Drug Rehab: 7 Guiding Principles for Effective Treatment

Over the many years that science has sought to clarify and explain the central tenets of drug addiction and explore drug rehabilitation options, it has been proven time and time again that drug addiction is a complex illness. The physical, psychological, emotional and social effects can be deep and interlocked, with compulsive behaviors that can persist even in the face of significant consequences for the individual.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction at its core affects the brain. Affecting multiple brain circuits, including those involved in reward, motivation, learning, memory, and inhibitory control over behavior, the direct impact of addiction is both physiological and psychological.

The most effective drug rehabilitation treatments are therefore designed to manage and control psychological behaviors, such as compulsive drug-seeking and use, as well as the physical impact on an individual, such as withdrawal. We also know that the most successful treatments are those that are specifically customized to the individual to account for that highly personal and intricate web of impact on each person. The best drug rehab programs are designed and tailored to a person’s individual needs, requiring detailed tailoring and customization from the length of time within a program to nutrition planning, psychological support, all the way to medical and physical management and monitoring and beyond. And because drug addiction is usually a chronic disorder often accompanied by relapses, short-term, one-time treatments are usually insufficient, meaning that for many, the drug rehab process may involve multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

We believe that to be most effective, successful drug rehabilitation is underpinned by a set of guiding principles. Based on principles outlined by NIDA, these principles offer a “north star” to our programs and help us shape the best possible outcomes for our clients, relying on decades of fundamental medical and scientific research about addiction and it’s complex relationship with human behavior:

 7 Guiding Principles for Effective Drug Rehab Treatment

1.     Addiction is complex but treatable.  Drugs alter the brain’s structure and function, resulting in changes that persist long after drug use itself may have ceased. That physical persistence and impact on the brain may explain why risk of relapse exists even after long periods of abstinence and despite the potentially devastating consequences.

2.     Treatment must be customized to be effective. Depending on the type of drug and the individual impact and characteristics of each patient, designing a program that is tailored to an individual’s specific issues and needs is absolutely critical to their success and being able to return to positive and productive functioning - emotionally, psychologically and physically.

3.     Access to appropriate services is vital.  A range of services must be available and ready for treatment as appropriate. Drug addiction is highly sensitive and patients should have confidence that services are available and readily accessible.

4.     Effective treatment addresses multiple needs of the individual.  We pride ourselves on our integrated approach because we know that to be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug rehabilitation as well as any associated medical, psychological, and emotional concerns and issues. We also recognize that successful rehabilitation must be appropriate and sensitive to age, gender, ethnicity, and culture.

5.     Adequate time for treatment is critical.  While we know that the best drug rehabilitation outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment, we also recognize that the first step in recovery is for a client patient to commit to an appropriate duration to begin the process. While that initial time period will vary for each individual depending on the type, degree and intensity of addiction, recovery is a long-term process.  As such, our programs are designed to include strategies that support ongoing recovery, maintenance and management.

6.     Behavioral therapies are an integrated part of treatment.   Our integrated approach includes helping to modify behaviors such as motivation to change, learning abstinence skills, building resistance to drug use, replacing negative activities with constructive and rewarding activities, improving problem-solving skills, and learning how to improve interpersonal relationships. Often shown to help maintain abstinence, we also offer participation in peer support programs during and following treatment. 

7.     Continual assessment and modification is essential to success. During the course of treatment and recovery, a client patient will require varying combinations of services and treatments, including medication, medical services, counseling or psychotherapy. A continuing care approach provides the best results, with treatment intensity varying according to a person’s changing needs.

These guiding principles form the foundation of our work at Moffitt Wellness Retreat. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions or would like more information on any of our drug rehabilitation programs including our Drug and Alcohol Detox or Drug and Alcohol Rehab programs. We look forward to designing a drug rehabilitation program that is customized and tailored for you or your loved one.