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Matrix Model for  Addiction Treatment
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Matrix Model for Addiction Treatment

Introduced globally as a successful method for drug addiction treatment, the Matrix Model targets the skills needed in early recovery and relapse prevention while boosting decision-making abilities in drug addicts, according to clinical psychologist Dr. Sholeh Esfandiar.
“Gradual regaining of mental focus  and physical grip, improving psychological performance, and using medication as a complementary option are what make this model stand out in the comprehensive therapeutic program for drug addicts,” she told ISNA.
“We need to understand that addiction leads to different levels of psychological and physical harm and disrupts one’s normal physiological functioning as it impairs the central nervous system,” she stressed. The model provides a framework for engaging drug abusers in treatment and helps them achieve abstinence.
Patients learn about issues critical to addiction and relapse, receive guidance and support from a trained therapist, and become familiar with self-help programs.
Initial duration of the treatment varies according to a patient’s condition, speed of recovery, and progress, but it usually comprises two sessions per week for a period of three months. They are frequently visited by their therapist and prescribed medicine if the situation warrants.
Therapists function simultaneously as teacher and coach, fostering a positive, encouraging relationship with the patient to reinforce behavioral change.
Treatment is delivered in a 16-week intensive outpatient program primarily in structured group sessions. “However, the patients must continue receiving intervention for up to six months,” Esfandiar said.
“Family support plays a significant part in success of this method,” she noted.
A number of studies done worldwide have demonstrated that participants treated using the model show statistically significant reduction in drug and alcohol use, improvement in psychological indicators, and reduced risky sexual behavior.
The model is currently being practiced in a number of addiction clinics and rehab centers across the country.

 Responsive Model
The Matrix Model of outpatient treatment was developed during the 1980s in the United States in response to an overwhelming demand for stimulant abuse treatment services. The aim was to create a model responsive to the needs of stimulant-abusing patients and devise a protocol that could be evaluated.
Its goal is to provide a framework within which stimulant abusers can cease drug use, retain in treatment, learn about issues critical to addiction and relapse, receive direction and support from a trained therapist, education for affected family members and become familiar with the self-help programs.
Professionals in this model work to build client’s self esteem, self worth, and dignity. The individuals are made to feel they are empowered to take responsibility for themselves.
The model usually involves one to one and group therapy, family therapy, drug education, self help and skills group participation, relapse analysis and early recovery skills group.
Over 5000 cocaine addicts and over 1000 methamphetamine users worldwide have been treated with the method.
It is seen as the most effective outpatient solution for such addiction. Follow up studies on the programs have demonstrated a significant reduction in stimulant abuse. Research by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that longer Matrix treatment demonstrated better abstinence outcomes. It would appear that the Matrix model may be a good choice in those situations where rehab is not a feasible option.

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