There are numerous treatment options available to those who have been struggling with substance misuse or dependence. The best treatment options for you or your loved one depends on several factors, including the type of substance being used, the duration and severity of use, and the presence of underlying issues. Because there are so many options to choose from, finding the right treatment program can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, it is not a task you need to take on alone. Below, we detail several types of addiction treatment in the hopes of narrowing down your search. If you are still unsure of what steps to take, you are welcome to reach out to us directly for one-on-one guidance and support.
What is Addiction Treatment?
The first step towards addiction recovery is also often the hardest step to take — acknowledging that your drinking or drug use has become a problem. It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that your life has become unmanageable as a result of your relationship with chemical substances. It can be even more difficult to admit that no matter how hard you try, you can not successfully quit on your own. Once you have acknowledged the need for treatment, the next step is reaching out for help.
Finding an effective and reputable addiction treatment program often means the difference between continued sobriety and inevitable relapse. In most cases, a multi-staged approach to treatment comes recommended, especially if your substance use disorder is moderate or severe or you have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. It is important to remember that addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the best course of action for you will depend on your personal experiences and unique treatment goals.
What Are My Addiction Treatment Options?
There are a wide variety of treatment options to choose from. The best treatment option for you will depend on your unique case. For example, if you have been misusing prescription medication for several months and you have no family history of substance use and no underlying mental health concerns, a short stay in medical detox followed by outpatient treatment might be sufficient. If you have been drinking heavily for over a decade, have been using heroin intravenously for close to a year, and have previously been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, a more intensive curriculum of care will be necessary. You might begin with a weeklong stay in detox then transition into a 90-day inpatient, dual diagnosis treatment program.
You will never have to figure out a plan of action on your own. When you reach out for help an experienced professional will help you develop a treatment plan that makes sense for you. This plan is not a commitment — it is merely a guideline. Your treatment plan can be readjusted as needed as you progress through your recovery journey.
Types of Treatment
Treatment programs are individualized to meet your needs. The duration of your stay in each level of care will be adjusted based on your personal clinical requirements, and a traditional, multi-staged program of recovery is not the best fit for everyone. It is important to remember that you will get out of the process exactly what you put into it. When you commit to addiction recovery you are committing to doing things differently. You are committing to doing the work and following the suggestions of your clinical team. Trust that you are in good hands, and be as open to the process as you can be.
Medical detox is an important initial stage of the addiction treatment process for nearly everyone. During detox you will undergo drug or alcohol withdrawal in a safe, medically monitored setting. Licensed physicians and nurse practitioners will regularly check your vitals and any symptoms you might be experiencing, ensuring you are safe and not susceptible to any health-related complications. While you are in medical detox your clinical team will help you develop a personalized plan for aftercare, which will include a transition into residential rehab or another level of care.
Residential rehab, also known as inpatient treatment or drug and alcohol rehab, is the highest level of clinical care. In residential rehab a person will live in a structured environment with other newly sober men or women. Each day will be carefully outlined, and will include a combination of group therapy sessions, group workshops, and other activities designed to enhance sobriety and help people work towards rebuilding their lives. Residential treatment centers can be demographic-specific, catering to people of different ages, genders, and personal backgrounds. Each duration of stay is based on personal need, but people tend to stay in residential rehab for between 28 days and 6 full months.
Partial Hospitalization (PHP) is a step down from residential rehab in the sense that clients are able to return home in the evenings. However, most PHP programs meet between 6 and 7 days a week, and offer a curriculum of therapeutic care similar to what you would find in an inpatient setting.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) is a step down from PHP. Clients meet between 4-6 days a week and are actively engaged in group therapy, one-on-one therapy, relapse prevention training workshops, and additional treatment methods for between 5 and 7 hours a day (on average). Clients who are in IOP return home once treatment concludes, and can often keep up with a part-time job or attend school part-time while they undergo treatment.
Outpatient treatment (OP) is the lowest level of care available, and it provides much more personal freedom than PHP or IOP. Outpatient treatment groups typically meet up to three times a week for 2-3 hours each day.
Sober Living Homes
If you choose not to return home once you have completed treatment, you might make the decision to move into a sober living home, also known as a sober home or halfway house. A sober living home is a structured, substance-free living environment, in which residents pay rent and commit to adhering to a simple set of rules. These rules often include participating in daily chores, attending a 12 Step meeting once a day, and staying clean and sober. Many people find that sober living homes are a beneficial component of recovery, seeing as they keep residents accountable while offering them a significant level of personal freedom.
