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Treatment Programs For Addiction

Treatment Programs For Alcohol & Drug Addiction

Article Contents

Every year, millions of Americans experience addiction. Also called substance use disorder (SUD), this disease makes you feel unable to control your use of a drug, such as alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines. 

Like many other illnesses, addiction is treatable. However, it’s important to find a substance abuse treatment program that meets your or your loved one’s needs. 

Types Of Treatment Programs

When you contact an addiction treatment center, a behavioral health professional will help you choose a program based on factors such as:

  • your health history, including whether you have any co-occurring mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia
  • your withdrawal symptoms
  • your willingness to change unhealthy behaviors and recover from addiction 
  • the level of support you receive at home

Most treatment centers offer the following programs:

Medical Detoxification

If you’re addicted to a substance, you’re likely physically dependent on it. That means when you stop using it, you’ll experience uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the drug(s) you used, these symptoms may include:

  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • depression
  • trouble sleeping
  • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)
  • seizures
  • increased body temperature and/or blood pressure

To avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms, most people start their recovery journeys with medical detox. This program usually lasts between 3 and 7 days. 

During this time, a team of doctors will closely monitor your health as you stop using drugs. They may also prescribe medications to ease certain withdrawal symptoms.  

While medical detox helps treat withdrawal, it doesn’t treat other aspects of addiction, such as cravings. That’s why you should transition to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program after you complete detox. 

Learn more about Detox Programs

Inpatient Treatment

Also called residential treatment, inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of addiction care. It requires you to live at a treatment facility for about 30 to 90 days. 

The program offers 24/7 care and monitoring along with daily recovery services such as therapy, support groups, and wellness activities. It’s recommended for people with moderate-to-severe addictions or co-occurring mental health problems (also called dual diagnoses).

Learn more about Inpatient Rehab Programs

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

A partial hospitalization program (PHP), also known as day treatment, is the most intensive form of outpatient care. People who choose this option live at home while attending a treatment facility for up to six hours about five or six days a week.

The program provides many of the same recovery services as inpatient care, including therapy. However, since it doesn’t offer constant supervision, it’s recommended only for people with moderate-to-mild addictions and strong support systems at home. 

Learn more about Day Treatment Programs

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

In an intensive outpatient program (IOP), you’ll attend a treatment facility for at least nine hours a week. Although it’s less intensive than both inpatient treatment and PHP, it offers many of the same recovery services. It can work well for people with mild addictions. 

It’s also a good choice for people who have completed inpatient treatment or PHP but still need regular care to remain sober. 

Learn more about Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Outpatient Program (OP)

As the most flexible treatment option, an outpatient program lets you schedule treatment sessions around your other weekly duties, such as work or school. It usually offers fewer recovery services than other programs. 

It’s recommended only if you have a very mild addiction or have already completed more intensive programs. 

Learn more about Outpatient Programs

Recovery Services

Once you choose a treatment program, your doctors can help you design a personalized treatment plan. Most plans include the following recovery services: 

Therapy

Therapy sessions are an essential part of any recovery program. The most common types of therapy for addiction treatment include:

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where you can learn to identify triggers for drug use and develop healthy coping skills to prevent relapse
  • motivational interviewing (MI), where you can improve your motivation to maintain recovery
  • contingency management, where you can earn rewards, such as gift cards, for staying sober and making other positive life changes
  • group therapy, where you can learn important coping skills alongside other people recovering from substance abuse 
  • family counseling, where you and your family members can learn how to best support your recovery

Support Groups

People who struggle with addiction often feel judged and alone. In a support group, also called a self-help group, you can connect and share your experiences with other people recovering from the disease. 

Many support groups follow the 12-step recovery model. Examples include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and Marijuana Anonymous (MA). 

These groups encourage members to acknowledge the harm caused by their drug use, make amends with people harmed by their drug use, and ask a higher power (such as God, nature, or the universe) to help them change their lives for the better.

Some people don’t enjoy the spiritual aspect of 12-step programs. Luckily, a variety of non-spiritual support groups exist, including SMART Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

If you struggle with opioid, tobacco, or alcohol addiction, your treatment plan may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 

During MAT, your health care providers can make your recovery easier by prescribing medications such as:

  • methadone and buprenorphine, which can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to opioids
  • disulfiram, which can discourage alcohol abuse by causing unpleasant side effects, like nausea and headache, when you drink alcohol 
  • bupropion, which can reduce cravings for tobacco

Learn more about Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Wellness Activities

When you strengthen your overall health, you’re more likely to maintain recovery. That’s why most treatment programs offer wellness activities that can boost your sense of well-being and help you express yourself. These activities may include: 

Aftercare Planning

Before you leave your rehab program, your doctors can help you create an aftercare plan. This plan will include relapse prevention services such as:

  • ongoing therapy
  • ongoing support group meetings
  • employment assistance
  • legal assistance
  • psychiatric care to treat co-occurring mental health disorders
  • sober living homes, which is a type of transitional housing that can help you readjust to normal life in a structured, recovery-focused environment 

If you or someone you love struggles with drug or alcohol use, please contact a Recovering Champions specialist to learn about our drug addiction treatment programs.

Written by Recovering Champions Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Behavioral Therapies
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Abused Drugs And Withdrawal Symptoms
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts
National Library of Medicine - An holistic approach to substance abuse treatment

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