As described in an article from the National Institute of Drug Addiction, research-based findings means that addiction treatment is most likely to result in long-term recovery when treatment helps a person learn to manage the addiction, starting with medically assisted detox and continuing through behavioral therapies, and post-treatment tools and strategies that support the individual in continuing addiction management techniques.

These processes are most thorough and robust in residential treatment programs where the person can fully detox from the addictive substance with medical support, spend time in therapy with qualified therapists who teach what addiction management looks like, and prepares the person by supplying tools and support structure that can be accessed after treatment is completed in order to sustain abstinence and maintain long-term recovery.

These elements are all important when looking for a scientifically sound rehab program. Research-based practices that result in predictable outcomes and long-term recovery are the types of programs to seek out.

Because of the slight difference in the definitions of evidence-based and research-based practices, some treatment centers may use these terms interchangeably. In order to determine whether a rehab center that claims to be evidence-based is actually using research-based strategies, some questions to ask might be:

  • Are your practices based on outcomes or on current research?
  • What are your research sources?
  • Are you aware of the most current studies on drug addiction treatment?
  • How do you measure your success rates?
  • Do you follow a comprehensive series of treatment practices customized to your clients?
  • Do you use medically supported treatments and proven practices for therapy?

By carefully investigating the facility’s methods and basis for treatment before committing to a program, a person struggling with addiction can find the program that has the most research and evidence behind it.