Treatment for substance addiction comes in many forms, but it’s important that treatment address the whole person. Understanding the different types of substance abuse treatment programs can help you or a loved one take that important first step toward recovery.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Inpatient addiction treatment takes place in a residential setting. People stay at the facility for the duration of treatment, which allows them to focus on recovery.
Treatment services at an inpatient facility will depend on the level of care offered and a person’s needs, and may include:
- Medical supervision.
- Group therapy.
- Individual therapy.
- 12-step meetings.
- Health and wellness activities.
- Various amenities.
Helpline Information to speak to an admissions navigator who can help you determine which type of program is right for you.
Luxury residential treatment is a more lavish inpatient experience, complete with amenities such as a pool, spa, yoga classes, or acupuncture.
Executive inpatient programs are similar to luxury programs, with privacy and the option to continue working while at the facility.
Luxury and executive treatment programs will generally be more expensive than their more standard treatment counterparts.
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient treatment is a type of substance abuse program that allows an individual to continue living at home throughout addiction treatment. These programs require people to attend a certain amount of hours at the outpatient facility to receive treatment services. These services may include:
- Individual or group therapy.
- 12-step facilitation.
- Education sessions.
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is an option for individuals who opt for outpatient programs but benefit from a relatively structured program. These programs meet multiple times a week for therapy and counseling, with a focus on relapse prevention. Some programs will conduct regular drug testing to assess for continued sobriety and to encourage accountability.
In a partial hospitalization program (PHP), the recovering individual checks in weekly at a hospital for medical monitoring and treatment. Partial hospitalization is focused on ensuring stability for patients with medical needs that a regular outpatient program can’t treat.
Outpatient programs are well suited for individuals who want to continue working, going to school, or managing their homes while in recovery. For people who have long-standing struggles with addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, or other physical concerns, inpatient treatment may provide a more appropriate level of care. If you aren’t sure which type of substance abuse treatment program is right for you, talk with your healthcare provider about your needs.
Twelve-step programs are free recovery programs organized and by other people who have struggled with substance abuse. These programs focus on building a community of support through sharing and attending regular meetings. Many in 12-step recovery embrace spirituality while working through the 12 steps. Several programs are modeled on the 12-step philosophy, and they include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous is for those recovering from alcohol abuse and addiction.
- Narcotics Anonymous is for people recovering from drug abuse and addiction.
- Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are 12-step programs for people supporting loved ones who struggle with substance abuse.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
A dual diagnosis means that a person is struggling with both a substance use disorder and a mental illness, sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment can address both issues to help a person through recovery.
Detox centers help people during the detox stage of addiction treatment. Medical detox is the process of clearing the body of substances while under supervision to help manage withdrawal symptoms and acute intoxication.1
Detox often results in withdrawal symptoms in those who are addicted or have developed physiological dependence. Depending on the substance, withdrawal syndromes may range from minor discomfort to life-threatening complications, such as seizures. Medically assisted detox can ensure the safety of those beginning their recovery.
Therapy can be an invaluable resource during treatment for addiction. Therapy sessions can help people in recovery to recognize why they began abusing drugs or alcohol. It can provide them with the skills to identify, avoid, or react to high-risk relapse situations and allow them to practice coping mechanisms in the face of cravings.
- Individual therapy is when the therapist and the patient work together one-on-one. It offers the most personalized care and fosters a strong therapist-patient relationship.
- Group therapy involves working through therapy among a group of sober-minded peers who are experiencing a similar struggle. This kind of therapy can offer a support group where members understand each other’s challenges and can provide encouragement to one another.
- Family therapy is when the recovering user works through therapy with members of their family present. This kind of therapy help family members of substance abusers understand their loved one’s plight. Everyone learns how to support the individual’s abstinence without enabling future use.
Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral therapy with medication to address the whole person as they recover.2
The medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat certain substance use disorders are used when appropriate and to meet a person’s needs.2
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- SAMHSA. (2015). Tip 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
- SAMHSA. (2021). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).