Responsed to colleague’s posting that addressed different trends than those you described. Agree or disagree with the colleague’s position on the current and future trends in the treatment of addiction.
There are a number of trends within the addiction recovery and treatment field. One of the most utilized modalities within the field of addiction recovery may be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT seeks to teach those recovering from addiction and other mental illness to find connections between their thoughts, feelings and even their actions or behaviors (Kiluk & Carroll, 2013). The cognitive behavioral approach often encourages those participating in the treatment to identify, and challenge potential thinking errors that may be contributing to their current addiction, or even mental illness.
Another widely used treatment trend is the 12-step program. This program is one that is based on peer support groups that meet together regularly to provide support, guidance and care as each individual works the program as a whole (AAWS, 2012). The basic assumption of the intervention model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances, and healing cannot come about until one surrenders to a higher power (AAWS, 2012). This is a widely spread program that is estimated to be used by the majority of treatment centers throughout the country (Doweiko, 2019).
There have been a number of developments and shifts within the field of addiction recovery therapy. It seems that societal trends, to a certain extent, may have some sort of impact on the trends as they develop as well. For example, there has been more of an emphasis placed on holistic health, and holistic treatment in a number of fields. This trend may be seen being implemented into the field of substance abuse treatment, and recovery as well.
Drake (2020) suggests that holistic care should be integrated into a multidisciplinary approach within the substance abuse field. The concept of incorporating a registered dietician to the multidisciplinary approach supports the “moniker” of providing a holistic approach to those in substance abuse disorder treatment. Implementing this style of holistic care is said to improve the overall quality of treatment and recovery. It has been reported that those with substance use disorders have become well quicker, fewer symptoms, and sustain recovery longer when they follow principles of quality nutrition (Drake, 2020).
Similarly, there have been various studies implementing the Integrative Body Mind Spirit (I-BMS) intervention among those with substance use disorders. This intervention utilizes Western practices in congruence with Eastern philosophies, as well as techniques (Rentala et al., 2020) There are a number of specific interventions utilized within this particular program that all seek to foster a deeper connection between body, mind and spirit. One of the most commonly used interventions is meditation. This particular intervention seeks to: (1) foster clients’ capacity to recognize and attend to current experiences as well as to differentiate them from past possibly traumatic experiences so that clients shave increase ability to uncouple current physical/psychological sensation from trauma-based emotional and behavioral responses, (2) enhance clients’ ability to stay physiologically calm, which constitutes a necessary condition for clients to engage beneficially in treatment, and (3) enhance clients’ self-regulating abilities so they make choices that are responsive and beneficial to their current needs and situations (Lee et al., 2009). Utilizing this particular type of approach could bring about a number of quality and long lasting changes within the individual.
Another trend that seems to be arising is computer based interventions. For example, there has been a computer-assisted delivery program that has been developed in regards to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT4CBT). One study found that this particular approach to CBT had effective results when utilized in addiction treatment (Carroll et al., 2015). This approach may broaden the availability of CBT, even within more challenging populations.
Trends in social work are privy to change, develop and shift as time progresses. In the more specific field of addiction recovery and treatment, this concept does not necessarily change. As time progresses, research develops and the need to the clientele change, so must the way in which treatment is approached.
Another trend is Holistic Therapy Techniques which are a combination of Western and Eastern medicines. “Yoga, acupuncture, and meditation are relatively new to Westerners, they have been used in Eastern countries for thousands of years”. Western therapists take inspiration from other fields to create effective therapies such as adventure therapy/exercise, acupuncture, animal therapy, horticulture, and art/music therapy” (Sunder, 2021).
Still another trend is evolving to finds ways to alleviate pain from withdrawal symptoms, diminish cravings, and remove biological dependency on substances such as: “The Bridge device, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Neurofeedback, Ibogaine, Biochemical restoration and nutrition, and Hallucinogenic substances. All of these ar medical innovations in the addiction recovery field” (Sunder, 2021).
Finally, in the opioid epidemic, researchers have come up with new drugs to help heroin and opiate addicts recover form the physical effects of addiction which include “Zubsolv, Probuphine, Lofexidine hydrochloride, Naltrexone” (Sunder, 2021).
A future trend in the treatment of substance abuse is technology assisted care. A number of studies to design and test computerized systems to assist and augment in-person clinical provided treatment and help support recovery management are on the rise. The NIDA and SAMSHA are collaborating on a product to help substance abuse treatment program in adopting and implementing technology assisted care. Another trend is computer-based CBT training which was applied to cocaine addicts and those on methadone maintenance. “Results were that the most impressive result appears to be the proportion of patient who were able to achieve sustained abstinence from cocaine: 36 percent for CBT4CBT versus 17 percent for the treatment as usual group” (Luo, 2019).
Addiction treatment has changed and continues to evolve. There are newer drugs of abuse of emerging, clinical practices shifting and emphasis on disease/recovery management models, concepts of addiction, relapse, and recovery are being clarified at a time when: (1) patient profiles are changing, (2) basic assumptions about addiction treatment are being questioned, and (3) improvements in evidence-based practices are available including the use of new technologically based protocols. (Coon, n.d.)
Coon, B. (n.d.). The Future of Addiction Treatment Trends and Best Practices. file:///C:/Users/Deborah%20Edwards/Downloads/the-future-of-addiction-treatment-trends-and-best-practices-brian-coon-ma-lcas-ccs.pdf
Luo, S. X., (2019). Will technology change the future of addiction treatment? https://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk/will-technology-change-the-future-of-addiction-treatment/
Sunder, K. (2021). Get Caught up on emerging Trends in Addiction Treatment. https://addiction-treatment-services.com/treatment/emerging-trends/
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