Drug Abuse Treatment Programs
- Table of ContentsPrint
- Why Choose Treatment?
- What Is Drug Abuse Treatment?
- Types of Substance Abuse Treatment
- What Determines the Appropriate Drug Abuse Treatment?
- What to Look for in a Drug Addiction Program
Why Choose Treatment?
Drug abuse treatment programs provide valuable help to thousands of individuals struggling with drug abuse. Substance abuse of any kind affects people of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds. Despite the large demographic variability, all share one very important commonality – they need help!
For many, drug addiction treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
What Is Drug Abuse Treatment?
Normal daily functioning, including productive employment, relations with family and loved ones, and avoidance of legal entanglements can be achieved with assistance from effective substance abuse treatment.
Substance abuse programs of all types strive to break the cycle of compulsive drug seeking behavior and the damages of continued drug or alcohol abuse. Treatment setting and type are highly variable and will depend largely on each individual’s specific situation and needs. For some, substance abuse recovery can be achieved with relatively short outpatient programs. Others might benefit more from a longer duration residential rehab.
This isn’t to say that all outpatient or inpatient programs are the same. Numerous types of treatment modalities might be employed in any outpatient or inpatient program – again, dependent on an individual’s specific substance abuse history and their demonstrated response to treatment. Furthermore, for many people, the chronic nature of substance abuse problems necessitates vigilant outcome monitoring and, possibly, multiple intervention attempts. However, with focus and attention, recovery is possible.
Hope in Recovery
The following video tells the story of Jake, a former drug addict who discusses how recovery changed his life for the better and how his new purpose is to be of service to others and show them that "there's a way out of that darkness."
Types of Substance Abuse Treatment
Those seeking treatment for substance abuse would benefit greatly from an initial assessment or evaluation by an addiction professional. Whether it's from a physician, psychologist, addiction counselor or other qualified individual with addiction treatment experience, the insight offered in terms of recommending an appropriate treatment type will prove invaluable to bolstering chances of a successful outcome.
Since the 1980s, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has availed its list of criteria (The ASAM Criteria or ASAM patient placement criteria) that can be utilized in helping clinicians with matching patients with substance abuse problems with 5 broad categories or types of substance abuse treatment. The ASAM criteria emphasizes that treatment exists on a continuum, and that outcome monitoring both during and after treatment can determine whether a patient could benefit from more or less intensive treatment types that fall on the scale.
Many of the broad categories from the ASAM criteria reflect the types, and varying levels of treatment intensiveness, predominantly encountered in the addiction treatment realm. These include:
- Outpatient Treatment – Can be delivered from a doctor’s office or other clinical setting. Outpatient treatment lies near the “least intensive” end of the treatment continuum, and is typically reserved for those with the least severe substance abuse issues, active employment commitments and a robust set of social support in place. Treatment can range from drug education, sober skills training, to more frequently scheduled counseling and addiction therapy and, even, outpatient detox programs. Treatment length is variable and contingent on recovery progress.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment/ Partial Hospitalization / Day Treatment Programs – Somewhat more intensive than the prior category; still, this consists of many of the services available in regular outpatient treatment, but administered a bit more frequently and/or for longer periods of the day. Additionally, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization can accommodate patient’s with co-existing medical or mental health issues and allow them access to many of the services that exist for an inpatient population during the hours of the day that the intensive outpatient treatment occurs.
- Residential Treatment – For more severe substance abuse issues that require the stability of round-the-clock attention; residents are placed in a 24-hour care situation, with the potential benefit of removing them from contributing situations or factors that exacerbate their addiction to begin with. Daily activities can consist of numerous individual and group counseling sessions. Many residential treatment centers also provide monitored detox and withdrawal, as well as more intense treatment for dual diagnosis psychiatric or behavioral addiction issues.
- Intensive Inpatient Hospitalization – Full-time, fully supervised, hospital-based care for those with severe substance abuse issues as well as serious co-existing medical or mental health conditions. Frequently, an intensive inpatient hospitalization will begin a period of substance abuse treatment if the patient has been admitted in a seriously deteriorated medical or psychiatric state, and close monitoring and/or medical intervention to return them to stable condition is in order.
The cost of these programs can vary widely based on a number of factors, including type, length, location, and level of luxury. In general, inpatient programs tend to be more expensive than outpatient programs. Inpatient treatment can cost anywhere between $200 to $900 per day, with lower cost per day for longer program duration. Outpatient, specifically intensive outpatient treatment, tends to cost anywhere between $100 and $500 per session, so the total price will vary by the length of the program and the frequency of sessions.
NIDA provides some great details about the types of programs available. It should be noted that these treatment categories aren’t absolute, and that there will be some overlap in the types of offerings available at individual treatment programs. Researching the types of treatment programs in your area (or remotely, if you wish to travel for treatment) will pay dividends in terms of closely matching a program to your needs.
What Determines the Appropriate Drug Abuse Treatment?
Some of the variables that will determine just what type of program is most appropriate include:
- Length of the drug or alcohol abuse problem.
- Type of substance used.
- Frequency/amount of use.
- Number of previous treatment attempts.
- The existence of multiple abused substances.
- Co-existing or dual diagnosis psychiatric conditions.
- Co-existing or dual diagnosis behavioral addictions.
- Co-existing medical conditions.
- The need for medically assisted detox and withdrawal.
- The need for pharmacotherapy during recovery.
- The need for employment, family or legal counseling and/or assistance.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has published an evidence-based guide (Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide) that provides more detail on these and other factors that can contribute, in part, to an effective and comprehensive drug treatment program.
What to Look for in a Drug Addiction Program
Locating a supportive program with services carefully matched to your needs will be a key step to embark upon recovery. While the decision of drug abuse treatment type is best left to an addiction treatment professional, there are a number of factors to be considered in ultimately selecting a drug abuse treatment program.
Some important questions to ask include the following:
- Are the majority of staff doctors, nurses and counselors credentialed in addiction treatment or addiction medicine?
- Are there treatment center or practitioner reviews available to the public?
- How close to home will treatment take place? Will travel or transportation be necessary?
- Can I continue to work or have access to email, phone and/or computers?
- Are there special programs available for different groups (e.g. teens, seniors, gender lines, LGBT, substance type, etc.)?
- Can I request a private room?
- Will my insurance cover payment for this rehab or program?
- How can I supplement payment if insurance only pays for part of my treatment?
- Can treatment accommodate dual diagnosis issues?
- Are there medically assisted detox services available?
- Are specialized treatment modalities available, such as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), or holistic treatment?
When it comes to finding an effective drug abuse treatment program it is important to find a facility that provides its patients with a full continuum of care.
For immediate drug abuse treatment fill out the "Get Help Today" or “Find Treatment” contact form or call our 24-hour toll-free helpline at
1-888-744-0069Who Answers?. A support specialist can assist in finding proven addiction treatment programs designed to help you take the steps to lasting recovery.
What's Really Important to Recovering Users?
When considering a treatment program, there are many factors to take into account, and it can be confusing to try and prioritize which factors matter the most. According to research collected by Recovery Brands in 2016, people leaving treatment report that they would primarily examine a program’s financial options when considering different options.
Ranked close behind financial policies were the program’s offerings as far as:
- Room options.
- Recreational activities.
Other factors they considered important were residential policies like:
- Internet and phone availability.