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Treatment Programs

Choosing a treatment program for yourself or a loved one suffering from addiction is a highly personal decision. There are a number of different types of treatment programs, and many different methods and philosophies used within each kind. Before choosing a treatment program, be sure to ask plenty of questions so you can determine which approach is most appropriate for you.

The most common types of treatment programs are:

  • Residential Treatment Centers are standalone programs where patients stay within the addiction treatment facility full-time, under the care of a team of addiction professionals. Some residential treatment centers provide drug and alcohol detox, but not all programs offer this service in-house.
  • Outpatient Treatment Programs provide therapeutic activities and interventions to help participants recover from substance abuse while they continue to live and work in their own communities.
  • Long Term Residential Treatment or Extended Care are designed for people who have finished residential treatment but, for a variety of reasons-including relapse, continued drug-seeking behavior, and unresolved clinical issues-need additional residential treatment. Often these programs include a community-based work or volunteer component. The average length of stay is about 90 days.
  • Hospital-Based Rehabilitation Units are located inside hospitals, and are best suited to people who struggle with addiction and have also developed chronic or acute medical or psychiatric problems. The focus is stabilizing the patient, not on long-term addiction treatment and education.
  • Therapeutic Communities are residential programs that rely on the patient community (and not necessarily the staff) to implement change through mutual support, peer pressure and positive role models.
  • Camps and Farms are highly controlled addiction treatment programs used to treat repeat substance abusers, and designed to break the cycle of addiction and criminal behavior.


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 gay community, particular religions, and those at the extremes of age all may require intensely individualized substance abuse 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.