Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
No two people share the exact same experience regarding mental health and addiction. Mental health and substance use disorders develop from many underlying causes and risk factors. Similarly, every person that experiences these conditions has a unique set of symptoms that range in intensity and duration.
When treatment for mental health and substance use disorders originated, it followed specific protocols. Treatment programs would have a set treatment plan that all patients would follow, regardless of their diagnoses. However, when facilities have all their patients follow a set treatment plan, the facility does not consider an individual’s unique experiences and factors that have shaped their mental health disorder or substance use. In this way, treatment becomes less effective.
What is individualized treatment for addiction recovery?
Individualized treatment takes into account all of the environmental, social, cognitive and emotional aspects of a patient’s life that has shaped their mental health and associated substance abuse. Instead of looking at a patient’s diagnosis and creating a treatment plan solely based on it, individualized treatment allows patients to recover in a way that best fits their personal needs and treatment goals.
No one thing causes a mental health or substance use disorder. In the same way, there is no one-size-fits-all for treating these conditions. An individualized treatment plan is the most effective route for lasting recovery because it addresses all components that individuals must address and change as they work to establish lifelong abstinence.
Individualized treatment plans are made from thorough evaluations.
Before a treatment plan is made, a healthcare provider will meet with a patient and conduct a thorough evaluation that will help the provider better understand the patient’s current diagnosis and their needs and goals for treatment. The healthcare provider will need as much information as possible from the patient to form the most effective treatment plan. Some critical factors that may be covered during an evaluation include, but are not limited to:
- The type of substances being used
- The intensity and duration of substance use
- The route of administration of substance use
- Family history of mental health conditions or substance use disorders
- The presence of co-occurring conditions
- Reported mental health symptoms
- Potential underlying causes of substance use or mental health issues, such as untreated trauma
- Past treatment history
- Medication history
- Social support system
- Family dynamics
Once the evaluation has occurred, the healthcare provider will work to create an individualized treatment plan for the patient that takes into consideration all of the unique factors mentioned above. Despite treatment plans varying from person to person, most cover similar themes, including:
- Expectations of withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, and effective ways to manage them
- Other mental and physical health challenges, such as chronic pain
- Recommended treatment interventions
- Relapse prevention strategies
- Aftercare needs, such as engagement with long-term continuing treatment
Other themes that may be present in an individualized treatment plan may include:
- Medication therapy or medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Behavioral therapies used to treat co-occurring mental health conditions
- Family therapy
There are several benefits of individualized treatment plans.
While the benefits of individualized treatment plans may be obvious, it can be helpful to recognize specific advantages of individualized treatment for both short-term and long-term recovery. Some significant benefits include:
#1. It encourages viewing an individual as more than just their diagnosis.
Individuals should not be defined by their diagnosis; therefore, their diagnosis should not dictate the most effective treatment route. By addressing all of a patient’s unique factors and circumstances that brought them to substance use and utilizing an individualized treatment plan, the patient will be able to achieve adequate healing that can last a lifetime.
#2. It manages all sides of the mental health or substance use disorder.
Substance use is not purely physical; there are always multiple causes of why an individual engages in substance use. Individualized treatment helps a patient address the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual sides of their diagnosis.
#3. It builds support networks around sobriety rather than just a diagnosis.
Although there are benefits to mutual aid support groups for specific diagnoses, individualized treatment plans help patients come together to share a common goal of achieving sobriety. Again, patients are not labeled by their diagnosis. Instead, they are marked by their commitment to achieving lifelong recovery.
#4. They create greater access to multiple therapy modalities and interventions to accommodate personal needs.
When treatment centers utilize a one-size-fits-all treatment program, there are fewer options for treatment. However, when facilities use individualized treatment, they offer more significant opportunities for patients to experience different treatment options. What works for one person may not work for another.
Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford strives to create individualized treatment plans for all our patients. We recognize that everyone has unique life experiences and circumstances that lead them to substance use, which is why we aim to develop personalized treatment plans that will result in positive treatment outcomes. We help our patients choose treatment and recovery because we know it will make them better. Let us heal you not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. Call us today to learn more at (877) 557-5372.