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The Matrix Model Of Addiction Treatment

Supported By Research And Top Governmental Agencies

Exploring the Matrix Model for Addictions Treatment

The CSAT Methamphetamine Treatment Project, a multi-site comparison of the Matrix Model against treatment-as-usual , sought to examine methamphetamine abuse in eight community outpatient settings located within California, Montana, and Hawaii. Study findings note that In the overall sample, and in the majority of sites, those who were assigned to Matrix treatment attended more clinical sessions, stayed in treatment longer, provided more MA-free urine samples during the treatment period and had longer periods of MA abstinence than those assigned to receive TAU.

Furthermore, two of our nations foremost governmental agencies on mental health and/or substance use disorders have recognized the impact that this therapeutic model has. The National Institute of Drug Abuse lists this behavioral therapy within their Evidence-Based Approaches to Drug Addiction Treatment, denoting its effectiveness as a science-based treatment regimen. Secondly, the Matrix Model is contained within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices .


What Is Different About The Matrix Model

The Matrix Model has several differences when compared to traditional drug treatment models. In most treatment models the therapist acts as a sounding board for the addict to discover their issues. In the Matrix Model the therapist takes a more active role as:

Therapists use cognitive behavioral training within the Matrix Model.

They promote self-esteem and dignity, rather than reliance and entitlement.

The Matrix Model is more of a coaching method than it is a traditional therapy. Many people who use the Matrix Model find that it improves their chances by:

  • providing a framework for recovery
  • gives the addict clear expectations
  • giving them positive reinforcement
  • provides correctional feedback along with teaching mechanisms

If you are addicted to stimulants and are interested in treatment centers that offer the Matrix Model form of therapy call us at . We can help you find a treatment center near you that specializes in this type of treatment model.

How To Know If The Matrix Model Is Right For You

The Matrix Model was designed to treat individuals suffering from stimulant addiction. However, it can be helpful in addiction recovery of any kind.

Individuals who identify with the following statements would benefit from an addiction treatment program that uses the Matrix Model.

  • Education and support are necessary for the individuals recovery
  • The individual is willing to participate in group therapy sessions
  • The individual has tried individual outpatient counseling but needs extra support
  • Inpatient treatment has been completed and the patient needs continued care
  • Intensive treatment is necessary but the patient cannot afford or access inpatient treatment
  • The individual has outside obligations that prevent them from attending inpatient treatment, requiring them to attend an outpatient program
  • The patient suffers from an addiction to stimulant drugs
  • Relapse has occurred throughout the patients history of drug addiction
  • Traditional 12-step based programs have not helped the individual recover from addiction

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How The Matrix Model Came To Be

The Matrix Model was actually developed in 1984 by a nonprofit called The Matrix Institute on Addictions during the cocaine epidemic in Southern California. Outpatient treatments were not designed to sufficiently treat the ongoing stimulant addiction crisis. Addiction researchers found that individuals with stimulant abuse issues tend to have less experience with addiction, longer periods of abstinence, and show fewer instances of denial about their addictions. While the Matrix Model is most often used with patients who are addicted to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine, it is a multifaceted program that can be used for any type of substance abuse issue.

The model combines various traditional components of addiction treatment and separates recovery into four stages:

If you are struggling with an addiction, or know someone who is, call today at 201-5086 to learn about our Matrix Model approach as well as our other treatment programs.

A Model That Focuses On Psychoeducation


The Matrix Model adhere to the disease model of addiction, that is, that addiction is a disease of the brain. As explained by the Matrix Institutes publication we referenced earlier, there is a large amount of scientifically-driven information on this subject that may be too complex for the average individual and their family to understand. Because of this, within their science-made-simple lectures delivered during the family group sessions, individuals and their families are granted access to this information in a more digestible and easily-implemented way. Within this time, they learn about conditioning and neurobiology, two elements that may strongly influence the addicted individuals behaviors.

This increased awareness helps a person and their family to understand changes they may have undergone in the past, but more importantly, to comprehend and somewhat anticipate changes they may encounter within their mood, thinking, and relationships, going forward. The author explains that by identifying and normalizing a persons symptoms, a person is granted greater control and skills by which to overcome and progress beyond them.

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Structure And Origins Of The Matrix Model

The Matrix Model was developed in 1984 during the cocaine epidemic in Southern California. The researchers at the Matrix Institute on Addictions found that outpatient programs as they existed at the time were not doing enough to treat stimulant addiction.

The Matrix Model is most often used with people who are addicted to methamphetamine and cocaine but it can actually be applied to any type of substance abuse.

The model is typically administered over a 16-week period. It follows a highly structured format and consists mainly of group therapy sessions.

