Treatment Plans & Goals for Substance Abuse

Clinicians also want their clients to stay out of jail and away from criminal activities, to be physically healthy, to adopt productive roles in family or occupational settings, to feel comfortable and happy with themselves, to avoid abuse of or dependence on alcohol. Full recovery in all of these senses can be realistically envisioned in some fraction of cases—a fraction that depends in part on the kind of population from which the program recruits its clients. But full recovery is not a realistic goal for other individuals, and those others make up the majority of admissions to most drug programs.

goals of substance abuse treatment

Research has shown that peer-delivered recovery support services, including 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can be beneficial for people recovering from SUD. Guided Self-Change (GSC) is a brief cognitive-behavioral and motivational approach first developed for people with alcohol use disorder and then expanded to treat other types of substance use. It may help to get an independent perspective from someone you trust and who knows you well. You can start by discussing your substance use with your primary care provider. Or ask for a referral to a specialist in drug addiction, such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist.

What Are Treatment Interventions for Substance Use?

Cognitive-behavioral strategies, the improvement of self-efficacy, self-control
training, and cue exposure and extinction have all been used as components of
relapse prevention. In recent years, relapse prevention has become a vital part of
most treatment efforts, learned during the intensive stage of treatment and
practiced during aftercare (Institute of
Medicine, 1990; American Psychiatric Association, 1995;
Landry, 1996). Residential treatment in a live-in facility with 24-hour
supervision is best for patients with overwhelming substance use problems who lack
sufficient motivation or social supports to stay abstinent on their own but do not
meet clinical criteria for hospitalization. Many residential facilities offer
medical monitoring of detoxification and are appropriate for individuals who need
that level of care but do not need management of other medical or psychiatric

  • A number of sources also noted authentic, verbal affirmation of clients’ strengths, efforts, and progress as a key practice for promoting and reinforcing self-efficacy (23 of 62 sources; Kadden et al., 1992; Martino et al., 2006).
  • Disulfiram causes an adverse reaction when alcohol is consumed and will induce vomiting in those who combine the medication with alcohol.
  • During early treatment, a relatively active leader seeks to engage clients in the treatment process.

Primary care clinicians need to be familiar with available treatment resources for their
patients who have diagnosed substance abuse or dependence disorders. Because our need for human contact is biologically determined, we are, from the start, social creatures. Formal therapy groups can be a compelling source of persuasion, stabilization, and support. Groups organized around therapeutic goals can enrich members with insight and guidance; and during times of crisis, groups can comfort and guide people who otherwise might be unhappy or lost. In the hands of a skilled, well-trained group leader, the potential curative forces inherent in a group can be harnessed and directed to foster healthy attachments, provide positive peer reinforcement, act as a forum for self-expression, and teach new social skills. In short, group therapy can provide a wide range of therapeutic services, comparable in efficacy to those delivered in individual therapy.

Alcohol Detox and Withdrawal Management

The group can be used in the here and now to settle difficult and painful old business. During the late stage of treatment, clients work to sustain the attainments of the action stage. The role of the leader was primarily to confront the client in denial, thereby presumably provoking change. More recently, clinicians have stressed the fact that “confrontation, if done too punitively or if motivated by a group leader’s countertransference issues, can severely damage the therapeutic alliance” (Flores 1997, p. 340).

Determine triggers, negative influences, or personal struggles to gain a better understanding of how to overcome them. Incorporate small habits into daily life, such as waking up at a consistent time, dedicating a few minutes each day to exercise, or consuming After-Work Wine: The Dangers of Drinking to Cope with Stress a nutritious meal. If stress serves as a trigger, it is beneficial to practice stress-management techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Monitoring your progress by keeping track of your exercise and mindfulness practices is essential.

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