EBT and Science

Evidence-based treatment (EBT) is based directly on scientific evidence from previous research and studies on a particular treatment and its success. EBT supports the practice of safe and effective treatments, and prevents the use of unproven or unsafe treatments. When an individual is struggling with substance addiction and seeking treatment, or their loved ones are seeking treatment for them, they want to find the program most likely to achieve results. Each approach for EBT is designed around the patient and aims to address specific aspects of drug addiction and its consequences for the patient, their family, and other loved ones. Evidence-based or scientifically proven programs are the best path to long-term recovery.

It can be confusing to decipher exactly what evidence-based and scientifically sound treatment is. To clarify, EBT encompasses practices that have been previously observed to be successful. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to have long-term effectiveness in helping patients overcome substance abuse and prevent relapse and is therefore an evidence-based approach. Scientifically sound means that the research on the treatment exercised true experimental design and data analysis methods. It has been peer reviewed and proven to have consistent results. When searching for a substance abuse treatment there can be an overwhelming amount of options. To make the best choice, reliable information is necessary; in particularly evidence for the performance of the treatment.

Pharmacotherapy and Behavioral Therapy

Evidence-based approaches to drug addiction treatment include pharmacotherapies and behavioral therapies. Pharmacotherapy implements pharmaceutical drugs or medications to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and the probability of relapse. Its approaches play an important role in the treatment of drug dependence such as nicotine replacement and heroin substitution. Pharmacotherapy alone does not result in the lifestyle changes necessary to achieve sobriety and long-term recovery, but is complimented by behavioral therapy practices. Behavioral therapies such as CBT and 12-Step Facilitation Therapy work together with pharmacotherapy to ensure recovery and prevent relapse.

Why EBT?

In order to overcome their drug addiction, it is important that the individual choose the right treatment. Especially while motivated to quit, the individuals needs to make the best choice for themselves. To do so, it is essential that the individual has sufficient information such as data that is valid and reliable. Keep in mind that while searching for substance addiction treatment, you might come across other alternative, unorthodox therapy practices or even scams that might sound reasonable but are not actually effective. This can lead to wasted time, money, and energy. Instead, look for quality research and evidence to decide on a treatment. By choosing an evidence-based treatment, the individual puts themselves in the best position for successful recovery.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (US); 1997. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 24.) Appendix A—
Pharmacotherapy. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64823/

NIDA (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved March 16, 2017, from