The Matrix Model of Drug Treatment

October 4, 2021
Johann Kassim

The Matrix model is an integrative model for treating drugs. The model helps to treat drug addiction such as cocaine and methamphetamines. The Matrix model was invented by Dr. Richard Rawson. He is also a member of Solace Sabah's Clinical Advisory Board. Thus, we are closely connected to its founder. The Matrix model allows the client to get the full spectrum of addiction treatment. If you or a loved one are looking for a one-stop for your addiction needs, we, at Solace Sabah, practice this model of treatment. We  believe that our treatment has to be all-rounded to address our clients' needs and concerns. Addiction is a multi-faceted disease with a multitude of problems. You can read more about being an addict from "Am I an Addict?" And due to this nature, this model is best suited at treating this disease.

What's in "The Matrix Model of Drug Treatment?"

Some centres merely practice one approach to addiction treatment. It could range from a religious approach, or from a particular therapeutic direction, for e.g., CBT-based. The problem with a singular approach is that it's narrow and will be inflexible to address the addictive system as a whole.

With this model of treatment, our clients enjoy an all-rounded approach. So, when one part of their addiction is unsettling, such as social exclusion, it can be remedied with CBT. Or, when depression is caused by a medical problem, it can be treated on-site by the medical team via the assistance of the primary therapist. In short, this one-stop system is beneficial and holistic. The Matrix Model of Drug Treatment consists of the following:

Individual/Family treatment At Solace Sabah

We see addiction as a family disease. We find that we can't treat an individual without treating his/her environment, i.e. the family. Family treatment is essential to solid recovery. For more information on how we conduct our family program, click here. The family needs to be educated about the nature of substance abuse and how treatment will help their loved one. Also, we practice 1:1 counselling sessions, a couple of times a week. Individual therapy forms the backbone of the matrix model. It's here where the counsellor or therapist touches base with our clients. Our clients are able to talk about any concerns that may be bothering them, and from there; begin the process of treatment. Our therapists will use motivational interviewing and CBT during these sessions.

Relapse Prevention Groups 

At the end of each week, we provide an hour session on relapse prevention. Here, our clients will learn that relapse is not a random process. But, that signs for relapse can be detected early in recovery. Also, they will learn strategies on how to keep relapse at bay, and not rely on willpower to stave addiction. Relapse prevention planning is core for successful recoveries. Read on what goes into a successful relapse prevention plan, by clicking the link over the article's title.

Interpersonal Group Therapy 

Peers in recovery will process their interpersonal issues. The therapist plays the role of group moderator and facilitator. Clients learn about their social strengths and weaknesses. They learn social skills, to help improve communication. For more on barriers of communication in recovery, take a look at this article.

Motivational Interviewing 

This is a therapeutic tool used by our counsellors. It's purpose is to draw our clients away from unhelpful behaviours, and steer them towards positive habits. By doing so, they will get to achieve certain goals and avoid the return to active addiction.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 

Our clinicians will use and teach CBT as a way of getting clients to connect with their feelings. It will help clients to link their thoughts, feelings, with their actions. Again, helping to change unhelpful thoughts and beliefs to more positive ones. CBT is a tool to challenge distorted thinking that result in painful feelings. For more on the cognitive distortions of addicts, take a look at "Dry Drunk Syndrome: What is it?"

12-step facilitated recovery program and meetings 

Our clinicians are well-verse in the 12-step program. Part of the treatment will involve counsellors and coaches taking our clients through the steps. Besides working the program, we have in-house meetings. These are based on the 12-step fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Medical Detox and Treatment 

Upon intake, our clients may need to undergo medical detoxification. We collaborate with our host hospital and medical team. Medicines will be dispensed according to doctor's instructions throughout the course of treatment. For more information on the detox program, click here.

Drug Urine Testing 

We perform random urine testing to see if our clients have relapse. Such monitoring and testing is essential to ensure commitment to the program. Drug urine testing also ensures that the centre is free from the external influence of drugs.

The role of the therapist within "The Matrix Model of Treatment": 

Our therapists are experienced in CBT, motivational interviewing and the physiology behind addiction. They are flexible in facilitating the following: Group sessions between peers and or family members. They can coordinate with other therapists and groups that benefit the client. They encourage attendance and participation of the 12-step meeting and program. Our therapists will engage their clients in using CBT to challenge unhelpful beliefs. Thus, allowing them to understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. They are there to provide consistency in feedback and appraisal where necessary. Also, they will lay out their expectations with regards to client's' recovery goals and issues.

Principles of The Matrix Model 

The principles of this model stress on it being a one-stop approach to treating drug addiction. With the counsellor at the centre, it's based on the following: A strong bond between counsellor and client. A structured program with clear expectations and goals. Education that's useful in understanding the nature of substance abuse and its consequences. Adopting many approaches based on clients' needs ranging from CBT to motivational interviewing. I.e. flexibility in treatment modalities. The system rewards and encourages positive behaviours. While at the same time, extinguishing the negative or unhelpful character defects. Engaging the family in addiction awareness and education.  Encouraging clients to take part in other self-help or support groups such as 12-step fellowships. Checking for substance use via urine testing.

Seek Treatment With Us At Solace Sabah 

We are a drug and alcohol rehab in Malaysian Borneo that uses this model of addiction treatment. If you want a one-stop for all your addiction treatment needs, we're the one for you or a loved one. Call us now for more information. We're always here to help.

Why Choose Us?

Our values make us the best addiction treatment facility in the region.


We offer addiction treatment services to clients and their families. As the first private residential rehab in Malaysia, we set the benchmark for ethical treatment.


We have the ability to provide treatment not only in English, but also Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin, Cantonese and even Arabic! We are truly local yet global.


All our treatment has the Asian culture embedded in our modalities. We are 100% locally owned and operated agency, every center in Asia are owned by expatriates.


We don't only do Addiction Treatment, we also teach it! We are a NAADAC Approved Education Provider. We are also on Udemy, the worlds largest education platform.

Contact Us Today!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.