- Substance use can cause changes in how the brain functions, which can last long after the after the period of intoxication. Intoxication is the intense pleasure, euphoria, calm, increased perception and sense, and other feelings that are caused by the substance. The process of addiction can lead someone to become dependent on substance use to avoid the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal – without any sense of pleasure.
- A major factor in achieving favorable treatment outcomes is the use of effective screening and assessment instruments to inform the treatment placement, planning, and decision-making process.
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patients. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
What We Need
A redesigned U.S. Treatment System
Our treatment system was built for the 19th and 20th centuries—not today. We need to reimagine treatment by making it easily accessible to all. As with other chronic diseases, the earlier treatment is offered in the disease process, the greater the likelihood of positive outcomes. It is important to understand there is a continuum of treatment and interventions. No single approach is appropriate for everyone.
A Holistic View
Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug misuse. To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug use and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal challenges. It is also important that treatment be appropriate to the individual’s age, gender, race, ethnicity, and culture.
Medications & Behavioral Therapies
Behavioral therapies vary in their focus and may involve addressing a patient’s motivation to change, providing incentives for abstinence, building skills to resist drug use, replacing drug-using activities with constructive and rewarding activities, improving problem-solving skills, and facilitating better interpersonal relationships. They may also include participation evidence based practices, including contingency management, and incentives, sanctions, and therapeutic adjustments, utilized in family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system. This can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions. Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.
Standards & Resources
- Practical Tools for Prescribing and Promoting Buprenorphine in Primary Care Settings
- Treating Concurrent Substance Use Among Adults
- Telehealth for the Treatment of Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders
- Treatment Considerations for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Emotional Disturbances and Serious Mental Illnesses and Co-occurring Substance Use
- Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Emergency Departments
- Prevention and Treatment of HIV Among People Living with Substance Use and/or Mental Disorders
- Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders
- First-Episode Psychosis and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders Guide
- Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
- Screening and Assessment of Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System
- A Collaborative Approach to the Treatment of Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorders
- Implementing Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Primary Care: Environmental Scan Volume 1
- Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy
- Brief Screener for Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs
- Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment
- Screening to Brief Intervention (S2BI)
- NIDA-Modified ASSIST (NM ASSIST): Clinician’s Screening Tool for Drug Use in General Medical Settings
- Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards – Vol 1
- Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards – Vol 2
- Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction Research Report
- Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
- Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
- Principles of Community-Based Behavioral Health Services for Criminal Justice Involved Individuals
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons: A Planning and Implementation Toolkit
- Substance Abuse Treatment For Adults in the Criminal Justice System
- Utilization of addiction treatment among U.S. adults with history of incarceration and substance use disorders
- CMS Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP): Strategies for Connecting Justice Involved Populations to Substance Use Disorder Treatment