What Are My Addiction Treatment Options?
For many individuals, the first step toward recovery is acknowledging their struggle with substance use. After they’ve acknowledged they’re in need of help, the next step is finding a treatment program that can help restore their overall health, well-being, and happiness.
There are many treatment options available between inpatient residential and outpatient programs, and it is essential to understand what level of care is needed first. For example, acute detox services are standard within inpatient treatment programs and are often encouraged if ending substance use will result in withdrawal symptoms. Others may find starting in outpatient settings is just as effective as an inpatient facility, so long as there are no withdrawal concerns. After treatment, there are additional options to help continue the path of recovery.
Remember: there is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to addiction recovery. Whichever treatment path you choose, be sure that it has everything you need to help you achieve a successful recovery.
Entering recovery from substance use isn’t easy. It will take a significant amount of willingness and continuous support to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. However, recovery isn’t meant to be a singular journey. Building strong relationships with others in recovery who can relate will be essential during the treatment process. It is also important to remember all the loved ones who will be there along the way.
Recovery is a cyclical process, meaning what one puts in, one receives back. Here are some important elements of treatment to understand the path ahead.
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Types Of Treatment
Treatment programs are different for each individual and can be customized based on unique needs and situations. The most effective treatment programs ensure that individuals in recovery are actively engaged every step of the way.
Inpatient treatment programs, also called residential treatment, offer structured programs designed to address all facets of an individual’s addiction. During inpatient treatment, patients reside in a substance-free facility and receive around-the-clock medical care and therapeutic support. Inpatient treatment programs are an excellent option for individuals struggling with long-term substance use disorders and those struggling with a co-occurring mental or behavioral illness.
Outpatient treatment programs are another form of comprehensive substance use disorder care. These programs offer many of the same effective treatments and therapies as inpatient programs. However, outpatient treatment allows patients to live at home during recovery. Depending on their condition, patients can sometimes continue working and caring for their families while attending weekly scheduled treatment sessions.
It’s important to remember that outpatient programs do not sequester patients from the real world; therefore, patients are at greater risk of encountering triggers that can result in relapse behaviors, especially in early recovery. Because of this, outpatient rehabs are suited for individuals with mild forms of substance use disorders and a committed, disciplined approach to recovery. Outpatient programs are also an excellent “step-down” approach after inpatient treatment and are often combined with sober living homes.
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Supervised medical detoxification helps people safely go through the withdrawal process from substances until they are no longer present in their system. It is often the first step in treating individuals recovering from moderate to severe substance use disorders and addiction. In some cases, detoxing from certain substances require medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to help ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevent life-threatening medical conditions. Medications prescribed during detox are often tapered until the patient is no longer physically dependent on addictive substances.
Sober living homes operate as a residential bridge between an inpatient treatment center and the return to everyday life. These are great options for people in recovery who need additional time to reinforce what they learned in treatment. Sober living homes help people in recovery strengthen their new healthy habits while still residing in the comfort of a structured environment with others who are also seeking recovery.
Patients may be prescribed medications during detox and treatment to help with their recovery. These medications are utilized for various purposes, including managing acute withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings, or treating co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety. Medications for addiction treatment have the most effective results when combined with a comprehensive treatment program.
An intervention occurs between loved ones and a person in denial or not receptive to help for their substance use disorder or addiction. Typically, this process is often supervised by an intervention specialist. The idea behind an intervention is to help loved ones constructively express their feelings and encourage a person battling an addiction to enter a treatment program. Having a solid plan of action is key in these events.
Some people prefer a more spiritual approach to their recovery. Faith-based treatment programs provide specialized therapies and facilities that center around faith. Within this treatment program, people in recovery can surround themselves with like-minded individuals looking for guidance from a higher power to find recovery in the journey ahead. It is important to understand what services are available at faith-based programs to ensure all service needs, including medical, can be safely provided.
Types Of Therapy
Therapies used in substance use disorder and addiction treatments are based on an individual’s health and emotional needs. Many forms of evidence-based therapies have been proven beneficial for substance use disorders and potential co-occurring disorders that frequently occur with substance use. Therapy is usually provided by a licensed behavioral health professional (e.g., psychologist, counselor) or addiction counselor.
