There are many treatment options available for people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These include inpatient and outpatient rehab, ongoing support groups and multiple kinds of therapies.

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    What Are My Addiction Treatment Options?

    For many individuals, the first step toward recovery is acknowledging their personal struggle with substance dependence. The next step is finding a treatment program that can help restore their overall health, well-being and happiness.

    There are countless treatment options a person can choose from. For example, some people with severe forms of addiction enter a detox program before transitioning into rehab. Others may choose to begin recovery at an inpatient or outpatient facility. After treatment, it is recommended to continue reinforcing the lessons learned in rehab by attending support groups and therapy sessions.

    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.

    Recovering from an addiction isn’t easy. It will take a significant amount of willpower and self-discipline to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. However, you’re never alone on this journey. During rehab, you’ll build strong relationships with others in recovery who can relate to what you’re going through. In addition, your family, friends and other loved ones have your best interests at heart during this time.

    Your recovery from an addiction is dependent on how much you put into the process. Discover the ways an addiction is treated below to better understand what lies ahead.

    Types of Treatment

    Treatment programs are different for each individual and can be customized based on their unique needs and situations. The most effective types of treatment programs ensure that individuals in recovery are actively involved every step of the way.

    • Inpatient Rehab

      Inpatient rehabs offer structured treatment programs designed to address all facets of an individual’s addiction. During inpatient rehab, patients reside in a substance-free facility and receive around-the-clock medical care and therapeutic support.

      Inpatient rehabs are the best option for individuals battling chronic addiction, as well as those who suffer from a co-occurring mental or behavioral disorder.

      Learn more about inpatient rehab.

    • Outpatient Rehab

      Outpatient rehabs are another form of comprehensive addiction care. These programs offer many of the same kinds of effective treatments and therapies as inpatient rehabs. However, outpatient rehabs allow patients to live at home during the recovery process. Patients can continue working and caring for their families while attending scheduled treatment sessions throughout the week.

      It’s important to keep in mind that outpatient rehabs do not take place in a residential facility; therefore, patients are at greater risk of encountering triggers that challenge their sobriety. Because of this, outpatient rehabs are most suited for individuals with mild forms of addiction and a committed, disciplined approach to recovery.

      Learn more about outpatient rehab. 

    • Drug and Alcohol Detox

      Detoxification helps people safely withdraw from their from drugs or alcohol until it is no longer present in their system. It is often the first step in treating individuals recovering from moderate to severe forms of addiction.

      In some cases, detoxing from certain drugs requires medication-assisted therapy to help ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Medications prescribed during detox are often tapered down until the patient is no longer physically dependent on addictive substances.

      Learn more about how detox works.

    • Sober Living Homes

      Sober living homes operate as a bridge between an inpatient treatment center and the return to normal life. These are a great option for people in recovery who need additional time reinforcing what was learned in rehab. Sober living homes help people in recovery strengthen their new healthy habits while still residing in the comfort of a structured environment.

    • Addiction Treatment Medications

      During detox and throughout treatment, patients may be prescribed medications to help with the recovery process. These medications are used for a variety of purposes, including managing withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings or treating co-occurring disorders. Medications for addiction treatment have the most effective results when taken in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program.

      Read about medications used in addiction treatment.

    • How to Stage an Intervention

      An intervention takes place between loved ones and a person suffering from an addiction, and is often supervised by an intervention specialist. The idea behind an intervention is to help loved ones express their feelings in a constructive way and encourage a person battling an addiction to enter a treatment program.

      Learn about intervention staging.

    • Faith-Based Treatment

      Some people prefer a more spiritual approach to their recovery. Faith-based rehab centers provide specialized programs and facilities that center around faith. Within this type of rehab program, people in recovery can surround themselves with like-minded individuals who are looking for guidance from a higher power to stay strong in the journey ahead.

      Learn about faith-based rehab and where to find a program near you.

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    Not sure whether inpatient or outpatient rehab is right for you?

