Evidence-based treatment is an important phrase in the medical world because it means that treatments have been proven to be effective in a large portion of the population. According to the journal “Health Policy,” the best definition of evidence-based practice is “The integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise”. In the field of recovery research, this is often related to behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies, or medications used to help a person quit abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies uses an analogy of evidence-based treatment as a three-legged stool. The first leg of the stool is the best available research and scientific evidence that has helped people in recovery. The second leg is a patient’s values and preferences. The third leg is a recovery expert’s own clinical experience. When these three components come together, they provide a sturdy, well-designed method to help an individual overcome their addiction.
What Are the Goals of Evidence-Based Treatment?
Recovery experts used evidence-based treatments because they are known to work and help those in recovery resist relapse. Some of the goals of evidence-based treatment include:
- Increase the effectiveness of recovery treatments
- Ensure consistency in treatment practices
- Hold providers accountable for treatments
- Make treatments more cost-effective
- Improve treatment quality
While new evidence-based treatment methods are being discovered and refined every day, the movement toward evidence-based treatment can help those in recovery receive the best techniques and treatments to help them achieve and maintain sobriety. Examples of evidence-based treatment include using motivational enhancement therapy for those struggling with alcohol, marijuana, or nicotine abuse. This counseling approach encourages the patient to identify motivational statements to help resist the temptation of drugs and alcohol.
Another evidence-based treatment model proved to help people addicted to stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine is The Matrix Model. This model involves education about the effects of drug abuse, family and group therapies, and regular monitoring to ensure ongoing sobriety throughout the treatment.
Recovery Opportunities Within Evidence-Based Treatment
If you or a loved one are looking for a recovery center, an important question to ask is how the center incorporates evidence-based treatment in their care. Examples include using certain types of therapy, such as cognitive-based therapy, to help a person identify ways to resist relapse. Another could be in using medication therapy to help stop the abuse of opiates.
Knowing that a medical facility has taken the time to stay up to date on the latest techniques and methods to help those struggling with addiction signifies they are committed to the success their patients.
Making Evidence-Based Treatment Work for You
Evidence-based treatment doesn’t mean that every person will be treated with the exact same approaches. Instead, it means there are several available approaches that have been proven to help people and that some are usually less effective. It is up to the patient and recovery expert to further define what the best approach is. If one method doesn’t work, there are other evidence-based treatments available.