The common societal narrative about addiction treatment is that you are going to be stuck with this affliction forever, relapse is almost guaranteed and the journey of treatment is going to be fraught with multiple drug rehab & alcohol rehab centre admissions… 

However, does this have to be the case? is it actually possible to engage in treatment options that work and get long term results? and if so, what philosophies, methods and strategies are the most effective to obtain these long term results? 

The good news is that there are addiction treatment options and strategies available today, which have been shown to be effective in getting people long term results. In this article, we will explore what makes quality addiction treatment and what you need to really focus on to get long term results. 

Addiction treatment isn’t an event it needs to be a change in lifestyle.  

It may sound counterintuitive but one of the most important aspects of quality drug addiction treatment & alcohol addiction treatment is looking at how you can get a person back into their day-to-day life as quickly as possible after initiating drug rehab or alcohol rehab. 

This involves teaching people skills they need for social interactions, self-reflection and finding purpose, such as connection to self, assertiveness, empathy with others, self-awareness etc. It also includes practical skills such as eating healthy foods, exercise, daily routines and living a balanced lifestyle.

From our perspective one of the biggest reasons why people go in and drug rehab in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or any other major city or state, time and time again is because the service is set up as an event rather than a program demonstrating the lots of little changes that will have to be made across and individuals life. 

An analogy that we often draw comparison with is changing your body through exercise. When trying to achieve a fitness goal, yes you may attend an initial boot camp fitness program for a period of time, however, if you really want to achieve long term change you have to exercise, eat healthily and take care of your body regularly for life and this requires a change in your lifestyle. 

This is exactly the same when it comes to changing addictive patterns, it’s a change in lifestyle. This is why when it comes to choosing an addiction treatment program or an addiction treatment centre you should ask some of the following questions: 

  • How do you help me to achieve long term results? 
  • What happens when I finish your program? what aftercare support do you provide? 
  • Do you give me practical strategies and tips to change my routines and lifestyle? 

Therapy approaches in addiction treatment

Quality treatment for addiction must include both counselling practices focused on addressing root causes (e.g., childhood trauma and negative belief systems) so that destructive patterns don’t re-emerge after the harmful substance use is reduced or resolved. 

One of the fallacies that drug rehab centres and alcohol rehab centres fall into when trying to help people address these root causes is focusing solely on the event or events of the trauma rather than the negative emotional patterns and belief systems that are created as a result of these events. 

Yes, it’s important to help facilitate healing from the grief of these events that may have occurred in some people lives however to ensure long term results are achieved in addiction treatment it’s more important to focus on the negative emotional, belief and behavioural patterns because these patterns are what actually drive addiction and destruction in peoples lives. 

Make sure that the treatment program you choose truly address these patterns in detail. We would recommend that you ask addiction treatment programs the therapy styles and approaches that they take in working through these root causes and then go and research these therapy approaches to ensure they align with the goals you are looking to achieve. 

Below you can check out this interview that Jack Nagle did with Paul Taylor about what makes great alcohol and drug rehabilitation, Jack’s experiences with the 12 step program, Connection Based Livings addiction definition and how Paul Taylor tried Ayahuasca deep in the Amazon and his experiences with how it helped people with drug addiction issues.

If you also want to watch this interview and others on our youtube you can check it out by clicking here


Assessment and outcome measures

Quality addiction treatment must also include an initial and ongoing assessment process to establish an individual’s range of co-occurring needs along with the progression of an individuals recovery and changes in addictive patterns and life circumstances to make sure that a persons treatment plan is actually effective. 

Sounds simple and should be common sense, however comprehensive assessment along with continued embedded outcome measures that are centred around a persons treatment goals are often not implemented by many treatment providers. 

we would highly encourage you to ask the following questions of drug rehab centres and alcohol rehab centres about assessment, to ensure that know you are receiving quality addiction treatment from the outset. 

  • Do you conduct an initial comprehensive addiction assessment? 
  • Will your assessment establish an individual treatment plan for me and really focus on my goals and the changes I want to make in my life? 
  • How do you measure success and treatment outcomes for your rehabilitation program? 
  • What are the names of your assessment and outcome measurement tools and are they clinically validated?  

We would also encourage you to check out the different types of drugs that we treat to understand the various approaches and how we get their best results. these are the following types of drugs that we treat and you can click each word to be linked to that page on the site. Alcohol, Methamphetamemes, Cocaine, Heroin, Prescription medication, GHB, MDMA

Lived experience support groups 

Another important part of what makes quality addiction treatment successful is having people participate in lived experience groups or communities where they can share their stories with others who have been through similar experiences. This helps people feel more connected to society with people that have empathy and compassion. This helps people feel less isolated as well as helping to create a pathway into living a life of recovery and change. 

The biggest recovery groups that exist on the planet are 12 step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These are great recourses however lots of people don’t connect with these groups due to religious language, disease of addiction philosophies and various other factors. 

The good news is, with the advancement of technology and expansion of research around addiction and mental health, lots of other recovery groups and communities are popping up both in-person and digitally. 

We would encourage you to make sure that lived experience groups and communities are included or recommended in the treatment program that you choose. 

You can check out a sister organisation of ours called the Experience Matters Collective for more details on lived experience support.

Summing it all up and making a choice. 

The three points outlined above are critical elements of quality addiction treatment but the truth is there are loads of other factors and elements that go into creating a truly great program. 

It can be challenging to know if a drug rehab or alcohol rehab service is really for you and we encourage people to dive deep and really explore as much as they can before making a decision.  

Connection Based Living offers free 45-minute consultations to understand your situation and help you explore what treatment options would work best for your needs. 

To book a free consultation click here or use the form at the bottom of the page and we hope we can be of some help in pointing you in the right direction in your recovery journey. 

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