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The Matrix Method and Addiction


One of the most difficult things about addiction is recovery. With so many treatment options and different therapy approaches, it can be overwhelming and confusing to find the right option for you or your loved one.

One of the most studied and successful approaches to sober living is the matrix method. When other methods fail, the matrix method has succeeded. Introduced in the 1980s to treat addictions to stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine, the matrix method has since become a renowned treatment for substance addictions of all types.

This method has seen widespread success by treating addiction with:

  • A highly-structured program – All matrix programs are strategically designed with planned topics and sequencing for each phase of treatment.
  • An integrative treatment – Success is found by leveraging many different therapeutic styles and psychological orientations to meet the needs of each individual.
  • An intensive outpatient program – Patients receive several hours of treatment per day, several days a week all while being able to live at home.
  • A time-limited treatment – The matrix model is structured to last 16 weeks, but it can be extended to a year based on patient needs.

Because of the flexibility built into the method, each individual is able to receive treatment in a way that meaningful and life changing for them. It is the matrix model’s extended recovery, client consistency, and focus on finding sobriety though structure that makes the program so successful for treating a variety of substance addictions.

The in-depth and flexible model of care is key to sobriety because it focuses on offering addicts:

  • Early intervention
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Worksheets for individual therapy
  • Skills and group support for relapse prevention and social support
  • Relapse analysis to identify motivations for substance use
  • Urine testing to monitor drug use and encourage accountability
  • Ongoing care groups

As important as the matrix model is, most recovering addicts will tell you the key to their success was their treatment professional. When searching for the right treatment center, make sure you look for a treatment professional who will:

  • Help addicts see the benefits of sobriety
  • Provide individual therapy sessions
  • Help addicts understand their motivations to continued substance abuse
  • Teach skills and support habits necessary to make lasting changes
  • Provide motivation and a lasting relationship built on trust and the mutual goal of sobriety
  • Provide addicts with a safe space to be open and honestly address their addiction

Recovering from substance abuse is never easy, but if addicts enroll in a treatment plan built around the matrix model and they are engaged and active participants, their chances of recovery are greater than with other therapy programs. In addition to helping people find sobriety, studies show the matrix model can also help reduce the negative and damaging behaviors that go hand-in-hand with drug use. When addicts are clean and in control of their bodies and actions, risky behaviors like unprotected sex or partying with others who use drugs decreased. Recovering addicts who avoid these risky behaviors aren’t at risk for HIV/AIDS or the crime/legal consequence associated with drug uses. While these benefits may not be the goal of matrix method, they are certainly benefits that are appreciated.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and relapse, we encourage you to research the matrix method, read the studies showing its successes, and contact us for more information. All addicts who are ready for clean living deserve the chance to find sobriety in a way that shows them respect and support, and the matrix model offers that and so much more.

Related: Stages of Addiction