Treatment Programs

Treatment Programs

Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Dealing with addiction is not easy. Choosing a substance abuse treatment program for yourself or a loved one suffering from substance use disorder is a highly personal decision. Substance abuse treatment with the assistance of qualified professionals is the best hope for overcoming substance use disorders. Drug and alcohol treatment isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Fortunately, there are more choices for drug or alcohol recovery centers than ever before. Before choosing a treatment program, be sure to ask plenty of questions so you can determine which approach is most appropriate for you.

What are the Treatment Options Available?

Going it alone is possible, but it's difficult. Recovery is most effective if the person with a substance use disorder goes through the process with the right mindset and professional guidance. There is a range of support groups and treatment options, which makes it easier to find the right fit. While this is not a fully comprehensive list, below are the most popular treatment programs available.

Medical Detox

Even mild addictions cause withdrawal when drugs and alcohol are withheld. Medical detox helps ease the physical and emotional impact of withdrawal symptoms. This is the first step in the treatment process, and it's performed under the care of medical professionals.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient care is one of the most intensive treatment options. It offers structure and stability while the resident learns to live without drugs and alcohol. With this treatment, the individual will make the recovery center their home for a minimum of 30 days.

Most inpatient facilities offer all of the comforts of home, full-time medical staff, a variety of therapeutic options, and comprehensive substance abuse treatment plans. This structured, live-in approach takes substance abusers out of a toxic environment and puts them into a sobriety-focused setting. This level of care is ideal for those struggling with severe or long-term substance abuse or who have relapsed after completing a program. The stay is anywhere from 30 days to six months, depending on personal circumstances and progress.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

This option is for people who need extended treatment beyond the scope of inpatient care. There's often instability in their lives through co-dependent relationships, unemployment, or homelessness. They may also be dealing with health issues, mental health disorders, or drug-seeking behavior that needs additional attention. Long-term residential care can last from six months to a year, and it can be conducted in a rehabilitation facility or as part of a sober living program in a residential home.

Outpatient Treatment

This option is less intensive but no less comprehensive. The same therapeutic options are available that are found through inpatient care, including individual therapy, group sessions, and aftercare support. However, the attendee is able to remain in the community while in recovery. This option is for those with less severe or short-term drug and alcohol use, who are highly motivated toward recovery, and who have a job, school, or family obligations that make inpatient care impossible.

Support Groups

Emotional support is one of the most important parts of recovery. The most common are 12 Step programs. There is also group therapy and peer-to-peer support, like Recovery Coaching. Some 12-step programs offer both of these components by meeting in groups to discuss problems, obtain feedback, and celebrate triumphs. Twelve Step groups also offer personal sponsors who are available when extra support and encouragement are needed.

Types of Treatment Modalities Offered

Treatment methods for substance use disorder vary greatly. Many facilities use one or more of the following practices:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: One of the most effective tools for dealing with the underlying causes or contributing factors to addition, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a component of most inpatient and IOP programs. It's used to help identify and deal with emotions and behavior patterns that occur with substance use and treating co-occurring mental health issues.

Biofeedback: Drug-free therapy based on understanding biological processes through electronic feedback. The results are used to map out a program of behavior modification.

Experiential therapy: Learning to uncover and express repressed emotions that usually lead to drug or alcohol use. The energy is redirected through more healthy activities like sports and outdoor recreation.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This therapy is used to address and treat serious mental or emotional disorders that often lead to self-medication. The objective is to raise self-esteem, provide stress management and coping skills, and identify triggers.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): With this therapy, those in recovery can identify and change negative thought and behavior patterns that lead to drug use and other high-risk behaviors.

Equine therapy: Farm-based therapy is becoming a very popular component as part of residential care or day sessions. Involves care of and interaction with horses as a path to wellness.

Psychodynamic therapy: This type of therapy involves helping addicts understand the correlation between emotions and behavior. As a form of mindfulness, patients learn to recognize, acknowledge, and diffuse these emotional connections.

Holistic healing: An alternative or addition to traditional drug treatment, holistic therapy focuses on total mind/body wellness without medical intervention. Elements of this type of treatment include art therapy, yoga meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. TMS is an FDA approved treatment method that uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that may be underactive in patients with Depression. This treatment can greatly benefit patients with co-occurring disorders.



