The Future of Addiction Treatment 

The Future of Addiction Treatment

How we view and understand addiction is changing a lot. In the past, it was seen as something you simply had to power through; now, we understand it is more like a disease, and that’s just the beginning. The more we understand psychology and biology, the better treatment for addiction gets. Of course, the staples will always apply, like AA, rehab, therapy, and so forth, but even these things will change slightly to accommodate our understanding. 

In this blog, we will look at what we are learning about addiction and what it actually means to be sober, how vaccines might have something to do with it, how other disorders can actually impact it, and all the new methodologies. 

If you or a loved one could benefit from 12 Steps to Recovery, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn about our comfortable residential setting.

Broadening the Definition of Success

It used to be that we measured the success of sobriety as being completely free of any kind of substance, even medications. We now understand that this model of success is simply too rigid. This thought process was mostly born from fear and the idea of “gateway” drugs. As we go forward in addiction treatment, professionals will look more into harm reduction, compassion, measuring social and lifestyle success, and so on, rather than the complete lack of any substance in the body. 

Innovative Medical Treatments

It would be amiss to talk about the changing attitudes of addiction and not mention the updates to medical treatments when talking about addiction treatment in the future. This includes the fascinating topic of vaccines, which can prevent relapse. These vaccines can elicit an immune response to certain drugs the addict is addicted to so that euphoric effects simply can’t happen when they take it anymore. This will, of course, make relapse much less likely. Although we are still in the early stages of this treatment, it is an exciting tool that can change many lives if it works. 

Tailored Treatment Approaches

Personalization is everywhere right now in all industries. The tools we have to make treatment and other things personal to someone are becoming easier to access. Different substances affect people in unique ways, so of course, what will work for one to stop using will not work for another. Understanding what the drug is doing for an individual and essentially what the user is trying to escape from and cure, can help us find ways that are less harmful for addicts. 

Plus, there are often co-current issues that addiction treatment might make worse if the whole picture isn’t taken into account. One approach to personalized treatment uses genetic and neurobiological markers to tailor treatment depending on their biological makeup and how they react to things psychologically. 

Addiction Counseling

Psychology is another field that is often building on its past knowledge with lots of data. What we understood about behavioral science 50 years ago is vastly different from today. A simple example of this is positive reinforcement over punishment, whereby positive reinforcement leads to behavioral changes far more often than punishment does. 

The more we understand psychology, the more changes there will be in this field of addiction. Instead of putting addicts in jail to punish them for their behavior, we are now understanding they need comfort and support. If therapy didn’t work for you many years ago, you may find that it has advanced enough to actually help. 

Reducing the Treatment Gap

As services build and more help becomes available, the prevalence of addiction should begin to drop year after year. 94% of those with substance use disorder over the age of 12 don’t receive help. This is a staggering number. The future should hold wider availability and access to help, which can only serve to make things better. 

Alternatives to Abstinence

Abstinence used to be the gold standard of sobriety, but there are now new methods, such as The Sinclair Method. This is medication-assisted treatment to reduce things like cravings and, therefore, how much the person uses. Sometimes abstinence is simply not possible for the addict, which is why having medications like this available can really help with harm reduction.

The Future of Addiction Treatment Looks Bright

We are moving toward treatment that is more humane and takes each individual struggle into account; this can only mean good news for those who suffer from substance use disorder. If you find you are struggling, being around those who are up-to-date on treatments can help you and make recovery easier, somewhere like Myrtle Beach Recovery. Our rehab center for both short-term and long-term treatment is here to make your journey towards sobriety easier. Contact us today.