Best types of addiction treatment programs
Addiction treatment is not a one size fits all solution. What substance abuse program works for one person may not work for another person as paths to addiction are unique. Facility liaisons usually make first contact with potential patients to determine if any emergency intervention is needed and to determine eligibility for programs, including insurance.
It’s important to establish if a facility and its programs are the right fit, so the liaison will also speak about daily treatment expectations and any specific needs that a potential patient may need.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Drug addiction treatment programs are customized to the severity of a person’s addiction, any mental or physical comorbidities and a person’s unique needs. Some treatment programs will be mandated by the courts, but many are chosen by addicts seeking help on their own or because of the interventional help of family and/or friends.
Most people can’t kick drug addiction on their own. Substance abuse changes your brain structure and function. These changes can persist for years, even after recovery. The bottom line is that no single treatment’s appropriate for everyone. Getting the right treatment is critical for recovery and to prevent relapse.
Treatment programs will usually be administered by an interdisciplinary team on either an inpatient or an outpatient basis. Most often those teams include an addiction counselor, an addiction therapist or psychologist or an addiction psychiatrist and a social worker. There are varying types of facilities, programs and therapies.
The main types of drug treatment programs include short-term and long-term inpatient residential, varying outpatient programs which includes individualized and group counseling, as well as specialized programs through the criminal justice system. Many use the terms drug programs and therapy interchangeably. The programs use different types of therapy to treat addiction, usually in a holistic way. Rarely is therapy used singularly.
Types of Therapy
Biofeedback therapy is a drug-free technique which helps patients understand how to control involuntary responses in breathing, heart rate and muscles. During biofeedback sessions, electronic sensors monitor brain activity as brain wave patterns. Therapists review those patterns and can recommend further techniques to help overcome addictive behavior. For instance, everyone body reacts to stress differently. Sensors placed on your body can tell what your stress level is and whether you are relaxed or not.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy involve exploring subconscious thoughts and subsequent behavior change. CBT helps uncover problematic thoughts that can lead patients into behavior that can compromise their recovery. An example would be uncovering a distorted feeling that isn’t based in reality and teaching the patient to see it in the light of reality. The related motivational enhancement therapy (MET) teaches patients how to change negative thoughts and behaviors attached to their addiction.
Some severe mental illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder are comorbid with substance abuse. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) teaches skills that manage painful emotions and the triggers that prompt them by using therapeutic skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. Experiential therapy piggybacks on DBT by helping addicts overcome repressed emotions that may be contributing to their substance abuse.
Most programs begin with drug detox. Detoxification cleanses the body of substance abuse. The withdrawal process is complex and often harsh, utilizing medical intervention “to manage the acute and potentially dangerous physiological effects of stopping drug use.” It’s also considered the first stage of treatment for such addictions as opioid, benzodiazepine, alcohol and barbiturate abuse.
Inpatient Drug Rehab
Inpatient rehabs are highly structured treatment programs that generally last 6 to 12 months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Inpatient addiction treatment programs help residents shed damaging patterns of behavior and adopt non-destructive ways to battle chronic addiction.
Your first question may be where do I find an inpatient drug rehab near me? There were 15,961 substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States in 2019, according to Statistica. Treatment programs vary according to facility. Before any addict enters into treatment there is an intake process that also varies by program and facility. The intake evaluation includes, but is not limited to assessing:
● Medical history, current physical status, physical disability, urine test
● Vital signs such as pulse, temperature and respiration taken
● Mental status, cognitive function or disability
● Neurological function
● Sensory issues
An intake coordinator will ask you important personal questions such as to what kind of living conditions you live in, if you live in fear of violence, or if you are a suicide risk. You will be asked about your financial situation and if you have dependent children and transportation.
Questions about illicit, alcohol or prescription substance abuse patterns, past detoxification or rehab experiences usually are asked so that an addiction therapist, psychiatrist or counselor gets a holistic picture of your condition. Demographical questions such as age, ethnicity, legal status and educational level are also asked, but may be optional to answer, depending on your state and treatment facility. There are substance abuse confidentiality regulations that must be adhered to during the intake process.
After the intake process, you will be oriented to the program and facility. There are 4 phases of rehab: the intake process, the detox, rehab intensive therapies and recovery, also known as aftercare.
The benefits of an inpatient addiction treatment program, although it tends to be more expensive than outpatient programs, is that your care is customized, long-term and 24/7.
Outpatient Drug Rehab
Outpatient rehab programs vary widely in intensity, so they will widely vary in time commitment. Outpatient rehab clients meet individually or within a group setting for a few hours a week to several hours daily. Depending on the severity of addiction, some outpatient addiction programs offer medical care and prescribe medications through an addiction psychiatrist.
Most outpatient programs work best for more disciplined clients who have an extensive social support system, reliable transportation and a milder addiction with a lower risk of withdrawal. Often outpatient care is mandated by the criminal justice system.
For those with a more severe addiction that doesn’t merit round-the-clock inpatient care, there are outpatient treatment programs that offer partial hospitalization services. These outpatient rehabs usually offer what inpatient rehabs offer in terms of therapies, but on a hybrid outpatient/inpatient basis.
The many benefits from outpatient programs include flexibility to take care of family and job commitments and a continuum of care after inpatient discharge making it easier for most people to transition back into their lives. Outpatient substance abuse care is also less expensive than inpatient care and may be covered by insurance.
Recovery doesn’t end when outpatient therapy ends. It’s an ongoing life management and accountability process. Many outpatient programs suggest or provide aftercare programs that include 12-step group counseling like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous to stay clean. Most aftercare programs last at least 1 year following discharge from treatment. Many inpatient and outpatient treatment programs also allow recovering addicts to help other addicts by imparting what they’ve learned throughout their journeys. It helps many to reinforce their commitment to sobriety.
Web resources used in this post:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
U.S. Drug Treatment Facilities (2003 to 2019)
What You Need to Know About the Addiction Rehab Process (insecure link)
Frequently Asked Questions About Outpatient Treatment (insecure link)
Principles of Effective Treatment
Laws and Regulations
Substance Abuse Confidentiality
What to Expect from the Intake Process