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What is Evidence-Based, Scientifically-Sound Addiction Treatment?

While researching addiction treatment programs, you will find hundreds of choices. Among the variety of treatment methods offered, you’ll see the terms evidence-based addiction treatment or scientifically-sound addiction treatment programs. Let’s take a look at what these terms mean in the context of addiction treatment so you’ll have a better understanding about the significance of this type of program.

Finding the right treatment program is a confusing process, at best. The last thing you need is a long list of industry lingo that you don’t understand.  Ultimately, the most effective treatment programs for yourself or a loved one are evidence-based, scientifically-sound programs that are proven to provide positive outcomes for long-term recovery.

What is Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment?

evidence-based addiction treatment

The differences between evidence-based and research-based treatment are slight.  It is difficult to distinguish between the two terms.  But, the differences affect treatment programs in several ways.

Evidence-based addiction treatment programs are based on previously observed effects and results. If the program is based on positive results observed with previous patients, this is known as evidence-based (EBP). For example, a number of people enter a specific program and are successful in recovery.   Therefore, the program is successful based on the evidence.

What is Research-Based Addiction Treatment?

Research-based treatment programs are slightly different from the above. A program based on research means that someone observed the program and the outcome and then formulated, measured, and tested the results. This study determines whether the outcome can be classified as predictable. With research-based treatment, scientifically sound studies show the treatment to be more likely to have the same outcomes.

It’s interesting to note that in obtaining research-based results, evidence-based reasoning is part of the process.

What is the Meaning of Scientifically-Sound Treatment?

The American Educational Research Association defines scientifically-sound research as having the following attributes:

  • Utilizes systematic, objective, and rigorous methods to obtain knowledge
  • Applies logic and evidence-based reasoning
  • Research that provides reliable results
  • Uses controls to verify authenticity of results
  • Data analysis methods are appropriate
  • Repeatability of results, peer review, and ability to build on findings

With these processes in place, research-based programs are reliable enough to depend on. Addiction treatment experts seek research-based modalities that are based on scientifically sound processes.

How EBPs Apply to Addiction Treatment

In an article from the National Institute of Drug Addiction, research-based treatment is most likely to result in long-term recovery. Of course, addiction is a chronic disorder that requires long-term management.  For this reason, the evidence-based addiction treatment and research-based treatment help a person learn to manage their addiction. Treatment begins with detox and continues with behavioral therapy and other strategies. This level of treatment is most effective when applied in an inpatient program.

Some facilities use the terms research-based and evidence-based addiction treatment interchangeably.   The following questions are helpful if you need more information about the facility:

  1. Is your program based on outcomes or on current research?
  2. Where do you obtain your research results?
  3. Are you up-to-date on the most current studies regarding treatment?
  4. How do you determine your success rates?
  5. Are your treatments proven and medically supported?
  6. Is your program comprehensive and customized to each patient?

Substance abuse treatment programs address specific aspects of addiction and the consequences affecting the individual, their family, and society. Research indicates that the skills gained in cognitive-behavioral approaches remain with the individual after treatment.

Finding Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment Programs

Only about 10% of the substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S. use evidence-based and scientifically sound treatment approaches. Part of this is due to the fact that this is a relatively new field.

If you are searching for the best evidence-based addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, contact us today. One of our representatives will be happy to talk with you and answer your questions. We can also recommend a treatment program that is right for your needs.

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