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Are Treatment and Rehab Effective for Substance Use Disorder?

Are Treatment and Rehab Effective for Substance Use Disorder?

When a person with a substance use disorder seeks treatment, they often doubt the effectiveness of rehab and recovery programs. It can be challenging to provide a conclusive answer because the results vary significantly from person to person. There is no single treatment for substance use disorder but rather a wide range of varying approaches to help individuals reach their specific goals. 

Furthermore, one cannot measure the effectiveness of a treatment plan in terms of total success or failure but rather through the gradual improvement and lessening of symptoms. In addition, one cannot measure a treatment program’s success in a clinical setting. A treatment program’s true success can only be measured by the patient’s response when facing the challenges of their real lives that led them to develop a substance use disorder in the first place.

Some patients may use medication, talk therapy, or a combination of these methods to manage their symptoms. To evaluate the success of a treatment or rehabilitation program, one must assess the individual’s ability to become a productive member of society while also making their desired lifestyle changes. 

What Is Treatment for Substance Use Disorder?

Treatment programs help those with substance use disorder stop compulsively seeking and using their substance of choice. There is a wide range of treatment options to choose from so that each patient can partake in a treatment method that meets their needs. Since substance use disorder is a chronic illness, most patients require long-term treatment. 

Substance use disorders are typically treated with methods including the following:

  • Therapy often includes evidence-based therapies for substance use. Healthcare professionals consider several forms of treatment supremely effective in treating substance use disorder. However, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is regarded as the most effective form of talk therapy to reduce substance use. Recent studies show that 33% of patients receiving CBT maintained abstinence versus 13% in the control group.
  • Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) utilizes medications and talk therapy to mitigate substance use disorder symptoms. Prescription medications curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while therapy allows patients to develop improved coping mechanisms for psychological distress. In this treatment, therapy is the focal point of the patient’s treatment plan, and medications are supplementary.

Patients who choose to incorporate MAT or MOUD within their treatment plan should keep their medications in a secure, safe-locking pill bottle, like the Safe Rx Locking Pill bottle. These pill bottles come with a custom code to ensure that no one gains unauthorized access to medication that isn’t their own, keeping the bottle secure and tamper-proof wherever it goes.


Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatment and Rehab Programs

When evaluating the effectiveness of substance use disorder, we must consider the possibility of more significant outcomes than stopping substance use. Healthcare professionals must also ensure that patients become healthy, functioning community members.

People who fully commit to their rehabilitation program and remain in treatment for the program’s duration reduce their risk of prolonged substance misuse and relapse. In addition, patients that obtain adequate treatment for substance use disorder report improvements in intrapersonal relationships, the workplace, and their psychological state.

It can be challenging to assess the validity of rehab and treatment for substance use disorder because the results are dependent on the individual’s issues and their involvement with treatment providers. Contrary to popular belief, substance use disorder is a chronic disease that patients must learn to cope with over time. With the right treatment plan, people with substance use disorder can mitigate the substance’s neurological and behavioral effects to improve their lives.


Unlike most other chronic disorders, with substance use disorder, people wrongfully consider the treatment a failure if the patient’s symptoms return. However, relapse rates for substance use disorders are congruent with the symptom recurrence rates for other chronic illnesses, including diabetes and hypertension. Healthcare professionals must adjust their treatment plan if someone with substance use disorder experiences lapses in usage.

Is Treatment for Substance Use Disorder Effective?

The most effective treatment for a substance use disorder depends on the substance itself. For instance, medications are the most effective treatment option for people with opioid use disorders, but people with stimulant or cannabis use disorders often respond better to psychosocial treatment. 

No single treatment is appropriate for every person with substance use disorder. Ultimately, there must be a paradigm shift that treats substance use disorder as a chronic illness, continually monitored throughout the patient’s lifetime. This disorder significantly alters the brain’s structure in ways that persist even after long periods of sobriety. However, when patients have access to multiple treatment options and tools to manage their symptoms successfully, they have the opportunity to make their desired lifestyle changes and become productive members of society.

Support Your Treatment Plan with Safe Rx

Treatment for substance misuse can only be effective if patients have access to the proper support systems and tools. Although therapy alone may be sufficient for some patients to maintain sobriety, others can meet their goals with the support of prescription medications. People that choose to incorporate medications within their treatment plan must keep their medications safe, secure, and out of reach from unauthorized access.


An effective treatment plan includes accounting for the safe use and storage of prescription medications. At Safe Rx, we know that medication safety begins with reducing unauthorized access to prescriptions. That’s why Safe Rx locking pill bottles allows patients to protect their prescription medications with a secure 4-digit code.


If you would like more information about SafeRX and medication safety, contact us today.