Treatment Centers have evolved drastically over the past few decades. In the 1960’s and early 70’s Therapeutic Communities were thought to be the best choice for treatment. Therapeutic Communities were very long term (a year or more) and many graduates would continue to live in these communities for some time after their treatment. Therapeutic Communities were based on Behavioral Modification and were usually highly confrontational in nature.
In the 1970’s treatment took a dramatic shift to what is referred to as the “Minnesota Model.” This model of treatment was based on a 28 day format. This model stayed away from direct confrontational approaches and focused more on education and building up the clients self esteem. It was replicated all across the country and became the norm for treatment for chemical dependency.
As treatment evolved and more science was introduced, treatment shifted again. Using a Bio-psycho-social model (as opposed to a medical model) individuals began to be looked at differently. The assessment processes used became very sophisticated. Treatment Centers began to look at the whole person. More sophisticated methods of breaking through a client’s denial system were implemented and clients were treated physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Now, the best treatment programs are those that incorporate traditional psychotherapies with adjunct holistic care such as tai chi, yoga, physical exercise, and nutrition. Trauma was found to be the trigger for many relapses. Trauma therapy is used to resolve the trauma experienced by the addict and thereby eliminate the trigger urge to use. Trauma therapy can include therapy such as E.M.D.R., hypnotherapy, guided imagery or a combination of these. The clients self esteem and self worth increases as they learn to identify and express feelings. Peer confrontation occurs using self disclosure making the confrontation more acceptable to the individuals being confronted. There is also a large emphasis placed on learning living skills that are tools taken away by the client to be applied in real life situations. Reentry is a crucial stage of treatment centers. This is when the client is leaving treatment and going back to the real world. Support at this point is mandatory if treatment is expected to be successful. These treatment centers get the family involved from the very beginning of treatment. Most good programs have a family program and realize that chemical dependency is a family disease which affects everyone who comes in contact with the addict.
In locating a treatment center, be sure that they are licensed by the state in which they to perform the services.