As nearly half of the population knows and loves someone who has been addicted to drugs, addiction affects us all. Thankfully, the latest in addiction news brings us some hope that some of the latest treatment methods might hold the key to solving the crisis. Whether it’s alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication, the advancements being made in addiction treatment are here to improve the situation.
Here are six of the biggest leaps in contemporary addiction treatment and what they can bring to people struggling with addiction.
1. Psychotherapy Done One-On-One
When done correctly, psychotherapy can be a replacement for standard addiction treatments. If you and your specialist have the time, meeting a few days a week could work wonders. This is especially true if the person being treated has never had access to psychotherapy in any other setting.
If someone is in a residential setting for getting treated, they should be getting regular treatment three to five days a week. During the first year of sobriety out of an inpatient setting, two days a week is the ideal amount of psychotherapy. It helps to create the foundation for a long-term addiction recovery.
When a recovering addict is able to examine and overcome the causes of addiction, they will have a more permanent recovery.
The key to therapy is to get care and support in an environment where they can build a trusting relationship with their therapist. Most people who have addiction issues also have trust issues that stem from issues in their past. When they don’t have someone to talk to, they’ll turn to drugs or alcohol for relief.
By using psychotherapy, recovering addicts can learn more about the problems that trigger their addiction and find new ways to get around them. Once the trigger is known and understood, it’s much easier to tackle. If new life events cause the addiction to return, it can be dealt with using tools that were developed in therapy.
2. Addiction Recovery Apps
While there is no good substitute for a strong rehab program with one on one treatment, apps are trying to provide care to people who need it. If there’s no better solution of the person struggling with addiction doesn’t have health care, finding a solution can be a huge challenge. Better than nothing at all, apps have been developed by addiction specialists with oversight from the medical community.
Apps are a new outlet for people to recover, using the techniques that addiction specialists rely on help provide care. The app Reset has become the first app in the medical field that was approved by the FDA for the treatment of substance abuse problems. If users are over 17, they get a prescription from their medical professional and can use the app to improve their addiction treatment.
Since the boom of user-generated apps, we’ve seen apps that help people to quit smoking and give themselves rewards for it. A new app called Nomo contains a clock that measures the days that someone has been sober and allows them to share it with their friends. When your family, counselors, and friends all know how you’re doing in your treatment, they can send your supportive messages and kind words.
Another app, called WEconnect, has two versions. One is made for people who are in recovery and another is made to help support friends and family. With regular reminders that can help to stay on track, this app also offers routines to help people find new ways to spend their time.
3. Using Evidence-Based Techniques
When you base your treatment on the latest in scientific research, you know that you’re going to have a strong chance of doing well in your recovery. While some treatment relies on time-tested protocols, evidence-based treatment will bring you new and unique ways of recovering.
While evidence-based treatment can feel like a moving target, these treatments will take in a broadly expanding range of methods. By using an interdisciplinary approach to treating addiction, experts have agreed that this is one of the best ways to achieve long-term recovery.
Go to any of the major treatment centers where cutting-edge treatment is being done and you’ll find an evidence-based method in use.
By using a wide range of science-based methods, addicts are able to create a long-lasting recovery. Since these programs usually take several months to complete, they completely change the routines of the people struggling with addiction. While a twelve-step program is a great way to introduce treatment, they’re not as sustainable as an evidence-based approach.
This website can help you find a place for this kind of rehabilitation.
With the help of telemedicine for treating addiction, people now have better access than ever to treatment. Before people had internet access from nearly anywhere in the world, the only way to get treatment was to spend time at a treatment center. Now with the ability to get telemedical addiction treatment, everything has changed.
It’s not easier than ever to get face-to-face help from a treatment specialist no matter where you are in the world. Whether you’re looking for a hard-to-find specialist or if you’re stranded in a rural area, you can still get the best in treatment from a wide range of professionals.
Telemedicine bridges the gap between patients and treatment specialists like never before.
While it’s not the best solution to use by itself, it’s helpful to be used alongside traditional treatments. This is the best way for treatment specialists to stay in touch with their patients as they make the transition back to their normal life. After residential treatment ends, it’s hard to pick back up.
With the help of video chats, text messaging, or emails, people can maintain their recovery plan for a longer period of time.
5. Individualized Care Solutions
When patients have access to individualized care, they can maintain long-term addiction recovery that sticks and succeeds. While most treatment facilities will try to cut costs by giving everyone the same treatment routine, individualized care works much better.
While it’s not the cheapest solution, it’s far more effective than a “one size fits all” solution.
Usually, in these treatment routines, there’s a group session in the morning, typically medication, then breakfast before you all go to a meeting. After that, you get to do another activity and then it’s lunch time. This isn’t addiction treatment, however, but something more akin to filling time.
In order to truly recover, you need to attack the root cause of addiction, not just send people out to a horse farm. Individualized therapy will rely on a variety of therapeutic treatments to make the process catered to the individual dealing with addiction. This will uncover old triggers and try to find new ways to cope with them.
Depending on the amount of time that someone has been using, it might take more than a few daily meetings to break their habits. A habit can lie dormant for an achingly long time if you throw down enough hurdles in between an addict and their substance. However, if you change the whole framework of coping with problems, addicts can change their whole perspective on the substance they rely on.
6. Virtual Reality
While it sounds kind of odd, virtual reality specialists have come up with some clever ways of dealing with addiction. By simulating the experience of dealing with addiction, there are new ways to look at the experiences that addicts go through.
Some programs will use virtual reality technology to put addicts in a situation where they might be tempted to use. In this controlled environment, a patient who is trying to avoid drinking can be put into a tempting party environment with people pressuring them to drink.
While it might seem unbelievable, by using tools to emulate the experience in a rudimentary way, patients can confront the issues that plague them.
While the virtual world will have to be deeply realistic and we don’t have all the technology yet, we’re on our way there. With the work done by VR researchers, scenarios that introduce recovering addicts to different drugs can be introduced.
Some machines can even replicate smells that people associate with the substance that the addict is struggling with. By stimulating all of these parts of the body with sensations that trigger the addiction, the issue can be confronted better.
Researchers are finding that it can be used to help cigarette smokers to quit or find alternative solutions. Time will tell as to how well this works but there is enormous potential.
Addiction News Has Been Better Than Ever
While you might have given up hope that you’d ever hear anything good in the world of addiction news, there’s still room to be surprised. The runaway success of technology has brought us new ways to approach treatment and cope with issues.
If you’re not sure whether you or someone you know is dealing with substance abuse, check out our guide to find out.