Treatment for substance use disorders lies at the heart of the D2C mission. While D2C does not offer direct clinical treatment, individuals who participate in D2C programs do receive evidence-based treatment that is prescribed by their educational facilitator. What D2C does provide is a strategic framework, based upon the Department of Transportation (DOT) return-to-duty procedures, for accessing and managing evaluations, monitoring treatment and tracking follow-up testing. The SAP process, as we call it, rewards compliance (abstinence) and removes rewards for non-compliance (relapse). As a structure for delivering treatment, it makes practically any kind of SAP recommendation for treatment extremely effective. In fact, approximately 85% of individuals who participate in D2C programs successfully receive evidence-based treatment! Compare this to national treatment completion statistics, as reported by the federal government that routinely fall in the 30% – 40% range.
Despite its limitations, there is an abundance of research that suggests that Motivational Interviewing is an effective form of treatment for substance use disorders of all kinds. It is adaptable and can be used with a wide variety of patient populations with various levels of care. This is because MI is an application of a treatment philosophy, with flexible guidelines giving treatment experts and therapists the ability to encourage their patients when they see it fit and step back as their patients take the reins on their own sobriety. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based practice (EBP) and has reported successful outcomes in over 300 peer-reviewed research studies.
One such study looked to create a compilation and analysis of the overall effectiveness of MI. To do so, they reviewed over 115 studies to sum the average effects that influence MI outcomes. They examined treatment length, the most effective time to use MI, diverse deliveries of MI, manual use, ideal populations, specific problematic behaviors, and use with other EBPs and treatment methodologies as well as the varying levels of care. Overall, the results concluded the following:
- MI was effective for 75% of all participants, significantly effective overall compared to no treatment, and as effective as other evidence-based treatments for substance use disorder (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or Twelve-Step Facilitation).
- MI is most effective when used as a prelude to other treatments or in addition to other treatments.
- MI is typically completed in one to two sessions and/or four to six sessions with Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), a standalone variation of MI. Research is unclear on ideal treatment length; however, more sessions tend to lead to better long-term outcomes.
- No MI manual use in sessions is significantly more effective than strict use of a manual.
- MI is ideal for all populations regardless of gender, age, or problem severity and shows the greatest impact in minority populations when compared to other common substance use disorder treatments..
- MI can increase client engagement up to 15 % and increase treatment retention when given at intake assessment.
All in all, there is a large body of research that consistently supports MI as an effective, evidence-based practice. The longer this type of treatment is implemented, the more significant and long-lasting the results tend to be. Especially when used as a prelude of in addition to other forms of treatment, MI is a particularly successful form of treatment. It is also very diverse and adaptable, making it a desirable form of treatment for anyone looking for mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, speak with a dedicated treatment expert today about the best treatment options for you. https://www.