The effective treatment of substance abuse requires attention to many different aspects. Addiction can arise from biological, social, physical, and mental foundations, all of which may play a role simultaneously. Therefore, professional treatment is necessary to overcome these compounding factors. When a treatment plan incorporates certain principles, the likelihood of recovery is much higher.
Chambless Johnston of Johnson City, Tennessee, has dedicated his career to helping people overcome addiction. He opened his first office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) facility in 2012. Today, Dr. Johnston is the CEO and founder of East Tennessee Recovery. As one of the largest OBOTs in the state of Tennessee, East Tennessee Recovery is a treatment facility that offers integrative treatment programs for individuals struggling with addiction. Dr. Johnston shares his insight into the most important principles of an effective treatment plan.
Effective Treatment is Individualized
Not only does effective addiction treatment differ depending on the substance that is being abused, but it also varies significantly depending on the individual being treated. As a result, treatment must be individualized, addressing each patient’s particular needs. As Chambless Johnston notes, this principle of effective treatment requires the adaptation of treatment strategies, settings, and additional services. The more personalized an individual’s treatment is, the higher the likelihood that they will succeed in overcoming their addiction.
Effective Treatment is Comprehensive
Addiction is a complex disease that requires an integrative approach to treatment. Often, addiction is accompanied by various other physical, psychological, and social issues. For treatment to be successful, these factors must also be recognized and treated alongside the addictive behavior. For instance, many individuals suffering from drug addiction also have compounding mental health disorders. Chambless Johnston suggests that co-occurring mental illness should be addressed in conjunction with substance abuse. In addition to addressing various conditions, an effective treatment plan should include multiple types of rehabilitation. The physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of addiction require varying methods of intervention. Hence, the need for various forms of therapy. Behavioral therapy is commonly used to address the emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of recovery, while medication-assistance and certain forms of physical activity can be used to help address physical, and potentially psychological, aspects. Finally, effective treatment must also include vocational assistance in many cases. For example, the ability to effectively seek and obtain employment should be included in order for the patient to be successful long-term.
Effective Treatment Involves the Use of Medication, Says Chambless Johnston
Medication-assisted treatment is helpful to patients for several reasons. First and foremost, medication can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms. This helps patients overcome the difficult initial phase of recovery in which their body adjusts to life without an abused substance. To help with withdrawals, medication is also useful for addressing cravings and other symptoms. Chambless Johnston states that the successful use of medication for addiction treatment is well-documented and methods are based on medical research. Medication is an especially effective component of treatment when it is included as part of a comprehensive behavioral treatment program.