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Principles of Treatment

Did you know…The Massachusetts Mental Health Parity Law requires insurers who offer mental health benefits to cover the diagnosis and treatment of certain mental disorders to the same extent that they cover the diagnosis and treatment of physical disorders. The law makes it illegal for some health insurers to place stricter annual or lifetime dollar or unit of service limitations on coverage of qualifying mental disorders that differ from the limitations on coverage of physical conditions. The law also provides for minimum outpatient and inpatient benefits for those disorders not required to be treated the same as physical ailments. If you believe your insurance provider is not complying with this law by failing to offer appropriate coverage for a qualifying mental health disorder, your state legislator may be able to help. Visit to find out who your legislator is by searching for your city or town, and don‘t hesitate to call or email to request assistance.


Substance Use Disorder treatment offers many levels of care that are designed to reduce or stop alcohol or drug use — treatment ranges from severe detoxification services to general outpatient services. Providers of addiction treatment have a wide range of backgrounds, approaches and methods. Each individual is encouraged to consider the different types of care that providers offer in relation to what is best for you.


Principles of Treatment

  1. Substance Use Disorder is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.

  2. NO single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.

  3. Treatment programs are voluntary and need to be readily available.

  4. Effective treatment addresses multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her substance use disorder.

  5. Length of stay in treatment is critical for ones long-term recovery; better outcomes occur with longer periods of time in treatment.

  6. The most common form of treatment involves group and/or individual counseling as well as behavioral.

  7. Medications may be an important element to one‘s treatment plan, especially when combined with counseling and behavioral.

  8. An individual’s treatment and services plan must constantly be modified and assessed to make sure that one‘s needs are being met. Family, significant others, and children are also part of one‘s treatment process and should also seek support.

  9. Many addictions can co-occur with mental illness and both should be addressed in treatment, including the use of medications when appropriate.

  10. Medically assisted detoxification is the first step in substance use disorder treatment and alone does little to change long- term drug abuse. Individuals are encouraged to stay in treatment following detoxification.

  11. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective; sanctions or enticements can increase treatment entry and ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.

  12. Transitioning from one program to another is very critical for Many people during transitions make the decision to go to another program or leave treatment. Drug use during treatment must be monitored as relapses do occur and may signal a need for a change in treatment plan.

  13. Recovery from substance use disorder can be a long-term process that may take many attempts in treatment. So stay strong and encourage commitment time and time again.

With Courage, Strength, Love and Support life can Change!


Principals of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide (Second Edition) 

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