In January, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released their new guidelines for addiction treatment of alcohol use disorders. The guidelines set a series of evidence-based treatment modalities for addiction treatment that will help guide clinicians in a variety of settings.
This article examines these guidelines. Why is this good news? How will this help addiction treatment specialists better serve their patients? How will this supplement existing treatment options?
The Psychiatric Annals points out the facts driving these new evidenced-based treatment guidelines:
According to ProjectKnow, close to 14 million adults abuse alcohol, and the rates are on the rise. Given these statistics, the new APA guidelines could not come at a better time.
The new APA guidelines recommend a series of steps that providers must take to treat AUD in an addiction treatment setting. The guidelines also offer rules related to the assessment and treatment of AUD.
They cover four basic areas:
The guidelines emphasize using medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to treat AUD. A Medscape article describes the new treatment planning guidelines this way:
"Patients with AUD should have a documented comprehensive and person-centered treatment plan that includes evidence-based nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions."
The new APA guidelines signify a broader approach that allows addiction treatment providers additional tools to help treat their patients. Up until now, prescriptions for these medications has been limited and underutilized, despite the fact that numerous studies report the efficacy and long-term treatment success tied to these drugs.
The guidelines include:
These new evidence-based guidelines represent a strong step forward for addiction treatment. The benefits of using MAT for AUD are their efficacy for combating the long-term effects of the disease. These medications target the neurotransmitters to decrease alcohol cravings. When MAT is coupled with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, 12-step, and motivational support, it increases the number of tools available to addiction treatment specialists.
Looking for a treatment setting that will offer your patients the best in addiction care? Contact us to find out more about referring patients to our facilities.