Defining the Goals of Treatment Treating Drug Problems NCBI Bookshelf

You may also choose to start seeking support through your local or spiritual community instead of participating in formal addiction treatment immediately. Some join peer support groups, like AA or NA, that are areligious and facilitated by other people in recovery. Your care team may also suggest non-medical detox in an outpatient setting or while you begin rehab. For instance, a client might have the opportunity to win $100 after having a drug-negative urine sample. In some programs, people have a better chance of winning the longer they remain drug-free.

substance abuse goals

As indicated above, the treatment of addiction is delivered in predominantly freestanding programs that differ in their setting (hospital, residential, or outpatient); in the frequency of care delivery (daily sessions to monthly visits); in the range of treatment components offered; and in the planned duration of care. In general, as patients progress in treatment and begin to meet the goals of their individualized treatment plan, they transfer from clinical management in residential or intensive outpatient programs to less clinically intensive outpatient programs that promote patient self-management. The principles suggest that goal setting and monitoring can be characterized as a collaborative, explicit, and standardized approach to engaging in goal-directed therapeutic work. The term goal-directed therapeutic work connotes a shift toward a more accountable frame for care than has been previously emphasized in the literature. The identified practices were organized into five sub-themes related to goal setting (10 practices), goal monitoring (10 practices), as well as practices specific to mechanisms of goal pursuit and behavior change.

Why are SMART Goals Important in Addiction Recovery?

We may often think of 12-step programs or 28-day residential treatment, but thanks to the advances in modern medicine, many plans suit all needs of an individual. This can include steps toward improved health and wellness of the mind and body, how to deal with co-workers, managers, and others at work, making amends with loved ones and friends, and other personal objectives. SAMHSA is looking for qualified men and women to join in the mission to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

  • Several psychological treatments are supported by research and have been deemed appropriate by the American Psychological Association (Division 12) for treating SUD.
  • Other individuals will require more intensively integrated care and intervention for their co-occurring disorders.
  • Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.
  • It is here that budget decisions are made for criminal justice, prevention and treatment, job training, health care, mental health, and community-based programs.

This comparison is noted because the Backer and O’Hara survey needs to be viewed cautiously; the survey response rate was 16.2 percent, and the sample of EAPs was not selected from an enumerated list or sampling framework. The U.S. General Accounting Office (1988) reviewed 10 other surveys of employers from 1985 to 1989. None of them were representative samples, and most had low return rates similar to the Backer and O’Hara survey. Most companies indicated a willingness to refer current employees with positive drug screening results to a rehabilitation program on a case-by-case basis, but there was no indication how often referral took place in practice.


In 1978, a study of young adults on parole found that, within six years after release, 69 percent had been arrested and 49 percent had been reincarcerated (Flanagan and Jamieson, 1988). Among a sample of 16,000 prisoners released to parole in 11 states in 1983, the average parolee had 8.6 prior arrests on 12.5 offenses, and 67 percent were on their second or later incarceration (Beck and Shipley, 1989). Sixty-two percent had been rearrested and 41 percent reincarcerated by the end of the third year after release. In the 1986 survey, three-fourths (74 percent) of all state prison inmates had been incarcerated before, and half had been incarcerated at least twice before (Innes, 1988). Recently (Kosten et al., 1988), as well as in previous years (Allison et al., 1985), health crises, problems involving serious jeopardy from the criminal justice system, and psychiatric/psychological problems are not the most prominent motivations among those seeking relief from cocaine and opiate use in public programs3. In the case of women or married men, pressure precipitating admission to treatment often comes from family members; however, in general, these demographic types are a minority of those entering public programs.

Their moral support for drugs may well extend to active disapproval of treatment (Eldred and Washington, 1976). Despite the large productivity implications of drug abuse and dependency, employers appear to use their potential leverage very gingerly with regard to treatment. They do voice great concern about the cost implications of covering drug treatment under employer-sponsored health plans. One is the tendency to lose sight of drug treatment as such within the much larger pool of alcohol and psychiatric (“nervous and mental”) benefit claims. The second factor is the high growth rate in payouts for inpatient care for drug abuse diagnoses that are attributable not to employees but to their covered dependents, particularly adolescent girls. These issues are assessed further in Chapter 8, but their prominence strongly reinforces the impression that employers view drug treatment more as part of the problem of high employee benefit costs than as part of the solution to a pervasive productivity problem.

Developing Goals and Measurable Objectives

To ensure goals are measurable, use specific metrics like percentages, frequency, or duration. For example, attend a certain number of support group meetings per week for a specific number of months or reduce substance use by a certain percentage. Regularly monitoring progress and making adjustments as necessary will help individuals stay on track toward their recovery goals. You may not be in a highly motivated state of mind when you begin addiction treatment.

  • Improving physical and mental well-being through exercise and mindfulness is highly relevant.
  • Prescribed in this fashion, medications for substance use disorders are in some ways like insulin for patients with diabetes.
  • When heavy drug consumers cut out or cut back on their drug use, their criminality of other kinds is also dramatically lower (Ball et al., 1981; Johnson et al., 1985; Speckart and Anglin, 1986); however, the causal direction here is not clear.
  • Some of the information provided includes information on how, when, and for how long to intervene for both prevention and treatment, how to maximize the prevention of substance use disorders, how to enhance treatment response and recovery, as well as how to mitigate harms.

The most common goal in addiction treatment is to achieve abstinence from drug and alcohol use. That’s one of the most important aims of addiction treatment, but how will you achieve it and what specific steps will you take to get there? If your treatment plan is a journey, the goal is the tall mountain in the distance that you’re headed to. Still, defining a goal is essential in pointing you in the right direction, informing the rest of your treatment plan. A treatment plan for substance abuse is an outline of what you will seek to achieve in treatment and the steps it will take to get there. You’ll make a treatment plan with your therapist, and your involvement is essential.

Typically, the problems entail noxious physical or psychological stimuli (a serious infection, chronic depression), sharp social pressure (a felony case, an angry spouse), or the imminent threat of something quite unwelcome (e.g., imprisonment or assault). Second, the problems are related to drug use, although the client may or may not view them as issues separate from drug consumption. In fact, the relative severity of drug abuse or dependence may be only loosely coupled with the severity of the presenting problem. The goals of clients, clinicians, program managers, payers, regulators, politicians, and other interested parties are often imperfectly matched.

  • The behavioral treatments are geared toward changing behavior through counseling and are led by a mental health professional, and supported by studies indicating their positive outcomes.
  • Recovery is a personal journey, and every individual will have their own unique timeline for achieving their goals.
  • Engaging in regular exercise has numerous benefits for your physical and mental health.

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