Recovery Direct is an evidence-led treatment programme that works with a range of substance and behaviour based issues such as drug and alcohol use disorders, depression, anxiety, chronic stress and eating disorders. The evidence-based approach to addiction treatment is distinctly different to the way most addiction has been treated to date in South Africa. The therapies used in the evidence led treatment processes that are based on modern proven studies on successful addiction treatment worldwide.
Non-Evidence-Based vs Evidence-Based Addiction Treatment
In contrast, many centres which still use methodologies such as “12 step treatment”, “tough love” based treatment based on punitive belief systems or pre-conceived or standardised routines, processes or methodologies. Often these 12 step rehab centres photocopy standardised plans which do not directly relate or address to the individual’s needs or requirements to fully recover.
Evidence-backed therapeutic care for addiction revolves around understanding components of personal trauma or the interpersonal issues that are driving subconscious routines, habits and behaviours that are in turn fueled by highly individual pent emotions and then mapping out a meaningful individualised path toward immediate long-term recovery for that person.
Where Do 12 Step Rehab Fail
While there are many “success stories” from the “12 step treatment” centres these stories tend to be perpetuated by the estimated 8 to 12% of people that actually find recovery in the 12 step process in isolation. The remainder of people do not report on 12 Step or find their way into recovery, do so through combining more evidence-based approaches and philosophies.
In 12 Step Treatment Centres, one on one or personalised therapy is frequently diluted as the costs of hosting professional psychotherapeutic care and support are significantly greater than 12 Step behaviour change principals, which are essentially free and readily available anywhere in the world.
“Professional treatment” in “registered rehab centres” can often be as low as a one or two individual counselling session a week 😖😖😖 Yes most other rehabs in South Africa and the world effectively maximise their profit margins by replacing professional therapy with 12 Step principals that are helpful are effectively free. This includes even in some of the most expensive and exclusive rehabs in South Africa.
The routine excuse used by these centres is that “oooh so rehab may not work the first time” so “keep coming back”, “the longer you stay in treatment, the better..” or “We recommend 3 months minimum” so after the initial 28 days most medical aids stop paying and most people exit the centre relapse and need to go back as they were not actually afforded enough professional therapeutic care.
Understanding that individuals entering a rehab centre are having to contend with detracting themselves from powerfull psychoactive substances like alcohol and cocaine, this format of therapeutic treatment support is inadequate given the timeframe of treatment.
The inadequacy in the initial treatment timeframe consequently results in ongoing repeat admissions and costing considerably more than effective evidence-based centres like Recovery Direct that focuses on evidence-based treatment upfront through a highly intensive process. If our patients choose to add 12 Step principals to their recovery process, we absolutely and unequivocally support it, but that is not “personalised therapy” that they are paying for or will receive at our centre in Cape Town.
This is in no way intended to devalue the revered 12 Step treatment program.
When placed in a correct context of recovery lifestyles of the 12 step process can add immense value to long term recovery from addiction. Provided the mechanics of 12 step are understood and applied correctly in concert within solid evidence led treatment continuums the 12 step recovery is a powerful tool for motivated behaviour change, socialisation, spiritual development, resilience training and support.
Where Anonymous Meetings Work
The 12 step recovery is important to many in the respect that it serves the function as a spiritual guide and support system in the absence of guides and support systems.
12 step meetings to some degree provide the function of trauma reprocessing (shares), re-socialisation (group meetings), mentorship (sponsors) cognitive behaviour change (repetition of meetings) that challenge a conscious self-awareness and provides an anonymous and “safe” platform that is effectively free.
For the last 80 years, the same spiritual programme (with some alterations) has been in effect throughout the world.
As a free programme, there are many positive behaviour changes, guidance and social principals in play that do have positive effects in recovery, the majority of individuals that directly enter 12 step meetings, skipping rehabs are usually on people with severe “rock bottom” substance use issues that have no option but to recover.
A survey conducted by AA in 2014 showed that:
- 32% of people were introduced to the group by another member
- An additional 32% were introduced to AA by a treatment facility
- 59% of AA members received some form of treatment or counselling before going to AA
Ergo the frequent success stories in AA tend to dovetail with evidence-based counselling engagements such as provided by our centre or in personal growth, coaching and development programmes based on psychology principals. Evidence suggests that for those people, AA attendance can be a source of long term recovery in that AA is free to use, easy to access, all-encompassing global support system….best used after evidence-based treatment as further support.
Bottom line is we do recover, all in our own ways and that is something we support. If you have tried 12 steps and you still can’t quiet the noise in your head, perhaps you ought to start looking at evidence-based treatment options.
So What is Evidence Led Treatment?
Evidence-based treatment can be broken up into two categories Pharmacotherapies and Behavioral Therapies.
This means that substance withdraws are medically treated using medicines administered by a doctor in prescribed and managed doses depending on the substances in play to alleviate symptoms being presented by the patient.
Include a range of psychotherapeutic conversational talk therapies that help patients find order and natural resolution to many disordered emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Emotion Based Talk Therapy
- Interventions Incentives
- Community Reinforcement
- Family Therapy