What Are Evidence Based Treatments Used In Rehab?

Evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment is a term you’ll commonly hear thrown around when rehab or drug abuse is the topic in question. The definition of evidence-based practices for drug abuse is simple – until you begin to drill a little deeper into how evidence is recorded and what can be proven as a result of certain addiction treatment programs.

In the past, evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment was defined as any addiction treatment that’s undergone rigorous testing – enough to make a strong claim regarding the success rates. Clients must have a clearly defined disorder with a specific set of symptoms and characteristics. After the drug abuse treatment, the client must show a marked improvement brought on by the administration of the therapy in question. Obviously, the results also have to come from a large group of people.

By this definition, nearly any form of treatment could be considered evidence-based drug abuse treatment. However, until recently, those in the field of addiction treatment had a habit of steering away from non-traditional, or holistic methods of therapy.

In this article, we discuss addiction treatment and what defines an evidence-based practice, and the availability of these services at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

All Practices Started With a Theory

There’s no such thing as a therapy that started as evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment from the very beginning. Regardless of how solid the evidence behind the method is today, it still existed as an initial idea that required large amounts of testing. The same holds true for any unconventional form of treatment, such as equine therapy, surf therapy, and a collection of others used at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab to combat drug and alcohol use.

As more evidence is collected regarding the effectiveness of these types of treatment, they become more popular and widely available at more drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities. Depending on what group of people you ask, the list of treatment modalities changes regarding what’s designated as evidence-based addiction treatment.

That said, a handful of substance abuse treatment methods and behavioral therapies “officially” fall under the evidence-based practice category.

Examples of Evidence-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Examples of Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment

The technical definition of an evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment, as referenced by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is a practice that has been researched scientifically or academically. The exercise has been proven effective and replicated by at least two or more studies. Some of these forms of substance abuse treatment are listed below.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the most well-known and widely used types of evidence-based substance abuse treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This practice has proven to be incredibly successful as a remedy for various mental and behavioral health disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction.

CBT helps clients by guiding them away from the negative thoughts and emotions that lead to harmful behaviors like the ones that come with substance use disorders. Ultimately, this specific substance abuse treatment therapy rewires the brain by altering the way clients envision the state of the world around them and their self-image.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy is a modified version of CBT. DBTs primary goal for treatment outcomes includes teaching clients how to be present in the moment and find healthy ways to cope with stress, strong emotions, and their relationships. These two types of behavioral therapies deal with similar but distinct types of users. CBT helps those with substance use disorders who abuse drugs because of how they feel about themselves or their outlook on the world in relation to their existence in it.

They develop depression and use drugs to mask the symptoms. DBT helps clients who use drugs when they’re stressed or in random periods of strong emotion and when they have confrontations with family members, loved ones, or significant others. For them, using is a way to deal with the weight of stress or anxiety or a way to get even with someone in a covert way.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is completely different from the two above-mentioned treatment models. During these talk-therapy sessions, clients are interviewed regarding their motivations and beliefs as to why refraining from their substance use disorders is in their best interests. This works best with clients who are resistant to treatment or initially have no motivation to become sober other than the urge from loved ones to do so.

Ultimately, anyone with a wide variety of substance use disorders must engage in recovery for themselves. Getting clean for someone else rarely lasts, especially if the other people eventually exit the picture. Motivational interviewing helps them to discover why getting clean should be important to them and ultimately helps them experience a feeling of accomplishment and self-gratification.

Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy

Functional family therapy, while effective in some adult cases, is primarily used as an evidence-based treatment for adolescents. A large percentage of teenagers who develop drug and alcohol problems fall into addiction because of a severed family or broken home situation. However, they can also help other immediate family and spouses as well.

The goal of this evidence-based treatment is to help those in the immediate family unit of the client function in a stable and normal way and give them assistance in helping the client cope with their addiction.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is another form of evidence based treatment that helps clients who use drugs because of a fear of something. This type of therapy works best for clients who have underlying mental health conditions like PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, and other types of stress, panic, or anxiety disorders. These clients engage in drug or alcohol use to mask the symptoms of their fears and, in some cases, allow them to temporarily overcome these fears and engage in activities that would otherwise cripple them emotionally.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment doesn’t fall into the category of evidence-based behavioral therapies, but it is evidence-based nonetheless. The results of this treatment have generated thousands of positive outcomes, most specifically in cases of opioid use disorders.

These treatments, otherwise known as maintenance therapy, allow a client to manage their lives without the stress and anxiety of the constantly looming opioid withdrawal symptoms. Without the risk and weight of the possibility of violent detox, clients are able to rebuild their lives and treat their disorders in a healthy way. Medication-assisted treatment is normally combined with one of the types of evidence-based treatment methods listed above.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

What Are the Primary Benefits of Evidence Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

One of the biggest advantages of evidence-based therapies is the foundational knowledge that the treatment is likely to be successful eventually. This not only gives the professionals administering the therapy confidence but also allows them to reassure their clients, which in turn provides them with a more positive outlook on treatment outcomes.

