Clinical Evidence offers a pie chart that categorizes medical treatments (All medical treatments. This is not specific to addiction.) by their known effectiveness.
Use evidence-based approaches is important in all services, human and otherwise, but it’s easy to forget that the concept is not that simple–there are political factors, publication bias, research bias, real world vs. research considerations, individual client factors, practitioner factors, environmental factors, etc. When thinking about evidence-based approaches in the context of behavioral health, it’s also easy to lose sight of the larger medical context.
Figure 1 illustrates the percentage of treatments falling into each category. Dividing treatments into categories is never easy hence our reliance on our large team of experienced information specialists, editors, peer reviewers and expert authors. Categorisation always involves a degree of subjective judgement and is sometimes controversial. We do it because users tell us it is helpful, but judged by its own rules the categorisation is certainly of unknown effectiveness and may well have trade offs between benefits and harms. However, the figures above suggest that the research community has a large task ahead and that most decisions about treatments still rest on the individual judgements of clinicians and patients.