Substance abuse treatment programs vary based on an individual’s needs and the severity of their addiction. Some people may complete treatment on an outpatient basis, while others may need more intensive care, such as residential treatment. A team of addiction professionals can work with an individual to determine which substance abuse treatment program is best for them.
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Types of Addiction Treatment Programs
There are multiple types of addiction treatment programs. Some people may pass through various phases of treatment, whereas others may only require one or two levels of care.
A medical detox program is the first step for someone who is beginning treatment for a severe addiction to substances like heroin, alcohol or benzodiazepines. In medical detox, patients are supervised by trained health professionals who can monitor symptoms and ensure that patients remain safe while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.
In a medical detox program, staff can provide medications to ease the discomfort of withdrawal as drugs and alcohol are leaving the body. For example, experts report that people who are withdrawing from heroin may take lofexidine to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. People may also take buprenorphine or methadone during medical detox. It’s important to keep in mind that medication is only used during withdrawal when clinically cleared by a medical professional.
Medications can be used during the withdrawal process in medical detox, and they can also be a part of an ongoing medication-assisted treatment program. Medication-assisted treatment involves using medications in tandem with counseling during the recovery process.
Medication-assisted treatment is typically used to treat addictions to illicit opioids, prescription opioids and alcohol. Medications can help control cravings and stabilize both brain chemistry and bodily functioning. According to research, medication-assisted treatment can help people stay in treatment, reduce opiate abuse, increase survival rates and decrease criminal activity. Much like with medical detox, methadone and buprenorphine are commonly prescribed in medication-assisted treatments for opioid addiction. Disulfiram and acamprosate may be used for the treatment of alcohol abuse.
Inpatient rehab is typically provided in a hospital or a clinic that specializes in inpatient treatment. In this type of treatment setting, medical professionals supervise patients and have 24-hour access to nurses. People participating in inpatient treatment often receive medications and counseling services and participate in group therapy.
Inpatient treatment typically involves ongoing assessment of the addiction and monitoring of goals. Once a patient has completed inpatient treatment, staff create a discharge plan and the patient is moved to another treatment setting, such as ongoing outpatient therapy.
Residential rehab is similar to inpatient treatment but is typically longer-lasting. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), residential services usually occur outside of a hospital setting, meaning residential facilities provide more of a home-like environment. People receiving residential care reside at the treatment facility on a full-time basis.
Stays in residential rehab can last for a few weeks or several months, with the goal of helping people develop healthy social skills and change ineffectual behaviors. However, the length of treatment is comprehensive and can vary widely depending on both the program and the individual’s needs.
Partial Hospitalization Program
A partial hospitalization program offers an alternative to inpatient or residential treatment. According to The Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare, these programs are offered either in hospitals or freestanding clinics and provide intensive services. People who participate in a partial hospitalization program may receive treatment during days, evenings or weekends, and they return home at night. In other partial hospitalization programs, clients may live on-site at the treatment center.
Partial hospitalization is suitable for patients who are not a danger to themselves but still require intensive treatment. In these programs, people spend more time in treatment than those in traditional outpatient programs, but they may be able to live at home.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Intensive outpatient treatment involves group treatment sessions as well as individual counseling. People who are engaged in intensive outpatient treatment may also take medications and receive medication management services. Depending on the program, clients may live off-site at home or in sober living housing or on-site at the treatment facility.
Intensive outpatient programs are an alternative to hospitalization or inpatient programs. In some cases, people will begin an intensive outpatient program after transitioning out of an inpatient setting. According to research, intensive outpatient programs provide at least nine hours of service per week, but some programs may be more intensive.
Outpatient rehab is a step down from intensive outpatient treatment. Per the American Society of Addiction Medicine, someone in outpatient treatment receives less than nine hours of services each week.
Similar to intensive outpatient programs, outpatient rehab typically involves individual and group counseling as well as access to medication and medical services. In outpatient programs, people schedule appointments at times that fit their schedules, and they can continue to work in the community and live at home throughout treatment. Outpatient programs offer flexibility, which is a benefit of this type of treatment.
Dual diagnosis treatment is provided to individuals who have both an addiction and a mental health condition. For example, a person who lives with opioid addiction and bipolar disorder would be a candidate for dual diagnosis treatment.
With this form of treatment, people receive integrated services that address both addiction and mental health conditions. People in dual diagnosis services receive counseling, supportive services and medications. Treatment plans must consider both the mental health condition and the addiction to be effective. For instance, if a person receives treatment for addiction, but underlying depression is not treated, the person may relapse to drug use as a form of self-medication.