There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to substance abuse treatment. Although there are several basic treatment objectives for every patient who has a drug or alcohol addiction, treatment must be individualized for the population it serves. Women, the LGBTQ community, particular religions, and those at the extremes of age all may require intensely individualized substance abuse treatment programs.

Women’s Drug Rehab
Women in need of rehabilitation from drugs and/or alcohol may require specialized services. See how issues such as impaired relationships, guilt, shame and a history of trauma influence a substance abuse treatment plan.

Christian Alcohol and Drug Rehab
Although there are drug and alcohol addiction programs for people of all faiths, some of the most common rehabs are geared toward treating Christians. Learn how recovery programs can apply Christian principles to drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis treatment is developed specifically for those who struggle with emotional or mental health disorders, along with an alcohol or drug dependence.

Holistic Alcohol and Drug Rehab
The holistic approach to drug and alcohol addiction treatment attempts to encompass the mind, body, and spirit. This approach is useful for some but is most effective when blended with traditional therapies.

LGBT and Gay-Friendly Alcohol and Drug Rehab
The gay and lesbian population is at greater risk of developing a substance abuse disorder. Find out how these programs can help drug- and alcohol-dependent LGBT people recover.

Senior Citizen Alcohol and Drug Rehab
Addiction occurs in the senior community, including alcohol, prescription drugs or even illegal street drugs. This page covers the information to select an appropriate facility for your older loved one or yourself.

Teen Drug Addiction and Treatment
Adolescent alcohol and drug abuse is a devastating reality. The underdeveloped brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of substances of abuse.

What is the Substance Abuse Treatment Process?

Whether the program is inpatient, intensive outpatient, or residential, the first step is intake. An admissions counselor will complete an assessment and explain how everything works at the substance abuse treatment facility. Then, there will be a physical and psychological evaluation to determine the need for medical detox to help with withdrawal symptoms and tend to any other health issues. This part of the process is done fairly quickly to help the individual get the help he or she needs. The time in medical detox depends on the severity of withdrawal, type of drugs, and the length or extent of use.

After detox, the real work begins. Substance use disorders are often symptoms of underlying issues. Through a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, group support, and individual counseling sessions, past traumas can be brought to the surface and dealt with, triggers can be identified, and a plan of action for dealing with temptation in the future devised and implemented.

Inpatient treatment or IOP can last from 30 to 90 days or longer. Again, it depends on the length and severity of the addiction and the amount of progress made during therapy. Those who have family or work obligations and less severe substance use disorders may be able to continue treatment as outpatients. Others can elect to remain in a rehab center for treatment until they're ready to leave the facility. If the living or employment situation isn't stable, sober living homes may be the final step before leaving active treatment.

Recovery is a life-long process. Whichever path is chosen, there is still support available through aftercare once a treatment program is completed. This can consist of ongoing therapy, medical maintenance, and moral support through group therapy, peer support, or involvement in a 12-step program.

Public or Private Rehab?

At one time, public treatment was the only option for those who couldn't afford private residential care. While this is still an option in many communities, it offers less intensive or personalized care and long waiting lists. Due to changes in health insurance requirements and greater recognition of addiction as a health issue, private treatment is accessible to almost anyone who needs help to overcome addiction.

Who Pays for the Treatment Program?

One of the biggest worries about treatment is the cost. Many people aren't in a position to take time off from work to go into residential treatment. They may also be concerned about whether insurance will cover the cost of substance abuse treatment. Fear about the price of treatment shouldn't hold anyone back from getting help.

Many employers recognize the problems substance use can cause on the job. That's why there are treatment facility partnerships and drug education programs available to help employees get the help they need. However, some people may not want to go to their boss out of fear.

There are many ways to arrange treatment without losing pay or a good job. If a company offers medical leave, paid sick or personal days, and/or paid vacation time, those can be arranged to provide time off with at least partial pay. It's also important to note that drug and alcohol addictions are health problems that are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). That means you can't be fired for going to rehab.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that all insurance providers pay for at least part of the cost of drug rehab. There may still be some co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses, so talk to a representative from the insurance company about details. It's also important to make sure the treatment facility takes that insurance. Call us to speak with one of our addiction specialists. Our representatives can answer questions about what to expect while in treatment, what services are available, and how we can help you begin your journey toward long-term recovery.