment requires a personalized approach.

When it comes to treating drug or alcohol addiction, there is no single treatment that is right for everyone. Effective drug abuse and addiction treatment programs often incorporate many components, each targeting a particular aspect of the disease and its consequences. For this reason, treatment centers must recognize and include in their programs various concepts to ensure that patients undergo a healthy treatment that is likely to produce successful outcomes. Usually, an addiction treatment program lasts at least 30 days, with extensive follow-up care afterwards. A person who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction will not be “cured” when they leave a treatment center.

Part of the personalized approach to addiction treatment requires that care plans be periodically reevaluated to ensure their effectiveness. Alcoholism and drug addiction have so many dimensions and alter so many aspects of a person's life, that the treatment of this disease is never simple. Behavioral therapy is key when it comes to effective addiction treatment. Behavioral therapy is the cornerstone of any successful program. It helps patients identify triggers for their substance abuse and develop strategies to cope with them in healthy ways.

It also helps them develop better communication skills and build healthier relationships with family members and friends. In addition to behavioral therapy, other components of effective addiction treatment include medication-assisted therapy (MAT), individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, 12-step programs, relapse prevention planning, life skills training, vocational training, recreational activities, spiritual counseling, nutrition counseling, and more. All of these components are important in helping patients achieve long-term sobriety. At the end of the day, effective addiction treatment requires a comprehensive approach that addresses all aspects of an individual's life. It's important for patients to find a program that meets their needs and provides them with the support they need to achieve lasting recovery.