Understanding The Most Effective Treatment Plans for Addiction

Administrator / Chief Clinical Officer
Certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, expert addiction and chemical dependency counselor, certified for more than twenty years of experience in adolescent, adult and family psychotherapy.
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addiction treatment center

Everyone can recover from addiction. It’s the goal everyone struggling with Substance Abuse Disorder aims to achieve.

The goal is the same for everyone, but the path to achieve that goal changes from person to person and attends the specific context that every individual lives on a daily basis. This context is what helps us understand which treatment plan for addiction will work for the person, and which approach should be followed to get that individual back on their feet.

What Is a Treatment Plan for Addiction?

An effective treatment plan is a map of where clients are in recovery from substance use, where they need and want to be and how they can best use available resources (staff, location, program resources) to get there. 

It identifies the patient’s deficits as well as their strengths. Clients learn what is expected of them in program commitments and attendance. It serves as a shared plan between the client and the service providers.

What to Expect From a Treatment Plan?

The successful implementation of a treatment plan depends, in large part, on the patient’s motivation and readiness for change. Motivation is a predictor of successful treatment. 

Due to the chronic relapsing nature of substance abuse recovery, clients often retreat to earlier stages of change before successfully achieving recovery. Staying focused on the positive rewards of recovery treatment is an essential aspect of the treatment plan in the recovery process. 

Current approaches to treatment planning now emphasize a strengths-based approach, rather than a deficits approach. Helping clients to realistically identify their strengths is an important step in treatment planning. 

In addition, defining expected objectives is a critical aspect in a treatment plan that can assist clients to stay on track with their goals.

Each treatment plan is customized to the client’s situation and needs. Basic elements include:

  • Diagnostic outline: The client’s history 
  • Problem statement: The issue the client wishes to solve and their acknowledgment of that
  • Goals: What the client wishes to achieve
  • Objectives: How the client will achieve their goals
  • Interventions: What the treatment team will do to help the client
  • Monitoring and evaluation: Methods by which the client’s progress towards their goals will be achieved
  • Planning long-term care: What long-term care and relapse prevention plans will be used

Goals of an Addiction Treatment Plan

The main elements a treatment plan include:

  • Defines the client’s main goals for treatment
  • Describes measurable, time-sensitive steps to achieving those goals
  • Time-limited and mutually agreed between the clinician and client
  • Serves as a bridge between assessment and treatment

Goals are specific elements of treatment plans, including:

  • A brief clinical statement of the condition you expect to change
  • Tied to the prior assessment and related problem statements
  • Set broad goals to replace to replace dysfunctional behaviors (think long-term)
  • Objectives can be seen (e.g. write in journal). Goals can’t (e.g. reduce anxiety)

Example goals include:

  • Eliminating substance use
  • Creating a support system
  • Repairing damaged relationships

Example objective include:

  • To consistently take prescription medications
  • To attend weekly support group meetings
  • To journal each day

Evidence-Based Therapies Included In Treatment Plans

There are a variety of evidence-based therapies currently in use for substance abuse treatment. They include:

Individual therapy to discuss your addiction and underlying mental health issues. There are a number of commonly used therapy approaches, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Focuses on negative thought patterns and how to reframe them more positively as well as setting realistic goals
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Focuses on acceptance of your current situation using mindfulness meditation among other techniques, as well as helping you to change your life, including your unhelpful behaviors
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Focuses on accepting life experiences as they come, without trying to evaluate or change them. It also uses mindfulness meditation. This can help free you from constant negative thinking, handle stress, release emotions and improve your relationships with others
  • Trauma-informed Therapy: Accounts for client’s trauma and its impact on their behavior, mental health and ability to engage in treatment
  • Group therapy: Working with others going through recovery can provide strength and support as you see you’re not alone and can learn and share with others
  • Mindfulness Meditation: Helps you slow down racing thoughts, release negativity, focus on the present without judgment and achieve greater calm.
  • 12-step programs: This is a peer-based mutual help program. It focuses on how to overcome addiction, avoid triggers and live a healthy productive life.
  • Exposure Therapy: When you are ready and prepared, this involves going out in the community, with a supportive counselor, to be exposed to situations that have triggered you in the past or may cause fear. By dealing with these triggers you can assess your progress and readiness to continue recovery or move full-time to the community.

Aftercare Process

Aftercare is an important part of recovery because it is difficult for clients to stay sober when they leave treatment. The outside world is very different from the treatment center. The aftercare process typically involves a plan to support someone in their early recovery, prevent relapse and help them as they work toward their longer-term life goals. 

An aftercare plan may include activities, interventions or resources to help a recovering person with cravings, stress and triggers they may face. There may be an online element to maintain contact with therapists and other clients. Many centers offer 24/7 phone support as well. 

Many treatment centers also offer alumni programs to assist former clients in recovery. The goal is to provide connections between clients so that they can share experiences, share information, support one another and receive advice and encouragement.. 

Help Is Available

At The Encino Recovery and Detox Center, we don’t just treat addiction; we nurture the spirit, heal the mind, and empower individuals to reclaim their lives. If you or a loved one is on the precipice, seeking a way out of the darkness of substance abuse, remember that help is just a call away. Your journey to wellness, purpose, and a brighter tomorrow begins with that first step.

Administrator / Chief Clinical Officer
Certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, expert addiction and chemical dependency counselor, certified for more than twenty years of experience in adolescent, adult and family psychotherapy.
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