Biofeedback is a form of therapy that helps people in recovery understand their body’s involuntary processes. During a biofeedback session, a therapist places multiple electronic sensors on a patient’s body to monitor their vitals, like heart rate, breathing, and possibly even brain activity. After reviewing the results, the therapist can recommend a range of psychological techniques that can be used to help develop healthy coping strategies to better manage the body’s involuntary processes.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used to help people uncover problematic thoughts or feelings that influence unhealthy behaviors. Unhealthy behaviors may compromise one’s sobriety or contribute to relapse without intervention. This form of therapy is also helpful in treating co-occurring conditions, such as depression and bipolar disorders.
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Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT therapy that approaches intense or uncomfortable emotions and uses processes to help people manage them safely. This therapy aims to improve self-esteem, provide stress-management skills, change unhealthy behavior patterns, and encourage individuals in recovery to remove triggers from their life through healthy skill-building.
Experiential therapy utilizes non-traditional treatment methods to help people overcome uncomfortable emotions or events through self-expression. This allows for some form of processing, which may include reexperiencing an event through a new lens or through actions that provide a sense of internal strength to overcome. Common types of this therapy include outdoor recreational activities like rock climbing and assisted animal therapies like equine therapy.
Within holistic therapy, the focus is on the individual’s overall well-being, which includes physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Holistic therapy is a common mainstay in many treatment programs and has many benefits. Holistic therapies may consist of yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, and guided meditation.
Motivational interviewing is a therapy used to help individuals understand the motivations behind their behaviors and begin working through the process of change systematically. This type of therapy is frequently used to treat people with substance use disorders, as change is a tricky process, and motivation requires continued support.
Psychodynamic therapy helps individuals explore their emotions and experiences to uncover how their subconscious thoughts relate to their thoughts and behaviors. This helps to identify the underlying cause of substance use and find new strategies to meet one’s needs. In addition, by working closely with therapists to acknowledge these deep-seated feelings, individuals are more prepared to identify and avoid temptations during their recovery.
Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD establishes that proper aftercare treatment can help to prevent relapse and achieve long-lasting recovery.View All Videos
After finishing an addiction treatment program, it is highly recommended that a patient join a peer support group. Support groups are instrumental in staying on the path of recovery once out of treatment, allowing for long-term continued care after treatment. In addition, the individuals you meet in support groups can offer encouragement throughout the recovery process and be an invaluable source of support.
There are several different support groups tailored to specific substances or demographics. Finding the right group provides a community of individuals that motivate and inspire each other to stay committed to recovery.
12-step programs are considered the gold standard by many for recovering from a substance use disorder or addiction. These programs follow the 12-step model of recovery and the 12 traditions, which were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Because these programs allow people to adapt the steps to their needs, many have found them immensely helpful during their recovery journey. The most popular types of 12-step programs are AA and NA.
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 lives. Most AA meetings occur 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. AA meetings are found 24/7, 365 days a year, with many throwing 24-hour marathons during difficult traditional holidays. You can also attend meetings online for additional support.
NA is a support group modeled after AA that provides a community of support for those recovering from drug addiction. 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. NA meetings are found 24/7, 365 days a year. You can also attend meetings online for additional support.
SMART™ is a popular alternative to 12-step support groups. It teaches people in recovery how to be aware of unhealthy behaviors by addressing the underlying thoughts and feelings experienced in substance use. SMART Recovery™ utilizes a “4-Point Program” with stages that can be completed in any order.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are support groups for friends and family members of individuals with an addiction or substance use disorder. The mission of these groups is to show loved ones that they aren’t alone in their struggle. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon emphasize addiction as a family illness and provide loved ones with effective coping and communication methods.
An addiction counselor’s role is to provide unbiased support for individuals going through a treatment program. Counselors create an individualized plan for treatment and aftercare and conduct one-on-one or group therapy sessions.
As you’ve already read, there’s no shortage of medications and therapies to help one through each stage of the recovery process. Not only that, there is ample support from professional services; in other words, there are plenty of treatment options for anyone who needs them. All that’s left is for you to decide to get started. For more information on treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience