The process of recovery has changed a lot over the past few decades as new research continually changes our understanding of addiction. There are no easy answers for treating addiction and it can be a very individual experience for each person involved. The complex issues of treatment are still being studied and the treatment approach for addiction will continue to change as new discoveries are made.
Addiction treatment has been fine tuned in recent years but there is still more progress to be made in ensuring that people can become sober effectively. People in treatment are dealing with complicated mental health problems and other personal issues that can make recovery particularly challenging. Finding ways to accommodate each person’s individual needs is a central goal of addiction treatment so that every person can experience the same type of success.
As experience with treatment accumulates there are likely to be significant advancements in addiction recovery methods. There may also be many changes in the way that we think about addiction and how we approach the concept of recovery. In the next few years people may see addiction treatment evolve for the better so that patients can have a more healing experience in recovery.
Seeing Addiction and Recovery Differently
One of the biggest problems that people experience in addiction recovery is the stigma and pain that occurs when they go through a relapse. In the near future, people in the field of addiction may start to see recovery as a longer process that does not always mean continuous abstinence for many people. Instead of seeing treatment as a one-time shot at sobriety, we may be able to focus on celebrating progress patients make at reducing and adjusting to being sober over different periods of time.
Treatment that aims to follow the individual through each stage of their recovery can prove to be more effective. A more inclusive mindset will allow people to feel more motivated in spite of setbacks that they experience. Instead of seeing relapse as a failure they can simply view it as part of their recovery journey that they need to work through.
Medication and Vaccines
Another possible change for addiction treatment may be the advent of different kinds of medications and even vaccines that can reduce a person’s dependency on drugs. In addition to existing medications like methadone and buprenorphine for opioid dependency there may be more advances for other types of addiction. There are already clinical trials for a cocaine vaccine that will work to dampen or block the high that people experience from the drug.
Getting a vaccine for a drug problem may help people develop a type of “immunity” to their particular addiction. They will no longer feel the effects of the drug and may be able to get through their detox process without being tempted to use again. Over time they can become adjusted to the idea that the drug they are addicted to does not give them the desired effect and they can move forward.
Expanding Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders and Individual Plans
Most addiction experts already agree that one size fits all types of treatment programs are less effective overall for helping people recover. Each person in recovery has their own unique issues that need to be cared for in order for them to achieve success in becoming sober. In the future of addiction treatment, more individualized care is likely to expand as general rehab centers will become less prominent.
Every person’s addiction should not be treated the same way as they each will go through different phases of recovery and will need special attention for specific issues. Some people may be more prone to relapse or others may have problems with substituting addictions more than others. If each patient can get more personal care then they can target their specific issues so that they can fully recover.
Co-occurring disorders are another problem that need to be treated through individual plans and specialized care. Having a mental illness that has caused an addiction or developed through the course of substance abuse can make it much more difficult to recover. The expansion of care for co-occurring disorders will be an important step for the changes necessary in addiction treatment.
As we begin to understand more about addiction and see what tactics tend to work better with treating patients, approaches will continue to evolve. In the future people may have a different few of addiction, what constitutes recovery and how to address each patient’s personal issues. Changes in addiction treatment can lead to more positive benefits for people who struggle to get past certain obstacles in rehab.
Continuing to adjust and adapt our understanding of addiction can lead to a more effective healing process that lasts in the long term.