Treatment Choices

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You may find one or more of these options in your community through the Better Addiction Care information service. You can choose to enroll a loved one suffering from addiction into one or more of the following treatment choices. Each treatment option listed here is different, so be sure to think carefully about which one is best for the person involved.

Inpatient Rehabs

When people think of rehab centers, oftentimes, the first thing that comes to mind is an inpatient facility. Inpatient rehab requires the person struggling with addiction to check into an accredited center and stay there for the duration of the rehabilitation program.

Here are the characteristics that make inpatient rehabilitation services unique:

  • Their rehabilitation programs are designed to be intensive and usually last between 28 days and 6 months.
  • Those enrolled in inpatient rehab are usually suffering from a serious level of addiction.
  • The facility offers 24/7 medical and emotional support to patients who are checked in.
  • The inpatient rehab facility is a closed-off and structured environment, meant to guide the patient through their rehabilitation full-time.

Again, inpatient rehab is the best recourse for those whose addiction to drugs or alcohol is severe. A program in an inpatient facility is meant to achieve a high success rate of recovery with no outside distractions.

But those who are considering inpatient rehab for a loved one must note the duration of the stay and the costs of intensive medical care. This is typically the most expensive treatment option and the one that requires the most preparation. Before getting ready to check in, a patient must plan the following with their family:

  • A budget for inpatient treatment.
  • Living arrangements for partners, children, and other family members for the duration of the rehab program.
  • Arrangements with the patient’s workplace or school for leave of absence.
  • What to pack for inpatient rehab, based on items that are allowed or not allowed by the center.

Outpatient Rehabs

A viable alternative to inpatient rehab—especially if the person involved has a milder addiction—is outpatient rehab. As the term implies, outpatient rehab does not require a patient to check into a facility for a long time. The patient can still stay at home and follow a daily routine while they attend the outpatient rehab center’s part-time treatment program.

These are the things that distinguish outpatient treatment from inpatient rehab:

  • Their rehabilitation programs are less restrictive than in an inpatient facility and usually last between 3 months to 1 year. Patients are typically required to spend 10-12 hours a week on a program.
  • Those enrolled in outpatient rehab are usually dealing with a milder form of addiction.
  • The facility may also offer outpatient medical services, like detoxification.
  • The outpatient rehab facility allows the patient to stay at home and go to work and school throughout the duration of the treatment program.

Outpatient rehab arrangements are typically cheaper than inpatient rehab and allow daily routines that feel more normal and balanced. For those dealing with milder forms of addiction, and for those whom daily routines are essential to recovery, this is a good treatment option.

Enrollment into an outpatient rehab program still takes some preparation. Here are the things you should take note of for the person involved:

  • The cost of outpatient treatment.
  • Transport and other logistical arrangements for getting the patient from their home, school, or workplace to the center.
  • Arrangements in schedule so that there are no conflicts with the patient’s work, school, or other activities.
  • What to bring to the center every week when it’s time to attend the outpatient rehab program.

Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

Both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs may involve medically assisted detoxification, or the process of removing drugs or alcohol from one’s system. Detox is meant to safely and comfortably manage withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or drug addiction. As it is often dangerous to self-detox or quit “cold turkey,” the medical supervision from either an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility is crucial.

The experience of drug or alcohol detox varies for everyone. It can take between days, weeks, or months to properly manage withdrawal symptoms, depending on the following:

  • The type of substance that was abused
  • The amount of the substance typically taken by the user
  • The method of substance use (e.g. smoking, inhaling, swallowing, or injecting)
  • How long the person has suffered from substance use disorder
  • How severe the addiction is
  • Genetics and family history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Underlying medical conditions or mental health conditions

Thus, before detoxification, the patient will need to undergo a thorough assessment by a medical doctor. This will set the expectations for detox as well as guide the patients through the rest of their individual treatment processes.

Prescription Medications

Medical doctors who treat addiction may also prescribe certain medications for withdrawal and dependence. In cases of acute withdrawal, a patient may be more at risk of serious symptoms such as delirium tremens, changes in blood pressure, and seizures. The patient’s risk of getting into an accident, getting injured, or being in other situations of danger may also be significantly higher.

