The Facts on Addiction Therapy

The recovery process is emotionally trying, mentally difficult, and sometimes, seemingly impossible. However, kicking a drug or alcohol problem is doable. You just need the right type of treatment. Recovery is a lifetime process, and it involves much dedication and hard work. Find out about the types of drug and alcohol addiction therapies and rehabilitation programs available.

Inpatient Programs

With inpatient treatment, addiction is viewed in the context of the person’s psychological and social deficits. An inpatient program focuses on developing personal responsibility and accountability, and uses activities designed to help clients understand self-concepts, damaging beliefs, and destructive behaviors in order to adopt more constructive and harmonious ways of interacting with others.

  • Short-term residential program – In a short-term program, the client stays for 3-60 days in an inpatient setting. A short-term program offers intensive, brief treatment, which typically is based on a modified 12-step approach. While these programs were originally developed to treat alcohol addiction, they now also focus on drug addiction. The model consists of several weeks of inpatient care followed by extended outpatient therapy. Research shows that inpatient care reduces the risk of relapse after the client leaves.
  • Long-term residential program – This type of inpatient care involves staying in the center 24 hours a day for 6 to 12 months. This therapeutic community model has a planned length of stay for the client and focuses on ‘resocialization’ of the client. An inpatient program uses the entire community in an effort to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Inpatient facilities offer 24-hour service and allow the client to see loved ones and family members periodically. Treatment includes highly structured, comprehensive services, employment training, support services, and group therapy. Research shows that long-term inpatient treatment can be modified for people with special needs, such as adolescents, homeless individuals, women, mentally challenged persons, and those in the criminal justice system.

Outpatient Programs

At an outpatient facility, the client can come and go as he/she pleases and continue to reside at home. People choose outpatient treatment because they have responsibilities, such as family, work, and/or school. Outpatient treatment programs vary in the intensity and types of services provided. This type of drug and alcohol addiction treatment costs less than inpatient and residential care, and it is more suitable for individuals with extensive social support. Intensive day treatment is much like residential programs, especially in regard to effectiveness and services offered. Most outpatient programs treat clients who suffer from mental health problems in addition to addiction.

Luxury and Executive Programs

While not everyone can afford a luxury or executive program, these are available to many clients. Luxury treatment provides a high level of client service, offering art therapy, individual counseling, and intense rehabilitation. The inpatient rehabilitation facilities offer the feeling of staying at a resort. Executive care centers cater to people who cannot take time off from work, and they offer features such as offices and meeting rooms.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

Because most people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction have a co-occurring mental health condition, dual diagnosis treatment is available. Dual diagnosis recover centers treat a person’s underlying emotional issue along with the addiction problem. These facilities and programs use mental health professionals, who are skilled at identifying and treating psychological problems.

12-Step Programs

Not all programs are based on the 12-step model, but this is a proven method for addiction treatment. With the 12-step model, the client follows a sequence of steps after he or she first admits there is a drug or alcohol problem. After competing the program, the client can attend regular meetings for support and after-care, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Detox and Withdrawal Treatment Programs

Because many people cannot abruptly stop using a substance without experiencing painful or dangerous withdrawal symptoms, detoxification (detox) is offered. When a person uses a substance for a long time, the body gets used to having the drug, and body chemistry changes. The detoxification process manages the withdrawal symptoms and allows the client to safely and effectively rid the drug from the body. Detoxification involves medications, which are given by a nurse and prescribed by a physician. These agents assist with withdrawal symptoms and prevent potentially fatal side effects.

Individualized Drug Counseling

Individualized drug counseling helps the client stop drug or alcohol use and addresses other areas of impaired functioning, such as illegal activity, employment status, and family/social relations. This form of treatment focuses on short-term behavioral goals and helps the client develop coping strategies and skills to abstain from drug use and maintain abstinence. The addiction counselor makes referrals as needed for psychiatric, medical, employment, and community services.

Group Counseling

Most therapy centers use some form of group counseling to capitalize on the social reinforcement of peer discussion and to promote a drug-free living environment. Research shows that group therapy works when offered alone or along with individual counseling.

Rehabilitation Aftercare

Aftercare consists of any treatment, therapy, or intervention a client receives following the initial substance abuse treatment. This is a vital component for preventing relapse. An aftercare program provides the recovering addict coping skills and various self-help measures that are necessary for maintaining sobriety. People in recovery must make many lifestyle changes to achieve permanent abstinence, and an aftercare program gives a person empowerment, support, and knowledge so he/she can achieve sobriety.

Sober Living Programs

After intensive treatment, such as long-term inpatient and outpatient therapy, the client may choose a sober living program. This allows the client to live with other recovering addicts in a supportive, controlled, and drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are helpful when the client cannot go home or is concerned that he/she will relapse.

Brief Intervention

Brief intervention is only appropriate for the client who is at risk for drug or alcohol abuse, but who does not yet have a serious problem. This type of therapy focuses on stopping the full-blown addiction process. Brief intervention involves several visits to a mental health or substance abuse counselor to discuss current problems, strategies for cutting back, and ways to avoid use.

Finding a Treatment Facility right for You

After you make the decision to receive addiction treatment. The things to check for in a treatment center include:

  • Accreditation and licensing – Be sure the treatment program is accredited and appropriately licensed. This assures the center is managed by well-trained, credentialed specialists, substance abuse counselors, and mental health professionals.
  • Effectiveness – Another thing to consider is the effectiveness of the program’s treatment methods. The center should have some statistics regarding their success rates, which come from an outside agency.
  • Types of aftercare – To prevent relapse, the program should include aftercare therapy. The staff members should also collaborate with you to formulate a discharge plan when it is time to leave the center.