In addition to the evidenced-informed, neurocognitive, treatment modalities, Synapse programming draws from a large body of empirical findings that address not only substance abuse but also address the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that interfere with an individual's success at home, school, work and within the community. Synapse draws from the following evidence base in creating The Synapse System.
● Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), is a counseling approach that helps individuals resolve their ambivalence about engaging in treatment and stopping their drug use. This approach aims to evoke rapid and internally motivated change, rather than guide the patient step-wise through the recovery process.
● Contingency Management (CM), is an approach that involves the reinforcement of pro-recovery behaviors. CM is one of the most effective approaches to promoting abstinence among substance users. CM is different from other approaches because it is not a treatment, but rather an active care management program.
● Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is a behavioral theory and one of the most common approaches for the treatment of substance abuse. The foundation of CBT is identifying persistent negative thoughts and changing these perceptions in hopes of altering the emotions, affects and behaviors that contribute to substance use.
● Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT) is an intervention that targets self-sustaining changes in the family environment of the adolescent. That means that the treatment environment is built into the adolescent’s daily family life. BSFT has been extensively evaluated for more than 25 years and has been found to be efficacious in treating adolescent drug abuse, conduct problems, associations with antisocial peers, and impaired family functioning.
● Yoga is considered an evidence-informed treatment modality for the treatment of addiction. The Synapse System provides for yoga instruction twice weekly during the course of treatment. Through the practice of yoga, patients develop mindfulness - bringing one’s awareness into the present moment of noticing and accepting what is happening in the moment without judgement or reaction. The development of mindfulness is proven to engage the brain and expand its potential. Applying the principles of mindfulness to the treatment of substance use disorders, the practice of mindfulness modulates brain activity to create new neural responses to distress and cravings. Patients can learn to tolerate discomfort and stressful situations with decreased re-activity, allowing them to be in control of their actions and behave in thoughtful, deliberate ways. Even more significant, the development of mindfulness allows individuals to experience distress without increased cravings, interrupting self-destructive impulses and replacing them with healthy coping mechanisms.