Five Trends in Addiction Treatment Today

Trends in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Substance use disorders, in particular, have reached epidemic proportions, with opioid addiction alone responsible for over 130 deaths a day in the United States. The physical and mental health consequences of addiction can be devastating, and it can also have a ripple effect on families and communities. However, there is hope for those struggling with addiction, and recovery is possible. Substance use disorder treatment is currently following several different trends, which I will elaborate on below.

Holistic Approach

One of the most significant trends in addiction recovery is the shift towards a more holistic approach. Traditional addiction treatment often focuses on just the physical aspect of addiction, such as detox and medication-assisted treatment, but this approach recognizes that addiction is a complex disease that affects the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Holistic treatment programs incorporate a variety of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practices, and yoga, to address the whole person and help individuals develop the tools they need to maintain their recovery. One approach that would fall under this category are 12 step programs.

Twelve-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are a widely recognized and effective form of holistic treatment for addiction.

12 step programs are based on the idea that addiction is a disease that affects not just the individual, but also their family and friends. The program focuses on addressing the individual’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs, through a combination of support, education, and self-help techniques. One of the key principles of 12-step programs is the concept of surrender. This means acknowledging that the individual is powerless over their addiction and that they need help and support to overcome it. This can be a difficult and emotional process, but it is a crucial step in the recovery process. The 12-step program also emphasizes the importance of accountability and responsibility. Participants are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends sober living programs in los angelesto those they have hurt as a result of their addiction. This can be a powerful tool in helping individuals to gain insight into their addiction and to understand the impact it has had on their lives and the lives of those around them. The program also encourages individuals to develop a spiritual practice, which can be helpful in fostering a sense of inner peace and connection to something greater than oneself. This can be through prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices. The 12-step program is also community-based, which means that individuals can rely on a support system of peers who are also in recovery. This can be incredibly beneficial, as it provides a sense of belonging and helps to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.


Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Another trend in addiction treatment is the increasing availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT involves the use of medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine, to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings while they work on their recovery. MAT is particularly effective for those struggling with opioid addiction, and it has been shown to reduce the risk of overdose and improve long-term outcomes. While MAT is not the right choice for all persons seeking recovery, it is certainly an effective method of harm reduction for those it may be indicated for.


A more recent innovation in recovery is the use of technology. Technology has the potential to greatly benefit individuals in substance use disorder recovery by providing new ways to access support, education, and treatment. For example, there are now many mobile apps and online resources that provide information and support on a wide range of topics related to addiction and recovery. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who live in remote areas or who have difficulty accessing traditional forms of support. Additionally, technology can also help with recovery management by Using technology in sober livingproviding tools for tracking sobriety, managing cravings, and connecting with a therapist or support group. Virtual therapy sessions can be a great alternative for people who have mobility or transportation issues, or who live in areas where professional support is limited. Technology can also help to reduce the stigma associated with addiction by providing a private and confidential way to access support and information. Overall, technology has the potential to greatly improve access to support and treatment for individuals in substance use disorder recovery, making it a valuable tool in the addiction recovery process.

Trauma Informed Care

Another trend in addiction treatment is the focus on trauma-informed care. Trauma is often a underlying cause of addiction, and many individuals in recovery have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Trauma-informed care is an approach to addiction treatment that recognizes the connection between past traumatic experiences and current substance use disorders. It emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for individuals in recovery, and encourages practitioners to adopt a trauma-sensitive approach when working with clients. This includes understanding the impact of trauma on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and providing appropriate support and treatment accordingly.
Trauma-informed care also includes the use of evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and prolonged exposure therapy that are specifically designed to help individuals process and overcome traumatic experiences. By taking a trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment, individuals in recovery are better supported in addressing the underlying causes of their addiction and in building a more resilient and healthier future.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

Focusing on co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis, in addiction treatment is a trend that is becoming increasingly important in the field of addiction recovery. Co-occurring disorders refer to the presence of both a mental health condition and a substance use disorder in an individual. For example, an individual may struggle with both an addiction to opioids and depression.

Research has shown that individuals with co-occurring disorders have a higher risk of relapse, poorer treatment outcomes, and a higher risk of suicide. Therefore, it is important that addiction treatment programs take a comprehensive approach that addresses both the addiction and the underlying mental health condition.

There are several different approaches to treating co-occurring disorders, including integrated treatment and sequential treatment. Integrated treatment involves addressing both the addiction and the mental health condition simultaneously, using a combination of therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and other psychosocial interventions. Sequential treatment, on the other hand, involves treating the addiction first and then addressing the mental health condition afterwards. This approach is often used when the addiction is considered more severe or life-threatening than the mental health condition.

It is important to note that not all addiction treatment programs are equipped to address co-occurring disorders, and it is essential to find a program that has experience and expertise in treating these complex cases. When searching for sober living in Los Angeles, Open Sky Recovery has experience in working with dual diagnosis clients and welcome anyone who is seeking recovery to find their place in our program.


In conclusion, addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide, and substance use disorders have reached epidemic proportions. However, recovery is possible, and there are many resources available to help individuals on their journey. Current trends in addiction recovery include a shift towards a more holistic approach, the increasing availability of medication-assisted treatment, the integration of technology in addiction treatment, the focus on trauma-informed care, the importance of family involvement in the recovery process and addressing co-occurring disorders. It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and it’s important to keep seeking support and help when needed. And remember, no one is alone in this fight. Open Sky Recovery is here to help, whether it is with sober living or just getting some help and advice for yourself or a loved one. Contact us and we are happy to be of service.