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How Do I Pick the Right Treatment for Me?
The first phase of inpatient rehab often incorporates a period of detoxification (detox). Having developed some magnitude of physical dependence to the previously used substance(s), many people will experience some withdrawal symptoms during this phase.1 Detox is meant to manage the often-unpleasant and potentially dangerous effects of suddenly quitting alcohol and certain types of drugs.1 For these substances, the acute withdrawal syndrome can be very severe or even life-threatening.2 For people in these situations, detox under medical supervision in a professional facility provides the safest and most comfortable setting in which to begin recovery.2,3
After withdrawal is successfully managed during detox, therapeutic efforts to address the deeper causes and maladaptive behaviors that underlie the compulsive misuse of drugs and alcohol comprises the bulk of inpatient or residential rehab. In many cases, this phase of recovery involves a combination of numerous counseling sessions, peer support and, when needed, medical care.1 Most inpatient treatment programs tailor treatment to the needs of individual patients, adjusting treatment according to what will help the patient most at any given point of their recovery.
Treating the psychological addiction to drugs and alcohol is traditionally the second step of the inpatient rehab process.
Holistic programs approach treatment from a whole-body perspective, often incorporating various natural therapies to promote sobriety, contentment, and overall health. Gender-specific rehab programs offer care for women or men only. Adolescent rehab programs address the unique challenges teens face in recovery, and religious or faith-based rehab programs incorporate various religious philosophies into their treatment models.
Outpatient Rehab Options
Just like inpatient rehab, there are a number of different types of outpatient addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment can vary depending on the types and intensity of services available.1 Outpatient programs vary in length, depending on the specific needs of the patient. The type and severity of addiction, its duration, and the individual’s health and life commitments should all factor into placing the patient in the best program possible.4 For example, some intensive outpatient programs might require 9-20 hours of treatment participation per week and can last from 2 months to 1 year.4
Outpatient programs vary in length, depending on the specific needs of the patient.
Outpatient rehabilitation employs some of the same treatment practices as inpatient care, such as individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and life skills workshops.
Extended Care and Long-Term Rehab
Extended care is ongoing treatment that continues after a patient has completed an initial course of rehabilitation. These long-term recovery efforts are made in a number of settings, from extended-care treatment facilities where patients live to ongoing outpatient programming. Many patients choose some form of extended care in order to support their lifelong sobriety.
Sober-living homes provide relatively unrestricted living arrangements to augment someone’s extended-care. Sober-living residences offer a transitional environment of support before a person returns home, allowing them to reintegrate into society without the use of substances.
Long-term rehab is traditional inpatient rehab that involves a significantly longer stay, generally ranging from 6 to 12 months.1 Extended care in the form of long-term rehabilitation may be most helpful for those suffering from severe addictions and can be especially effective for those who are having trouble with chronic relapse.
Through the use of a formal treatment program, patients in recovery can learn new ways of thinking and acting. These changes will make patients aware of past behavior and help them create plans to avoid slipping back into the destructive habits and dependencies that brought them into treatment in the first place. It is imperative that addiction treatment be flexible enough to accommodate certain individual needs, but structured and supportive as patients progress through their recovery and relapse prevention work.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): Types of Treatment Programs.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: What Science Says: 8: Medical detoxification.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): Principles of Effective Treatment.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families.