Rehab & Treatment
Substance addiction is a chronic condition characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use regardless of negative consequences. It can be difficult to quit using substances on your own, but fortunately, you don’t have to. Many different types of drug rehabs and alcohol treatment programs are available, including inpatient, outpatient, holistic, luxury, executive, and demographic-specific, such as LGBTQ+ rehab. No matter your situation, addiction, or needs, there is a rehab that’s right for you.
In this article:
- Signs You May Need Addiction Treatment
- Types of Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
- Therapies for Addiction
- Specialized Rehabs
- Recovery Support After Drug Rehab
Signs You May Need Addiction Treatment
The most reliable way to determine if you need drug rehab is to receive a professional assessment from your treatment provider. However, if you are worried about your substance misuse, here are some signs that you could benefit from drug rehab:1
- Using substances in larger amounts or over longer periods than intended
- Using substances despite knowing that psychological or physical issues are caused or worsened by use
- Using substances in dangerous situations, such as while driving
- Giving up hobbies or important activities due to substance use
- Continuing using drugs or alcohol despite interpersonal issues caused or worsened by substances
- Experiencing strong cravings for drugs or alcohol
- Failing to fulfill responsibilities at home, school, or work due to substance use
- Spending a lot of time obtaining or using substances, as well as recovering from the effects of use
- Failing to cut down or control substance use despite a desire to do so
- Needing higher amounts of alcohol or drugs to feel intoxicated (tolerance)
- Experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you abruptly reduce or stop use (dependence)
Types of Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
There are many types of treatment for addiction, with the main settings including inpatient and outpatient care. No matter the rehab you choose, some qualities of effective treatment include:2
- Treatment is individualized and tailored to meet every patient’s needs
- Treatment addresses the whole person, not just their substance use
- Treatment is an appropriate duration, preferably at least three months
- Treatment includes a combination of therapies
- Treatment includes addiction medication, when applicable
- Treatment plan is assessed on an ongoing basis and modified as necessary
- Treatment fully addresses co-occurring disorders
- Treatment programs test for infectious diseases and offer risk-reduction counseling
Detox, which is the process if clearing the body of drugs and alcohol, includes a set of interventions aimed at achieving a medically-stable and substance-free state. These interventions may include:
- Withdrawal medications
- Detox counseling
- Supportive care, such as IV fluids
- Symptomatic medications, such as anti-nausea medications
- Case management
Detox is the first step on the continuum of addiction care—but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t constitute formal addiction treatment since it doesn’t address the underlying factors that motivate substance use.
There are several settings for detox, including:
- Inpatient medical detox, involving 24-hour medical oversight, supervision, and monitoring in a hospital setting or free-standing detox clinic
- Residential social detox, which involves living at a non-medical residential facility and receiving support from peers but no medical oversight
- Partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient detox, involving attending several hours of detox treatment per day, including medical care, and returning home during non-treatment hours
- Standard outpatient detox, involving a couple of hours of care per week, with oversight from a doctor or nurse
Inpatient rehab involves living at the treatment facility for the duration of the treatment program. Treatment length can vary greatly depending on a patient’s needs. However, longer treatment stays, such as 90-day programs, are associated with better treatment outcomes.2
One of the major benefits of inpatient drug rehab is that it provides patients with an opportunity to separate themselves from their everyday environment, which is full of triggers, stressors, and distractions. This grants them the time and space to focus solely on their recovery. There are several types of inpatient rehab programs, such as holistic, which may include alternative services like yoga and mindfulness, and luxury, which offers upscale features and amenities in a resort-like setting.
Anyone with an addiction may benefit from inpatient rehab; however there are some people who inpatient care may prove especially helpful for, such as those who:
- Have a severe alcohol or drug addiction
- Have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Have a comorbid medical condition
- Have a polysubstance addiction
- Have previously dropped out of outpatient rehab
- Don’t have a strong support system at home and in the community
Outpatient rehab is a flexible addiction treatment option in which you live at home while attending therapy and counseling during the day. Outpatient programs tend to be more affordable than inpatient rehab since you aren’t paying room and board.
