What type of treatment is most effective for substance abuse and dependence?
The best type of treatment (or combination of treatments) will vary depending upon the person’s unique situation. One of the most important parts of any treatment is creating a commitment to change. Specialized counseling focused on understanding the problem and increasing motivation is often a starting point that leads to other treatments.
Several psychosocial treatment approaches have been shown to be effective including motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, community reinforcement, and others. In addition, many people find self-help groups to be beneficial such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Moderation Management. Medications can be useful additions to psychosocial treatments for certain substances, but medications alone are very limited in their effectiveness.
Most treatment approaches can be done on an outpatient basis, but hospitalization may be needed for initial stabilization or to deal with medical complications.