The Matrix Model – Not a Sci-FI Movie, but an Effective Approach to Stimulant Addiction
Some words become deeply linked to moments in our collective culture. For example, there is a pretty good chance that when you hear the word “matrix,” your mind leaps to the iconic 1999 film The Matrix. In the movie, Keanu Reeve’s character, Neo, discovers that nearly all of humanity is living inside a computer simulation. He is given the opportunity to simply ignore this reality and return without consequence to his world of illusions. But instead, Neo sets out to make some major changes in his world.
An Effective Approach to Stimulant Addiction
The Matrix Model for addressing addiction to stimulants—like methamphetamine or cocaine—is not a groundbreaking science fiction film, but if you have a substance use disorder it can help you make some major changes in your world.
And those changes simply could not be more important. A quick look at the many possible effects of abusing methamphetamines, for example, should make that perfectly clear:
- Insomnia (we are dealing with stimulants, after all)
- Nausea and/or weight loss
- Tremors and/or muscle twitching
- Dry mouth, bad breath, and/or serious dental issues
- Mood disturbances and/or aggressive and violent behavior
- Irregular or rapid heart rate and/or increased blood pressure
- Dilated pupils and/or intense itching leading to skin sores
- Increased distractibility, confusion, and/or memory loss
- Anxiety, paranoia, and/or delusions and visual/auditory hallucinations
No amount of drug-induced euphoria is worth suffering those symptoms—and the Matrix Model can help you get off and stay off the drugs. But what is the Matrix Model and how does it work? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding the Matrix Model
The Matrix Model—an intensive outpatient program offered by many facilities, including Wooded Glen Recovery Center—helps those addicted to stimulants by focusing on six key components of treatment and recovery:
- Individual therapy
- The early recovery period
- The prevention of relapse
- Family education
- The importance of social support
- Ongoing urine testing for accountability
The model draws on a number of different therapeutic approaches, integrating them to specifically address stimulant abuse, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Motivational enhancement
- Family and/or couple therapy
- Individual supportive/expressive psychotherapy and psychoeducation
- 12-Step program facilitation
- Group therapy and the creation of social support networks
Like all therapies, the Matrix Model requires the participation of a trained therapist. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes the therapist’s role thusly:
The therapist functions simultaneously as teacher and coach, fostering a positive, encouraging relationship with the patient and using that relationship to reinforce positive behavior change. The interaction between the therapist and the patient is authentic and direct but not confrontational or parental. Therapists are trained to conduct treatment sessions in a way that promotes the patient’s self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth. A positive relationship between patient and therapist is critical to patient retention.
To put it more simply: If you are being treated for a substance use disorder via the Matrix Model, your therapist will be supportive, honest, and eager to help you make lasting change. They will not be condescending or combative. Instead, they will work to build you up so that you have a firm foundation on which to build a lasting recovery.
We Can Help You Leave Drugs Behind
“I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
That’s what Neo says in The Matrix when he realizes his whole life is an illusion. When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you soon reach a point at which you are no longer in control of your life. That can be a scary thing to realize. But the good news is that you do not have to live that way.
At Wooded Glen Recovery Center we are committed to helping you reclaim control of your life by employing evidence-based approaches to substance use disorder treatment and to the treatment of any co-occurring mental health disorders. We will personalize a treatment plan for your specific situation and needs, and we will provide the resources and support necessary for you to start your recovery journey with confidence.