What Is the Best Alcohol Treatment?
Many paths to addiction recovery
The first principle of the 12 Guiding Principles adopted by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s National Summit on Recovery is: There are many pathways to recovery. Their list was generated by leaders in treatment and recovery, and included recovering individuals, treatment providers, researchers, faith-based providers and state and federal officials. A similar document of 10 principles, addressed to the problems of individuals with co-occurring mental health issues, produced at a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conference, stated: There are multiple pathways to recovery.
The other two myths are that “nothing works” and “everything works.” Put another way, there is a popular but incorrect belief that all treatments for addictions are equally good or bad. Drs. Miller and Hester have been comparing the research contrasting the various approaches. Their scientifically sophisticated review of alcoholism treatment outcome research demonstrates that some treatment modalities are especially effective for most people. Rank ordered, the evidence is strongest for:
1. Receiving honest but non-confrontational one-on-one feedback regarding one’s alcohol- related health from a health professional;
2. Non-confrontational strategic Motivational Interviewing;
A common theme in all of these treatments is that they are delivered with empathy and without confrontation. These treatments are often mentioned in media articles about improving our poor record in helping people with addictions. Unfortunately, few addiction treatment centers offer them. However, with the aid of the internet one can find them more easily than before.
Alcohol treatment with weak evidence of effectiveness: Of the 48 approaches ranked, the evidence is weakest for:
Of course, even these treatments will be helpful to some. However, it would appear most sensible, if seeking treatment for oneself or a loved one, to start with a treatment that had a better record of success. Further, common sense would suggest that if one approach does not work, it is not necessarily the individual’s fault. If an alcohol treatment does not help much, try something else!
(from Practical Recovery)