The evidence backing most of these evidence-based practices has strong foundations. Hundreds, if not thousands, of hours have been put into clinical-grade research to prove their effectiveness and ultimately develop a replicated structure and outline for doctors to follow.

Clients can also feel confident in the fact that the counselors or doctors guiding them through these therapies are expertly trained, highly certified, and experienced professionals. They generally have a long track record of helping many clients in the past overcome substance abuse challenges.

In addition, these forms of therapy are excellent mental health services. Using these evidence-based approaches not only treats the substance abuse disorder but proactively treats the underlying mental health conditions that drive the addiction. By treating both simultaneously, the chances of success increase exponentially as the risk of relapse drastically decreases.

Instead of the normal counseling sessions for drug and alcohol abuse, evidence-based medically supported treatments drive true life change in clients. This leads to a permanent change in the thought process and decision-making in the everyday lives of clients. In simplest terms, you can say that EBTs treat the disease itself and not the symptoms.

Alternative Forms of Evidence Based Therapies

Alternative Forms of Evidence Based Therapies

Newer, alternative forms of treatment known as holistic therapy aim to take an all-inclusive approach, putting a new spin on certain treatment methods some say might be outdated. While many professionals still don’t consider these treatments to be evidence-based, they refer to them as complementary forms of therapy, acknowledging the proven success of many of these practices.

However, as evidence continues to mount regarding the positive treatment outcomes using these therapy methods, there’s no doubt they will also fall under the evidence-based designation. Many professionals in the industry already lean towards this line of thinking, as it’s hard to deny the mounting piles of data that reference the power of holistic approaches to addiction treatment.

What stopped the widespread adoption of many of these therapies in the past was a lack of true clinical research and clinical trials. Private, often physician-funded addiction research evidence was the majority of documented evidence of the effectiveness of some of these methods. However, as time goes on, more official clinical data is being compiled, strengthening the case for the widespread adoption of holistic therapy.

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we take a holistic approach to recovery, using a combination of both standard forms of EBT with a greater focus on the natural and holistic side. Some of the most common and successful forms of treatment are highlighted below.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is one of the more common types of holistic treatment and has been adopted and in circulation at more mainstream addiction rehab facilities for much longer than other forms of holistic healing. Because of the widespread use of equine therapy, plenty of evidence exists to suggest the benefits clients experience. The idea behind equine therapy is for the client to leverage the calming benefits that horses have on people.

It also provides them with a constructive area of focus for their attention, helps teach them accountability and responsibility, and requires them to maintain a certain level of physical activity, which is a central theme in holistic approaches to recovery.

Art Therapy

Art therapy has no specific medium but instead encourages clients to engage in their favorite form of art. This is an excellent way to convey your innermost thoughts, feelings, and other emotions in ways that you normally can’t express in words. Many clients who attend and engage in art therapy discover talents they never knew they had before!

Surf Therapy

Surf therapy is relatively new in the spectrum of addiction treatment. First created as a solution for war veterans to combat PTSD, it ultimately crossed over into substance abuse therapy. It’s worked wonders for the former, as many soldiers returning home with crippling PTSD have experienced relief no medicine could ever tap into.

The results seem just as positive for substance abuse disorders. Water has healing properties, and there’s no water with more life force than those surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy consists of eating clean, all organic foods and items considered to be “super foods” for physical and mental benefit. After a long bout with substance abuse, your body is often in a state of malnourishment. It’s vital that you get the right vitamins and minerals to promote a sound body and mind.

Additional Physical Activities

There are several therapeutic activities that fall under the designation of holistic forms of treatment – these include things like yoga, acupuncture, massage, spa treatment, mud baths, and other mentally and physically stimulating practices that promote healing, balance, and stability.

A Balanced Approach to Recovery

Is one group of the therapies mentioned above better than the others? Can holistic approaches also be considered evidence-based? As time goes on, there’s a strong case for the inclusion of alternative treatment methods like the ones mentioned to fall under the designation of evidence-based practices. As more clients continue to experience successful recoveries with these methods as part of their personalized treatment plans, expect more widespread adoption by the majority of substance abuse treatment facilities.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Get the Results You Need and Deserve from Rehab

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we use a combination of both types of treatment to give our clients the best odds of success. Our highly-trained staff consists of mental health and substance abuse specialists who are ready to help you achieve your most meaningful goals.

For more information, contact a member of our Intake Coordination team today. All calls are completely confidential and discreet, so please reach out today and get options for recovery from one of the top facilities on the planet!