Therapeutic Intervention for Addiction Recovery
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is not an easy process. In order to maintain sobriety you will need to take an honest look at why you turned to drugs and alcohol in the first place. In many cases, you will address the root causes of addiction in a therapeutic environment. Therapeutic intervention is a fundamental part of addiction treatment, and is often delivered in an individual, group, and family therapy setting.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy used for the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions, including substance use disorders. CBT involves efforts to change negative and self-destructive thinking patterns in hopes that changing the way a person thinks will help change the way they behave. The American Psychiatric Association describes, “CBT is based on several core principles, including:
- Psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.
- Psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior.
- People suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.” (1)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This mindfulness-based psychotherapeutic technique is geared towards helping people develop healthy coping skills and successfully regulate their emotions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a modified version of CBT, and focuses on core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. DBT is often delivered in an individual therapy setting, and can be an important and effective component of addiction treatment.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic method that involves active listening and guiding the conversation with open-ended questions. When it comes to long-term sobriety, people need to have personal motivation to stay clean. MI works by enhancing a person’s desire to make lasting change by helping them identify and work towards a very specific goal.
H3: Holistic Therapies
Holistic therapies can be extremely beneficial as part of a comprehensive curriculum of care. Holistic therapy is a type of therapy that addresses the person in their entirety, focusing on the mind, body, and spirit. Some examples of holistic therapies commonly employed in an addiction treatment setting include acupuncture, massage therapy, aromatherapy, reiki, and mindfulness meditation. These are called supplemental therapies because they should always be coupled with evidence-based behavioral therapies.
Peer Support Groups
Peer support is crucial to continued sobriety. Because active addiction is a disease of isolation, many consider the antithesis of addiction to be connection. When you connect with other people who are on a similar journey, you are able to relate, offer and receive encouragement and support, and turn to others when you find yourself in a precarious or challenging situation. The most common peer support group is Alcoholics Anonymous, though if AA does not resonate with you there are alternative options available.
12 Step Programs
12 Step programs are easily accessible, widely available, and free of charge, making them an ideal option for those who are new to recovery and looking to get connected. The National Library of Medicine states, “There are many paths to recovery from alcohol and SUDs, and one that has been traveled by many and is associated with positive long-term outcomes is involvement in 12-Step and mutual/self-help groups. Such groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and a number of others, have served as the primary, if not only, source of behavior change for many, as adjuncts to formal treatment, or as a form of continuing care and community support following treatment. These groups are highly accessible and are available at no cost in communities throughout the world, thus serving as important and readily available resources in substance abuse recovery.” (1)
SMART Recovery is a non-profit organization for people of all ages and walks of life who are seeking out a self-empowering way to overcome addiction. The official SMART Recovery website reads, “SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. This is more than an acronym: it is a transformative method of moving from addictive substances and negative behaviors to a life of positive self-regard and willingness to change. Far too many people feel powerless over their lives and carry a sense of futility, a dread of staying trapped within an addiction pattern and locked into their circumstances. SMART helps them learn the skills they need to overcome their addictions and transform their lives.” (1) While 12 Step programs are based in spirituality, SMART Recovery is grounded in science.
The Recovery Dharma website reads, “Recovery Dharma is a peer-led movement and community that is unified by our trust in the potential of each of us to recover and find freedom from the suffering of addiction. We believe that the traditional Buddhist teachings, often referred to as the Dharma, offer a powerful approach to healing from addiction and living a life of true freedom.” (1) This peer support community is less widespread than AA and NA, but has gained popularity in recent years. Recovery Dharma meetings can be found in most major cities throughout the country.
Find Addiction Treatment Near You
Finding addiction treatment near you is a straightforward process when you know where to look and what to look for. While some people choose to stay close to home as they undergo treatment, others make the decision to temporarily move out of state.
Attending addiction treatment in an area you are unfamiliar with can be beneficial for the following reasons:
- You are less likely to quit treatment early if you don’t have anyone nearby to “bail you out.” It is important to stay engaged in your treatment program for its entire duration. Because you will be doing hard work, you might be tempted to throw in the towel and leave early. However, if you don’t have a friend or family to pick you up and take you home, you will be more inclined to stay the course.
- Choosing an out-of-state treatment center will expand your search. Being open to attending treatment in a different state will allow you to choose a program that meets all of your personal needs. Staying in town will harshly limit your search, especially if you live in a smaller community.
- You will be giving yourself a fair shot at starting over. It is often a good idea to remove yourself from your current surroundings, which might be triggering or provide you with an easy way to return to drinking or drug use. When you move out of state for rehab you will truly feel as if you are starting fresh — being given a new lease on life.
Finding addiction treatment options near you is as easy as picking up the phone and asking for help. If you are not sure which steps to take but you are ready to reclaim your life and overcome addiction, we are standing by to help. As soon as you reach out you will be connected with someone who has an extensive knowledge of addiction treatment, and who will be able to point you in the right direction while answering any additional questions you might have about the process. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you start your personal journey of recovery today.