Individuals who are enrolled in intensive outpatient programs that follow the Matrix Model are involved in treatment every day. They typically participate in formal treatment three days per week and are encouraged to take part in informal programs such as 12-step meetings on the other days

This model borrows specific components from many of the traditional components of addiction treatment including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • 12-step groups
  • Couples and family therapy

The Matrix Model is a NIDA-endorsed practice and it is also backed by The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Core Principles Of Mm

The Matrix Model uses 8 core concepts or guiding principles. These are:1

Matrix Model therapists adopt a positive, encouraging relationship with their patients.

Matrix Model therapists adopt a positive, encouraging relationship with their patients. They try to cultivate the patients self-esteem and dignity.3 Their overall approach is non-judgmental, patient-centered, and designed to move at the patients own pace, and it meets the patient where they are in the recovery process.2

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Principles Of The Matrix Model

The Matrix model holds several key principles that guide the treatment process.

The key principles of the Matrix model approach include:

  • establishing a strong relationship between the counselor and patient
  • educating patients about withdrawal effects, cravings, and other information about drug and alcohol use
  • using a variety of effective treatment modalities in order to provide comprehensive care
  • involving family members or other loved ones in the treatment process to help them better understand their loved ones drug or alcohol problem
  • encouraging patients to attend community support groups for continued care outside of a formal treatment environment
  • conducting urine tests to monitor drug or alcohol use

These principles and the Matrix model itself have proven to be effective as a comprehensive treatment for people struggling with substance use.

The primary goals of the Matrix model framework involve promoting positive changes in behavior and providing a road-map for long-term recovery. This lays the groundwork for maintaining sobriety and continuing treatment through support groups and individual counseling.

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

The Matrix Model – Alcohol & drug treatment program

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

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Treatment Methods Used In A Matrix Model Treatment Program

The matrix model treatment program operated by Olympic Behavioral Health in West Palm Beach, Florida, relies on six key components: individual therapy sessions, early recovery groups, relapse prevention groups, family education groups, social support groups, and 12-step meetings.

Individual therapy is the backbone of most addiction treatment approaches. Thats no different in a matrix model treatment program. Robust social support opportunities then bolster those individual therapy sessions through various group settings. Three common settings include:

  • Early Recovery Groups: Early recovery groups are designed for people experiencing the first weeks and months of dedicated recovery. Participants can offer feedback to one another on what is working and act as a source of accountability. Together, patients learn coping skills and how to manage cravings.
  • Relapse Prevention Groups: As the name implies, these groups are laser-focused on relapse prevention. Group members share about how they navigate staying sober and discuss different topics related to relapse prevention. These include things like behavior change and working to alter negative thought patterns.
  • Using these combinations of therapies, our team of counselors, therapists, and addiction professionals can craft a treatment plan that not only meets the unique needs of the individual but set them on a clear path to achieve their goals in recovery.

    Find The Matrix Model At A Treatment Center Near You

    If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, the time to seek help is now.

    Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff

    Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

    These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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    History Statistics & Effectiveness Of The Matrix Model

    During the 1980s, an increasing number of people began abusing methamphetamine, crack/cocaine, and other stimulants. At the time, available treatment models mainly focused on alcohol addiction and heroin abuse , and these treatment methods were found to be inadequate in treating stimulant addiction.1,2

    In response to this influx , the Matrix Institute in Los Angeles, California developed the Matrix Model of addiction treatment.1,2

    The pilot study for the Matrix Model was conducted on people struggling with cocaine addiction in 1985.1 It evaluated the Matrix Models efficacy against the efficacy of 28-day inpatient treatment verses participation in self-help groups with no formal addiction treatment.1

    Results demonstrated that participants displayed significantly less cocaine use after eight months of entering treatment with the Matrix Model.1

    After the pilot, different studies over the past decades have examined and demonstrated the efficacy of the Matrix Model, albeit with varying, yet mainly positive outcomes.1,5 While studies have continued to present day, a significant amount were conducted in the 1990s and early 2000s.2,6

    Components Of The Matrix Model


    When you begin, you are given the Matrix model substance abuse manual. The manual includes tools and techniques intended to facilitate a well-rounded recovery program. Because many risk factors and contributing elements lead to addiction, many individuals find that they need specific supports to address multiple factors in their addition. The Matrix model incorporates the following treatment modalities.1,3

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    Find Programs That Utilize This Approach

    If, after reading about the Matrix Model, youre interested in finding a program that employs this treatment method, let our highly-trained staff at assist you today. We can help you, or your loved one, to determine if this is the best treatment option for your unique needs. A substance use disorder doesnt have to run your life contact us now to regain control over your life and find a way to build a sober life.