The following medications may be prescribed to someone with addiction in order to alleviate discomfort and prevent the aforementioned symptoms from getting worse:

  • Benzodiazepines, which are gradually tapered down as the patient reaches a stable state
  • Phenobarbitals, which are typically only administered in highly structured environments (i.e. inpatient medical detox) to prevent abuse and overdose
  • Anticonvulsants to prevent seizures
  • Beta blockers to manage the symptoms of autonomic arousal, such as increasingly high body temperatures
  • Antipsychotics to treat agitation, hallucinations, and delusion

In addition to these, doctors may also prescribe medicines such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram for relapse prevention. A patient must follow the prescribed doses over the recommended period in order to gradually recover from their addiction.

Treatment Therapies

Medication isn’t the only form of treatment that is recommended by rehab centers. Therapy is also essential in treating addiction because it brings to light the psychological and social factors involved in the addiction. Both individual and group therapies may help an individual do the following:

  • understand the causes of their addiction
  • manage their condition
  • confront other issues in their lives that may be related to the addiction
  • assume agency over their condition and prevent relapse
  • repair relationships that were damaged by alcohol or drug addiction

Many rehab programs advocate a combination of detox, medical care, and therapy for holistic recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Individual Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy sessions help best if the person struggling with drug or alcohol addiction also suffers from another mental health condition. Examples include depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety. With the help of a trained therapist, someone dealing with substance use disorder can build self-awareness and learn the healthiest coping skills for their condition.

Group Therapy Sessions

Rehab centers often uphold the value of group therapy in addiction treatment. Group therapy adds the elements of simultaneous support and challenge to those recovering from addiction. Patients can often draw inspiration from how their peers are dealing with the challenge. It is also during group therapy that patients often realize that they are not alone in their struggle to turn their lives around.

Support Groups

In the United States, 12-step self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have proven popular in advocating sobriety. In summary, a 12-step program involves the participant doing the following:

  • admitting their addiction problem
  • drawing strength from a higher power
  • making amends for mistakes with the help of an experienced member, called a “sponsor”
  • adjusting to a new code of behavior and advocating the same for others suffering from alcohol addiction or drug addiction

Along with inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers in your community, Better Addiction Care can help you find the nearest local chapter of AA or NA. A loved one may find the 12-step approach helpful in coming to terms with—and eventually overcoming—their addiction.

Sober Living Homes and Halfway Houses

Outside of rehabilitation centers, those dealing with substance use disorder can also find substance-free recovery environments in halfway houses and sober living homes.

Halfway houses are dorm-like government-funded facilities that offer medical, rehabilitative, and social support for those checked in. They usually partner with correctional facilities to provide ongoing care for the formerly incarcerated, and admission may be either voluntary or court-ordered. Those in halfway houses receive formal treatment services for their addiction and stay for a limited, often predetermined time.

On the other hand, sober living homes are privately funded facilities with more flexible residential arrangements. A resident of a sober living home can stay in the substance-free environment as long as they like, provided that they pay rent. Unlike halfway houses, sober living homes usually only require attendance to 12-step programs. Many of these, however, can link residents to facilities offering formal medical treatment for addiction.

Faith-Based Drug and Alcohol Rehab 

Some struggling with addiction can also look for faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatments within their church or other religious denomination. Some religious groups already have existing ministries to serve those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

To those for whom religion and spirituality are important, the faith-based approach can be extremely effective in addiction recovery. Faith-based drug and alcohol rehab can combine formal treatment with spiritual counseling and community building. This can endow a recovering patient with a renewed sense of purpose and goal to better themselves and others in their religious community.


In many cases, an intervention from loved ones is what kickstarts a person’s journey towards addiction recovery. They may not know the rationale behind the different treatment options, or how many are available to them, until someone intervenes. Intervention typically involves family and friends, and it may also include medical professionals, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, and even professionally trained interventionists.

The intervention proper can unfold in the following manner.

  • All involved in the intervention can make a plan for when and how to hold it. It is important not to do something that will make the person feel betrayed, backed into a corner, or forced against their will.
  • The intervention team must clearly state the problems caused by the addiction—such as relationship or financial troubles—and that these problems must be addressed.
  • The intervention team can present possible recovery options that are the best for the person’s situation.
  • The team can follow-up with the person about the best treatment options, and throughout treatment, help in preventing relapse.

Drug and alcohol addiction are complex problems, and no two people will have the same journey to healing and sobriety. Find in-depth information about the treatment options listed above at Better Addiction Care. We will help you find the best combination of solutions for your loved one’s full recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

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