Evidence-based practice is important in many settings. In medicine, psychology, and addiction recovery treatment, evidence-based practice is commonly used. Not only can using evidence-based practice help us further our research, but it can also help us ensure our therapies are effective in helping people recover.
What Is Evidenced-Based Practice?
Evidence-based practices use previous research to ensure the most proven methods are used in a treatment plan. When previously researched methods are used, there is often a higher rate of effectiveness. There are different sub-categories for this kind of treatment, as evidence-based practice is a very broad category. Each form of treatment that is considered evidence-based has previous studies contributing to its development, each addressing specific issues.
One sub-category of evidence-based practice in addiction recovery is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Various pharmaceutical approaches have strong evidence supporting their efficiency when prescribed by a medical team for particular cases. Acamprosate, buprenorphine, disulfiram, methadone, and naltrexone are all evidence-based medications that can be used to assist the recovery process. If you undergo MAT, you will likely use one of these forms of medication.
Behavioral therapy is commonly used to help individuals overcome the mental obstacles of addiction. There are many different strategies applied within behavioral therapy that are evidence-based. Interventions, strategic family communication, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, individual counseling, group therapy, motivational enhancement, 12-Step programs, and relapse prevention are all commonly used to help people overcome addiction.
The treatment method used by a specific client should fit their specific needs. Fortunately, there are multiple evidence-based treatment methods. Residential, partial day, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment each have evidence behind them. Understanding this evidence can help a treatment team and client determine which form of treatment is best for them at this time.
How Is Evidence Evaluated?
Evaluating the evidence for treatment effectiveness is important. One way a treatment team or a client can do this is by reading the studies about a prospective treatment to determine its validity and effectiveness. Experimental designs, quasi-experimental designs, expert consensus studies, and personal reports can provide insight into a given treatment and help professionals recognize the clients for whom it would be the most effective.
As we continue to further our research within the fields of psychology and medicine and discover more information about addiction, the opportunities within these fields will continue to increase. Because our knowledge of addiction is continuously growing, the techniques involved with evidence-based practices may not remain the same as time goes on. However, with the knowledge we have now, we can prioritize the practices that have been shown to be effective so that our clients can receive the best that recovery science has to offer.
Benefits of Evidence-Based Practice in Addiction Treatment
There are many benefits of using evidence-based treatments and therapy. While unproven methods of treatment may still have an important place for some individuals in recovery, evidence-based practices often have a higher rate of success due to the reasons that made them effective in the studies.
The following benefits of using evidence-based practice in addiction treatment can be very helpful to people in recovery.
Lower Long-Term Cost
Because of the strong research that has been done on evidence-based approaches, they are often very effective. Additionally, since these approaches have been shown effective in studies, they have a higher chance of being successful the first time around. Even if they are more expensive in the short term, they can be less expensive in the long term because when a treatment works, an individual will not need to spend as much time and money on other treatments as they would otherwise.
Substance abuse and the cost of treatment can take a large toll on an individual’s finances and our economy as a whole. By helping individuals truly overcome their addictions and make lasting changes in their lives, evidence-based practice can lessen the financial strain on the individual, their families, and the broader community.
Clients using a form of evidence-based therapy likely have access to various resources regarding their treatment approach. While some experimental methods may work great for some individuals, they do not work for everyone, and an individual who is struggling with an experimental approach may not have anyone to turn to if they need help with the treatment.
Conversely, when following evidence-based practices, a client will likely have the opportunity to meet other individuals who are using the same approach. This can help them establish a support system outside of their treatment team and connect with others who can relate better to their situation.
Contributions to Science
Evidence-based practices benefit not only people in recovery but society as a whole. When evidence-based practices are used, the evidence supporting their efficacy grows. This data continues to shape our overall scientific views on addiction and helps us treat it even more effectively in the future. The fields of psychology and addiction recovery are growing. The contributions of knowledge that this form of practice brings can allow these fields to continue that growth.
Evidence-based practice describes the approaches to treatment that are backed up by various experiments and scientific evidence. While each form of therapy has its benefits, evidence-based practices are known to have a significant rate of success. Using these practices can help clients feel confident that they can accomplish their recovery goals and gain the benefits of these practices, along with other therapeutic forms that they feel benefit their well-being and sobriety. These evidence-based practices are administered in a clinical setting, allowing our clients to have supervision throughout treatment. These practices can be less expensive in the long term, connect people with peer support and other resources, and improve the science of addiction recovery. The skills that are gained through evidence-based practice can be implemented into the client’s everyday life outside of treatment. To learn more about evidence-based practices and therapeutic techniques, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.