    Readiness For Matrix Model Addiction Treatment

    You will find the Matrix Model of addiction treatment may be recommended for you if:5

    • You are no longer using drugs or alcohol but need education and support in your recovery
    • You can participate fully in group therapies
    • You have been in individual outpatient counseling but need more support
    • You are stepping down from an inpatient setting and need continued care
    • You need intensive treatment but inpatient treatment is not accessible due to cost or other barriers
    • You have work or home obligations that will not allow you to attend inpatient rehab
    • You are involved with the criminal justice system and have court-mandated substance misuse treatment
    • You need treatment for both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition
    • You need medication to help you maintain sobriety from alcohol or drugs
    • You need medication to help you overcome mental health symptoms
    • You are motivated for change

    The Matrix model helps you build relationships with local support services, learn the necessary tools for maintaining sobriety, and stay accountable on a flexible schedule. This treatment approach gives you the intense structure of the programs you may receive in an inpatient treatment facility while allowing you to remain connected to your home life.5

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    The Matrix Model For Addiction Treatment

    The Matrix model is an intensive outpatient program . It is considered a structured, intensive program that offers education focused on improving your life, coping, relapse prevention, and social skills. This approach does so through combining multiple evidence-based, multi-layered programs. Each component of the model is designed to give you support throughout the week on an outpatient basis.1

    For at least 16 weeks, you receive multiple forms of treatment that support recovery from addiction. Treatments include group and individual therapies, family therapy, and medication management when medically indicated.1

    Goals & Benefits Of The Matrix Model

    Practical Issues in the Implementation of the Matrix Model

    The Matrix Model is designed to help people achieve abstinence from drugs and alcohol.2 Other specific goals for people participating in the Matrix Model of addiction treatment include:1,6

    • Understanding addiction and relapse.
    • Becoming involved with 12-step and other types of support groups.
    • Individualized goals determined between the patient and their treatment team.

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    Accessing Matrix Model Treatment

    There are only a few treatment centers that are listed as Certified Sites in a few states. There is some expanded coverage outside of the US.

    Fortunately, due to its reputation for success and backing from government agencies, it is likely that a treatment center near you will incorporate the principles of the Matrix Model into the program. To find a treatment program that incorporates the Matrix Model or other therapy types, call for free at .

    American Addiction Centers maintains a strong partnership with a large group of insurance companies at our addiction treatment facilities. Start the journey to recovery and find out instantly using the form below if your insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of rehab and associated therapies.

    How Does The Matrix Model Work

    The Matrix model is a treatment approach that is most often administered through an intensive outpatient program or another intensive rehab program.

    Features of Matrix model treatment include:

    • attending treatment three to four times per week
    • care coordination by a drug counselor/therapist
    • treatment planning and progress evaluation
    • regular group sessions for skill-learning and relapse prevention
    • cognitive behavioral approach with integrated treatment services

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    Individual And Family Therapy Sessions

    Therapists develop professional relationships with clients during individual sessions. The sessions serve as both goal planning and check-in opportunities. Family members can also participate in treatment planning if appropriate.

    Individual therapy sessions are held during:

    • Week five or six

    During the first session, the therapist and patient establish treatment goals. During the following sessions, the duo talks about the patients progress, challenges and successes. Additional individual sessions can be added if a crisis occurs or if goals need to be adjusted.

    Matrix Model For Addiction Treatment


    The Matrix model is an addiction treatment approach commonly used to treat methamphetamine addiction and cocaine addiction. It is a comprehensive treatment that can help people with an addiction achieve recovery.

    The Matrix model is a comprehensive treatment approach for drug abuse and addiction that incorporates individual treatment, group treatment, and family treatment services.

    First developed in the 1980s, the Matrix model has been adapted into several variations to suit the needs of people with a substance use disorder on an inpatient and intensive outpatient level.

    Here youll find information on:

    • what the Matrix model is
    • how the Matrix model works
    • benefits of the Matrix model for treating substance abuse
    • finding a rehab center that offers the Matrix model

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    Is It Right For Me

    It Matrix Model treatment the right choice for your drug addiction? Possibly!

    To speak with a counselor about Matrix Model treatment and the benefits that you can enjoy be receiving quality, effective care from a formally trained Matrix Model therapist, call our helpline. We can help you find treatment thats ideally suited to your individual needs and which will make the process of recovering from substance abuse and addiction a little bit easierand a lot more effective. Theres no better time to seek help than the presentso dont hesitate to call.

    Goals Of The Matrix Model In Addiction Treatment

    Matrix Model drug rehab programs for stimulant addiction recovery outline a variety of treatment goals for patients to achieve. This helps patients develop a well-rounded basis for long-term sobriety.

    The goals of the Matrix Model include:

    • Becoming educated on addiction and how it affects the patient and their family
    • Learning about the stages of the recovery process
    • Understanding cravings and triggers
    • Becoming involved and active in sober support groups like 12-step meetings
    • Building a network of sober support
    • Staying sober, avoiding relapse, and understanding how to start over after experiencing a relapse

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