    Understanding the differences between these types of rehabs can make it easier to select the program that is the best fit.


    Therapies used in addiction treatment are based on an individual’s health and substance abuse patterns. Options for therapy include an array of individual or group therapy sessions, which are typically organized by addiction counselors.

    • Biofeedback Therapy

      Biofeedback is a form of drug-free therapy that helps people in recovery understand their body’s involuntary processes. During a biofeedback session, a therapist places electronic sensors on a patient’s skin to monitor their brain activity. After reviewing brain wave patterns, the therapist can recommend a range of psychological techniques that can be used to help overcome addictions.

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

      Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used to help people in recovery uncover problematic thoughts or feelings that may compromise their sobriety or contribute to a relapse. This form of therapy is also useful in treating co-occurring conditions, such as bipolar disorder.

    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

      During dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), severe mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder are treated in conjunction with a substance use disorder. This therapy aims to improve self-esteem, provide stress-management skills and encourage individuals in recovery to remove triggers from their life.

    • 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 outdoor recreational activities, such as rock-climbing.

    • Holistic Therapy

      Within holistic therapy, the focus 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.

    • Motivational Enhancement Therapy

      Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is used to help individuals in recovery learn how to change any negative thoughts and behaviors attached to their addiction. This type of therapy is frequently used to treat people in substance abuse recovery who have co-occurring conditions, such as bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    • Psychodynamic Therapy

      Psychodynamic therapy helps individuals explore their emotions to uncover how their subconscious thoughts relate to their addiction. This helps to identify the underlying cause for substance use. By working closely with therapists to acknowledge these deep-seated feelings, individuals are much more prepared to identify and avoid temptations during their ongoing recovery.

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      Support Groups

      After finishing an addiction treatment program, it is highly recommended to join a support group. Support groups are an instrumental part of staying on the right path once out of treatment, allowing for continued care after rehab. The individuals you meet in support groups can offer encouragement throughout the recovery process.

      There are a number of 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 sobriety.

      • 12-Step Programs

        12-step programs are regarded as the standard for recovering from an addiction. These programs follow the 12-step model of recovery and the 12 traditions, which were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Because the program allows people to adapt the steps to their own needs, many have found the 12 steps immensely helpful during their recovery.

        The most popular types of 12-step programs are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

        • Alcoholics Anonymous

          Alcoholics Anonymous (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.

          Learn more about AA. 

        • Narcotics Anonymous

          Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a support group modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous that provides a community of support for those recovering from an addiction to drugs. 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.

          Learn more about NA. 

      • SMART Recovery

        SMART is a popular alternative to 12-step support groups. It teaches people in recovery how to control addictive behaviors by addressing the underlying thoughts and feelings attached to substance abuse. SMART recovery utilizes a “4-Point Program with stages that can be completed in any order.

        Learn more about SMART Recovery.

      • Al-Anon

        Al-Anon is a support group for friends and family members of individuals who have an addiction to alcohol. The mission of this group is to show loved ones that they aren’t alone in their struggle. Al-Anon emphasizes addiction as a family illness and provides loved ones with effective coping and communication methods.

        Learn more about Al-Anon. 

      • Addiction Counselors

        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.

        Learn more about addiction counselors.

      Additional Treatment Information

      Top Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers

      It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed when trying to select the best rehab program for you or a loved one. While there are many to chose from, there are a few notable drug and alcohol addiction rehab facilities that stand out among others in the nation. These centers are recognized for the positive impact they have in the lives of people in recovery and their families, as well as their efforts in addiction treatment advocacy.

      Treatment Myths

      Despite increased public knowledge about the reality of substance use, there are still misconceptions that surround the process of addiction and recovery. Discover the truth about drug rehab and get the answers to the biggest myths, including:

      • Is treatment only for the rich and famous?
      • Does a person have to hit “rock bottom” before getting help?
      • Can people get sober on their own?

      Read more about treatment myths

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