There are various levels of intensiveness for outpatient, including:
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): The most intensive option, you receive several hours of care per day, for five to seven days per week.
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs): A step down from PHP, you attend therapy for a few hours per day, for three to five days each week.
- Standard outpatient: The least intensive outpatient option, you attend therapy for a few hours per week.
Outpatient rehab may be a solid option for those who:
- Have a mild addiction
- Have a strong sober support system
- Have a strong internal motivation to quit
Therapies for Addiction
Every rehab may utilize a different treatment approach, but generally, most treatment programs use evidence-based therapies and practices to help patients obtain and maintain sobriety. These addiction therapies may include:3
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Examines the connection between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and teaches you to use coping skills as well as avoid triggering situations
- Contingency Management: Rewards patients for abstinent behaviors, such as substance-free urine tests, with vouchers
- Community Reinforcement Approach: Combines familial, recreational, vocational, and social reinforcers, as well as tangible rewards, to encourage a substance-free life.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy: Resolves a patient’s ambivalence about entering treatment and helps improve motivation.
- The Matrix Model: Engages people recovering from stimulant addiction in treatment and helping them achieve long-term sobriety, in which the therapist functions as a coach and a teacher and utilizes family education, early recovery skills groups, 12-step programs, social support, and more
- Group counseling: Teaches patients sober social skills and drug refusal skills, as well as gives them a safe space to process emotions and challenges
- 12-Step Facilitation Therapy: Engages patients in attending 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- Family Behavior Therapy: Addresses not only substance use and mental health symptoms but also conduct disorders, unemployment, family conflict, and child mistreatment
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Uses mindfulness, reduces self-harm behaviors, teaches emotional regulation skills, and improves relationships
In addition to addiction therapies, some rehabs may utilize holistic interventions to heal the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. These holistic interventions are typically alternative and complementary treatment modalities, such as:
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Massage therapy
- Tai chi
- Creative arts therapy
- Equine therapy
- Biofeedback and neurofeedback
- Nutritional therapy
These holistic therapies are never used on their own—rather, they are intended to complement traditional treatment modalities, like CBT.
There are many drug rehab options out there that specialize in providing care to specific demographics. Some common specialized rehabs include:
- LGBTQ+ rehab: Provides a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to recover from addiction as well as process stressors and triggers like discrimination, homophobia and transphobia, and social exclusion
- Teen rehab: Provides specialized care to teens and adolescents, addressing their unique challenges, such as academic performance, peer pressure, drug experimentation, and more
- Veteran rehab: Provides trauma-informed care to veterans, who may be struggling with co-occurring PTSD from combat or sexual assault, and addresses unique challenges like re-integrating into the community
- Men-only and women-only rehab: Provides individuals with treatment in an understanding and safe environment that addresses gendered differences related to substance use and mental health, such as stigma, intimate partner violence, and more
- Luxury rehab: Provides patients with upscale amenities in a beautiful, resort-like setting
- Executive rehab: Combines luxury features and setting with offerings for the working professional, such as high-speed internet
If you think you’d benefit from specialized addiction rehab, it’s important to seek out one of these programs. Give us a call at 800-743-5860 (Who Answers?) for help finding the right program for you.
Recovery Support After Drug Rehab
Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Once you complete drug rehab, it’s important that you continue to receive ongoing support in the form of aftercare. As you near the end of your program, your treatment team will collaborate on creating a plan with you. Aftercare plans may include:
- Sober living homes
- 12-step programs like AA
- Non-12-step programs like SMART Recovery
- Outpatient treatment (step-down care
- Individual therapy or group counseling
Your aftercare plan, much like your treatment plan, isn’t static—it is ongoing and evolving. You may find that some aftercare options work better than others. It doesn’t matter which ones you choose; what matters is that you continue receiving support to help build upon the foundation you established in rehab.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders(5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Effective Treatment.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Behavioral Therapies.