The Treatment Process

To ensure the greatest likelihood of success, it is important to attend rehab. However, with so many options, this choice can seem overwhelming. When you are searching for the right rehab center, there are many considerations to take into account. While every treatment program is different, here is a typical treatment process.

Deciding To Attend Treatment

The vast majority of people who decide to seek out treatment come to this conclusion in one of three ways: self-realization, intervention, or court order.


Many individuals come to the conclusion on their own that they need to seek rehab. There can be many reasons. Some realize that they have a problem that they need to fix. Others have a goal that their addiction is preventing them from reaching, maybe getting a job that requires a drug test, saving up for a house, or performing better in school. Still others have a defining event that forces them to come to terms with their addiction, such as a major illness, pregnancy, or traumatic event.


An intervention is a structured conversation, usually supervised by a professional interventionist, between loved ones and someone suffering from an addiction. The purpose of the intervention is to let the addicted individual know of their loved ones’ concerns and to convince them to seek treatment.

Court Order

While courts in different jurisdictions have vastly different options available to them, many have the authority to require that an individual attend substance abuse treatment. In some states, this may be done as a requirement, while others allow it as an alternative to harsher penalties such as jail time. Court ordered rehab is especially common in driving under the influence (DUI) cases.

Selecting A Treatment Center

The addicted individual and/or their loved ones decide on the proper treatment facility, taking into account such factors as cost, location, type of facility, and specific addiction.

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Preparation For Treatment

The addiction sufferer and their loved ones must prepare for treatment. This may include packing, making child and pet care arrangements, taking care of work commitments, and more.


Upon arrival at a treatment facility, the first step towards recovery is typically detox. The addict beginning recovery usually spends several nights or weeks away from the general population of the treatment center as the last active remnants of their substance(s) of choice leave the body. Detox can often be physically painful and in extreme cases even fatal, so should never be attempted without professional supervision. In many cases, medication may be necessary during detox.

Rehab In A Treatment Center

There are two major types of treatment centers: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient centers are generally intensive, residential programs that are designed to help individuals with severe and/or long-term addictions. Outpatient programs are part-time and non-residential, enabling participants to continue to work, attend school, and take care of their families while undergoing treatment. In many cases, inpatient rehab is followed by outpatient rehab. Investigate whether inpatient or outpatient treatment centers are available.


There are a number of different types of therapy from addiction counselors available, both in group and one-on-one settings. Therapy often starts in the treatment center and continues post release. Examples of common therapy methods include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is used to help people in recovery address problematic thoughts or feelings that may compromise sobriety or contribute to a relapse. This form of therapy is also useful in treating co-occurring conditions, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and bipolar disorder.


During biofeedback therapy, electronic sensors are placed on a patient’s skin to provide medical professionals with an accurate read on an individual’s “bio” signs. On-site biofeedback therapy sessions typically last about 30 minutes to an hour and are designed to provide recovering addicts with a psychological edge to beat their addictions.

Holistic Therapy

The focus of holistic therapy is on the individual’s overall well-being, while also treating physical symptoms of withdrawal. Holistic therapies may include yoga, acupuncture, art therapy and guided meditation.

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy utilizes non-traditional treatment methods to help recovering addicts overcome repressed feelings and emotions that may have contributed to their addiction. Common types of this therapy include rock-climbing, wilderness therapy, and ropes courses.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

MET is used to help individuals in addiction recovery learn to change their thoughts and behaviors attached to their addiction. This type of therapy is frequently used to treat recovering addicts who have co-occurring conditions, such as bipolar or eating disorders.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DPT)

DBT treats severe mental illnesses in conjunction with an addiction problem. This therapy aims to improve self-esteem, encourage recovering addicts to remove triggers from their life, and provide skills to manage stress.

Faith-Based Treatment

Faith-based treatment centers provide individuals who value religion with specialized programs and facilities that center around faith and spirituality. Within this type of treatment, recovering addicts can surround themselves with like-minded individuals who are looking for guidance from a higher power to stay strong during sobriety.

Sober Living Homes

After leaving inpatient or outpatient treatment, many recovering addicts choose to reside in a sober living home (also known as a halfway house or transitional housing). Sober living homes function as a bridge between an intensive treatment environment and a return to sober life.

Ongoing Support Groups

Most recovering addicts find that regularly participating in a support group helps them to adjust to sobriety and maintain a sober life for many years after treatment. Most, but not all, of these programs are 12-step programs based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model. The steps encourage those in recovery to accept their powerlessness over drugs or alcohol and get in touch with a higher power as a guiding presence to help with sobriety.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

AA meetings provide a group of individuals that can all relate to one another on some level about their addiction to alcohol and how it has impacted their life. Most AA meetings take place daily or weekly in a local setting, such as a church or community building. Open meetings encourage family members or loved ones to attend while closed meetings are only for those in recovery themselves.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

NA is a support group modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. It provides a community of support for those recovering from other drugs besides just alcohol. Members of NA motivate each other to stay committed to sobriety and avoid falling back into patterns of abuse. Meetings typically involve individuals sharing their stories of addiction and recovery.

SMART Recovery™

SMART is a popular alternative to 12-step support groups. It teaches recovering addicts strategies to control addictive behaviors by addressing the underlying thoughts and feelings attached to substance abuse. SMART recovery utilizes a “4-point” program with steps that can be completed in any order.

Find A Treatment Center Today

Since you know more about what to consider when you’re selecting a treatment center, it’s time to get help! For more information on treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.