What Is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Evidence-based treatment is one of the many terms you may encounter as you research different addiction treatment options. The term, although popular, can be a bit confusing if you’ve never heard it before. Many rehab centers and addiction treatment programs emphasize utilizing evidence-based treatment methods without explaining what that means. Fortunately, understanding the term and how it impacts addiction treatment can help you choose the right rehabilitation program.

What Is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Evidence-based treatment (EBT) is backed by scientific evidence and studies with proven results. Psychology, the study of the mind, and behavioral health issues can be subjective, and evidence-based treatment can increase the odds of positive results.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), evidence-based practices integrate peer-reviewed and scientific research with the clinical expertise of a trained professional. Evidence-based practices and treatment methods should also have the following qualities:

  • Scientific research. Evidence-based treatment methods have been researched and scientifically studied. In addition to that, the research has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Proven outcome. Evidence-based treatment practices should also consistently provide the desired outcome specified in the addiction treatment program.
  • Standardized and repeated. This qualification means that the method has printed instructions detailing how the technique should be used, with whom it should be used, the goals, and any other materials needed to complete the treatment successfully.
  • Consistent and effective results. The treatment method should be studied in more than one environment and has provided consistent and effective results.
  • Adherence to protocol. This qualification focuses on the fact that evidence-based treatment should adhere to the protocol initially researched.

The Goals and Benefits of Evidence-Based Treatments

There are two main benefits associated with evidence-based treatments. The first benefit is increased quality of treatment. The second benefit is increased accountability.

Addiction is a chronic disease that requires high-quality treatment. Individuals living with addiction need the highest-quality treatment they can afford. The scientific research behind evidence-based therapies and the consistent and effective results they provide help ensure better quality treatment, which can help individuals avoid relapse and sustain long-term recovery.

Individuals recovering from addiction need treatment methods that are reliable, effective, trustworthy, and backed by science. That’s why the treatment they receive needs to be highly accountable. This increased accountability helps increase the likelihood that individuals will recover.

Common Types of Evidence-Based Treatments for Substance Abuse

Evidence-based treatment aims to enhance the quality of care provided by behavioral health programs. Some of the most common forms of evidence-based treatments used for addiction and mental illness treatment include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that thoughts determine behavior. Research shows that CBT can help improve negative emotions. Participating in cognitive behavioral therapy can help you understand how your thoughts, feelings, and actions work together. CBT can also help you realize that what you think and feel determines what you do. During cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions, you’ll identify these irrational, harmful, and hurtful beliefs. As you become more aware of those thoughts, your therapist can teach you how to test the validity of those beliefs and replace them with healthier, more affirmational thoughts.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Dialectical behavior therapy is based on the idea that everything is composed of opposites. Change happens when there is a “dialogue” between opposing forces. For that dialogue to happen, individuals must accept seemingly contradictory ideas. Consider the following example: “I’m doing the best I can” and “I want to be better.” These statements seem to oppose each other, but these two efforts’ ability to change exists. In DBT, the individual and therapist can work together to find and resolve the contradiction between the individual’s current and desired state of being. They can derive a treatment plan that will bring about positive behavioral changes.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI). This counseling method helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. MI is a nonjudgmental and non-confrontational method that allows people to come to terms with things in their own way.
  • Contingency Management (CM). Contingency management, also called motivational incentives, is a type of therapy that uses rewards and incentives to change behavior. This therapy method is rooted in the belief that you’re more likely to repeat an action or behavior that is rewarded. Receiving a reward for doing something can help individuals be motivated to remain in a treatment program and stay abstinent from drugs and alcohol.
  • 12-Step Facilitation Therapy. 12-step facilitation therapy focuses on treating addiction through 12 structured steps. Each step works together to help individuals accept that addiction has made their life unmanageable, surrender to the recovery process, and become actively involved in 12-step meetings and a sober community.
  • Pharmacological Methods. Medications are another form of evidence-based treatment for addiction treatment. The FDA has approved several different pharmacological tools to treat certain addictions. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone help treat opioid addiction. Disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate help treat alcohol addiction. Generally, pharmacological evidence-based treatments work best when combined with behavioral therapy.

Brain-Focused Evidence-Based Treatment

At StoneRidge, we know that addiction originates in the brain. That’s why our treatment programs focus on helping and healing the brain. We also know that individuals struggling with addiction need proven, consistent, and highly effective treatment. That’s why we incorporate evidence-based methods into our addiction and mental health treatment programs.

If you or someone you love has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, consider evidence-based treatment. It can be effective, scientifically proven, and produce consistent and positive results. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Innovative, Evidence-Based Therapies

Because mental health and addiction concerns are so often interconnected, we utilize research-based approaches with evidence-based outcomes that promote overall healing and recovery.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

This low-impact magnetic stimulation activates neurons inside the brain, relieving symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

qEEG/Brain Mapping

Using brain scanning and readings, we create a map of our patients’ brains, helping us develop more targeted and effective treatments.


This process assists patients in visualizing their own brain functionality through continuous EEG readings.

Spravato Therapy

We use carefully monitored doses of Spravato to help patients struggling with complex mental health disorders, including severe depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Patients use this practice to help reframe intrusive or negative thought patterns and develop coping techniques for long-term recovery.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

This practice helps patients learn to regulate emotions, communicate more effectively, and process their own thoughts and feelings..

Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR)

Licensed and trained therapists guide patients through this technique for managing stress and anxiety on an ongoing basis.

Individual Therapy

Patients experience one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed therapist to provide a safe and private place to recover and heal.

Group/Family Therapy

Patients can practice the skills and techniques they have learned in treatment with others in a safe, therapist-guided space.

Contact StoneRidge Centers

5940 E. Copper Hill Dr. Ste B & E, Prescott Valley, AZ. 86314

We exercise progressive, leading brain science in our treatment approach for patients in our community and across the country who are struggling with mental health and addiction challenges.