Aftercare includes services that people participate in to maintain lasting sobriety after completing a treatment program. Aftercare services may involve ongoing counseling, participation in support groups, or linkage to case management or peer support services. Aftercare plays an important role in preventing relapse. According to research, aftercare is more effective when people participate in it for longer periods of time.
Short-term treatment typically lasts around 30 days, but treatment of this length may not always be effective. NIDA reports that short-term residential programs are typically intensive, and it is necessary for people to transition into an outpatient program after completing one.
Long-term treatment typically lasts somewhere between three and 12 months. Long-term residential treatment takes place in a home-like setting, and people have access to medical care 24 hours a day. A common model for long-term treatment is the therapeutic community, and people in this type of program typically stay in treatment for six to 12 months.
Long-term treatment usually begins with detox from drugs, and then a person transitions into the program, which is initially strict and follows a structured schedule with rigid rules. As people make progress in treatment, they are awarded more flexibility.
Addiction Treatment Process
Addiction treatment is a process that typically occurs in phases. For example, the treatment process for addiction typically begins with an intake appointment and continues from there.
The following are typical steps in an addiction treatment program:
- Intake: The intake process involves an addiction professional gathering information to admit you into a treatment program. For instance, the professional will discuss your health history and likely perform a basic medical examination. Basic information, such as date of birth, income, family background and employment history will also be gathered during the intake process.
- Screening & Assessment: During the screening and assessment phase of treatment, a professional will use a tool such as the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) to determine the extent of a person’s problems with drug abuse. These tools involve a brief interview and efficiently provide the treatment team with information about a person’s substance use. Using screening and assessment results, the professional team can determine what further evaluations are necessary.
- Evaluation: After the screening and assessment are completed, a full substance abuse evaluation will be completed. This evaluation will be more comprehensive. During this evaluation, a clinician will gather information about your history of substance abuse, including when you first began using, what substances you have used and how frequently and in what quantities you have used. The clinician will also discuss symptoms of your substance abuse, such as whether or not you experience withdrawal, what physical consequences you have experienced as a result of substance abuse and whether you have experienced legal difficulties or troubles at work or home due to drugs. A clinician may utilize an evaluation tool such as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) to gather comprehensive information about your substance use and its consequences.
- Developing a Treatment Plan: After a full evaluation is completed, a clinician will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Addiction treatment plans address areas of need, such as abstaining from drugs and obtaining employment, as well as what services or resources will be utilized to address these areas. A treatment plan also states long-term goals and shorter-term objectives. Experts report that treatment plans should also make use of a client’s strengths.
Entering treatment can be intimidating, especially if you have never before been in a treatment program. Frequently asked questions about rehab can ease some of your concerns and provide you with the information you need to feel confident about entering treatment. Some of the most commonly asked questions about rehab are:
- How Much Does Rehab Cost?
The cost of rehab varies based on how long someone spends in treatment and what sort of treatment program they complete. For example, a residential treatment program where a person spends 24 hours a day receiving care will cost more than an outpatient program that involves seeing a drug and alcohol counselor twice per week for an hour.
- Does Insurance Cover Rehab?
Most rehabilitation centers and outpatient programs accept insurance coverage for treatment, so some expenses will be covered. Out-of-pocket costs will vary based on your insurance coverage, how long you spend in treatment, and what sort of treatment you complete. Different insurance plans will vary in the degree to which they cover the costs of addiction treatment. The Healthcare Marketplace can help you find a plan that covers substance abuse services.
- How Long Does Rehab Last?
The length of rehab varies for each person, as some people may progress through treatment more quickly than others. In addition, residential or inpatient programs are typically shorter in length, while ongoing outpatient treatment tends to last for longer.
According to NIDA, treatment needs to be of sufficient duration to be effective. Furthermore, for both inpatient and outpatient treatment, programs lasting under 90 days tend not to be as effective as longer programs. Finally, those who are participating in medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse typically need to engage in treatment for at least a year.
How to Find a Drug or Alcohol Treatment Center
If you are ready to enter treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a substance abuse treatment locator. With this simple tool, you can enter your zip code and find drug and alcohol treatment services located near you. The Recovery Village also offers local rehab resources and has full-service treatment centers in several states, including Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Washington.
If you or a loved one is seeking addiction treatment, The Recovery Village has treatment centers located across the country and can create a substance abuse treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Reach out to our caring admissions department today to discuss your needs and begin the journey toward recovery.
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