There are many options out there for treating an alcohol or drug addiction. As research on addiction and recovery improves, approaches to treatment continue to evolve. Today there are many treatment options out there that don't fit into any of the traditional categories.
Nevertheless, recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction still involves a few basic steps. These include detoxing under medical guidance, beginning treatment, and maintaining treatment for long term sobriety. After detoxing, a patient will then determine what course of treatment would work best for them. Factors that influence their choice may include the severity of their addiction, lifestyle, and cost.
Here is a rundown of the basic types of treatment programs available. A person can choose one type or a combination of two or more.
Long term residential treatment.
This type of treatment involves 24 hour care in a residential setting. Stays in residential treatment can last anywhere from 6 months to 12 months. There is an emphasis on socializing, with all the people in the treatment facility involved in the process. There is a psychological focus in this type of treatment.
A patient will develop a greater sense of responsibility by facing their destructive behaviors, beliefs, and concepts of self. There is also training available for life beyond the treatment center, like employment training and skill building.
Short term residential treatment.
This is a shorter, more intense form of treatment that is also set in a residential environment. This type of treatment started out as a 3 to 6 week long hospital based stay intended to treat alcohol. Short term treatment was then extended to treating drug addiction as well.
Patients who complete this treatment are encouraged to continue to stay focused by attending outpatient treatment and participating in a 12 step program. Continuing treatment outside the treatment center is meant to lower the risk of a relapse later on.
Outpatient treatment is a much more flexible and affordable option than the others. It involves regular visits to a facility while a patient continues to spend time with their regular life obligations, like career, family, or education.
A patient can choose the frequency and length of their visits to outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment usually has a big focus on group counseling, and will address other issues besides drug or alcohol addiction.
Individual drug counseling is a useful tool for addressing issues that coexist with an addiction. Many former addicts also have issues with depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, problems with securing employment, or legal problems. Individual counseling will take all issues into consideration, so that a treatment approach is more comprehensive.
This type of counseling will often focus on short term goals and helps a patient develop tools to keep them on the path of recovery. Medication may also be prescribed as part of treatment, as well as encouragement to join a 12 step program.
Group counseling sessions may be used on their own to encourage a greater sense of social responsibility as well as connecting with others. This is also a great way for someone in recovery to find the social support they need.
Group therapy is often used in conjunction with individual counseling to produce strong results. A therapy group will often focus on one topic or issue in order to delve deeper into underlying issues and find healthy ways to deal with them.