Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Addict. 1990-1991;25(12A):1409-19.

What works in addiction treatment and what doesn't: is the best therapy no therapy?


The current trend toward treating drug and alcohol (and other) addictions in disease-oriented, 12-step programs has had less success than most people believe. Treatments that teach coping skills, mobilize community forces, and instill values toward prosocial behavior have had success rates far superior to therapies that instruct individuals that they take drugs or drink excessively because they have a disease or because drugs are inherently addictive. Successful treatments instead deal with addicts' interactions with their environments and help them develop beliefs in their self-efficacy. Nonetheless, even addiction treatments which have demonstrated success face limitations in their ability to confront individual intentions and values, community standards, and environmental pressures and opportunities. At the same time, more individuals have quit addictions on their own than have been successfully treated by even the best therapies. Put simply, no therapy will ever be able in itself to make a substantial impact on our drug and alcohol or other addictive problems. In the meantime, addiction treatment is becoming more pervasive and coercive, and today holds out the possibility of corrupting our society and the self-conceptions of its members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center