Addiction Therapy

With the addiction and overdose epidemic reaching new records every year, the need for effective drug addiction therapy is important now, more than ever. There are a variety of addiction treatment options and the debate over the best approach has only grown over the past few decades. However, there are several addiction therapy options that have been proven to be effective in treating people some of which have been addicted to psychoactive substances for years.

It’s important to note that addiction is a complex brain disease that can’t be cured and often leads to relapse. But, it’s still treatable, and people who have lived in a pattern of addiction can achieve lasting sobriety and lifelong recovery through addiction therapy.

Effective Treatment Therapy

Relapse is a significant problem in drug and alcohol addiction therapy. It’s on par with the relapse rates of other chronic diseases like asthma and diabetes, as high as 60 percent. The first thing to note is that, just because relapse should be expected, it’s not inevitable. You can go through treatment and continue into aftercare and safeguard sobriety for years to come.

That being said, relapse shouldn’t be seen as failure. If you go through treatment, learn relapse prevention techniques, and then relapse, which means that treatment should be re-applied and your relapse prevention strategies need to be examined and reworked. Plus, the relapse itself can teach you a lot about your triggers.

However, there are several factors that make treatment programs as effective as possible. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has outlined13 principles of effective treatment that many treatment centers employ to maximize their client’s chance at lasting sobriety. Here are a few of the key factors:

No One-Size-Fits-All Treatment

Throughout the 20th century, different treatment options have been attempted that fit everyone to one basic treatment structure. However, there are a wide variety of factors that contribute to addiction including family history, personal history, past traumas, and struggles, and the environment you grew up and live in.

When there are so many factors to consider, it’s not effective to fit the person to the treatment plan. Rather, the treatment plan should be tailored to the person. There is an assortment of therapeutic options, and one person’s best possible treatment plan would look very different from someone else’s.

Attends to Multiple Needs

Treatment is often not about just treating addiction or alcoholism. Sometimes there are underlying stresses, anxieties, or mental issues that are contributing to substance use. In other cases, there are issues that stand in the way of effective drug treatment that need to be addressed first.

For instance, someone entering treatment with a painful injury needs medical treatment before drug and alcohol addiction therapies can begin. Otherwise, pain and worry would serve as a distraction from meaningful treatment. Treatment centers should generally follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. A client coming in hungry, homeless, or sick has physical requirements that must be met.

Spend Enough Time in Treatment

Studies show that the most effective treatment duration lasts for at least 90 days. Again, the appropriate treatment length depends on an individual’s needs. However, people who go through treatment that is too short are more likely to relapse. Recovery is a long-term process. It involves addressing and changing your way of thinking and processing stress and cravings. Lasting change takes time to achieve.

Behavioral Therapies are Key

Generally, behavioral therapies are the most effective treatment options for people with substance use disorders. They focus on getting to the root causes of addiction and changing the way you think about stress, triggers, and drug use. By addressing thinking, you can change behavior. Therapies can include, individual, family, and group counseling and often follows cognitive behavioral therapy formats.

inpatient medical detox

The Continuum of Care in Addiction Therapy

Thelevels of care in addiction treatment are outlined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Their criteria help clinicians place clients in their ideal level of care, which is part of the commitment to providing an individualized plan to each person that enters treatment. The continuum of care is starting with the most intensive appropriate treatment and slowly scaling down intensiveness as you progress. Here are the levels of care provided by many addiction treatment centers:



Medical detoxification, or detox, is typically the highest level of a treatment a center will offer. It involves 24 hours of medical management every day. Some drugs, especially central nervous system depressant like benzodiazepines, alcohol, and barbiturates, can cause withdrawal symptoms that are life-threatening. If left untreated, withdrawal symptoms like seizures and delirium can be fatal but with medical interventions, their likelihood of fatality goes down dramatically.

Detox is for anyone entering addiction treatment with a clear medical need. This includes people who are addicted to drugs that could involve dangerous withdrawal symptoms. However, it can also include other people with clear medical needs. For instance, illicit drugs like heroin that are administered via injection increase the user’s likelihood of contracting diseases like HIV and hepatitis. In order to meet the need of a person seeking treatment and follow NIDA’s rule or addressing all of a client’s needs, the medical issues that someone who is addicted with an infectious disease must be answered.

However, not all the health concerns addressed in detox come from drug addiction directly. There are a variety of medical needs that can be important to address quickly that would otherwise get in the way of successful treatment. If you have medical conditions or concerns, they will be taken into account in your initial assessment, and you will be matched with a level of treatment that is ideal for you.





What are the Benefits of Detox?

Medical detox has other benefits as a first step in addiction treatment in addition to medical care. Drugs like meth and cocaine can come with some serious psychological and emotional symptoms. Addiction, in general, can have its roots in psychological problems that have never been effectively addressed or treated. Detox centers like Maryland House Detox have on-staff clinicians and addiction counselors that can help address psychological symptoms. In some cases, psychological symptoms can be alleviated with medication.

Finally, detox gives you the stability and support you need to avoid relapse while you become independent from chemical addiction. Withdrawal can come with intense cravings. Paired with the other symptoms of withdrawal, cravings can be difficult to withstand if you are detoxing at home. In a medical detox program, you will have medical professionals and clinicians monitoring your progress 24 hours a day, giving you the accountability you need to avoid giving into relapse during your withdrawal phase.

According to NIDA’s principles of effective treatment, though detox is an excellent way to break chemical dependence, it’s only the first step in long-lasting recovery. To address this at Maryland House, on-staff counselors work with you to find your next best step in drug treatment. Following the continuum of care is most likely your best opportunity for lasting treatment.


Inpatient services are excellent options for people who have medical concerns but don’t necessarily need medically managed care. For instance, if you have gone through detox from benzodiazepine addiction, there will still be a slight but significant risk of dangerous post-acute withdrawal symptoms like Delirium Tremens or seizures.

Though your detoxification is complete, it’s best if you have medical professionals monitoring your progress just in case you need medical assistance at any point. During inpatient services, you may have counseling and therapeutic services from 5 to 16 hours a day. The 24-hour treatment setting also offers stability and accountability that is often necessary directly after detox to avoid relapse.


Intensive outpatient services (IOP), or partial hospitalization, provides 9 to 20 hours of clinical services per week. This affords clients some independence and schedule flexibility but also provides intensive therapy options and stability. IOP services are able to address complex issues and multidimensional needs.


Outpatient service offers fewer than nine hours of clinical service per week and is the lowest standard level of care that most addiction treatment centers offer. This level of care provides clients a way to ease into independent life while still continuing to learn relapse prevention strategies.

Addiction Therapy Options

The best approach to addiction treatment typically starts with evidence-based therapies. This term refers to therapeutic methods that have been shown to be effective through research. As opposed to some holistic and alternative therapies that are based more on subjective clinical experience than scientific research (although there may be a time a place for those options). Evidence-based therapies may include:


This is the most recommended therapy option for substance abuse disorders. It addresses “maladaptive behaviors” or bad coping mechanisms that lead to bad habits and destructive behaviors. It is excellent for developing relapse preventions strategies.


This technique involves encouraging clients with tangible rewards for positive behaviors. A minor example of this idea is sobriety chips that are given to people in Alcoholics Anonymous.


This technique was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous and has since been adopted by treatment centers all over the United States. It emphasizes the spiritual needs of a person in recovery and facilitates a sense of community. Twelve-step programs have proven to be an effective tool for aftercare and relapse prevention.

Start Your Road to Recovery Today

If you have noticed that you have some of the signs and symptoms of addiction to some type of addictive drug or if a loved one is showing signs of drug abuse, treatment is available. Getting help sooner rather than later can prevent the disastrous and destructive consequences of addiction before they begin. To learn more about your addiction therapy options, call the addiction specialists at Maryland House Recovery at (888) 263-0631 or contact us online.

Some drugs cause dangerous health risks, increase your chance of contracting an infectious disease, and even have dangerous withdrawal symptoms. If you are struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Getting help as soon as possible may make a big difference in avoiding medical complications and can help you get your life out from under the weight of addiction.