What’s the Right Treatment Program For Substance Abuse?
The first step in substance abuse recovery is a decision to seek help. If you are an addict or an alcoholic, you may struggle to recover on your own. Addicts and alcoholics have three options when it comes to treatment. They can enter a residential treatment facility, attend an outpatient program, or join a 12 Step group like Alcoholics Anonymous. Choosing the right treatment program can give you a strong foundation upon which to build a lasting recovery.
Residential Treatment Programs
Studies have shown that substance abusers who complete a residential treatment program are more likely to remain clean and sober than those who do not. One of the biggest advantages of residential treatment is that it removes you from the environment in which you’ve practiced your addiction.
There are many different types of residential treatment programs. The length of treatment can be anywhere from 28 days to a few years. Generally speaking, the longer you have been a substance abuser and the heavier your use of substances, the longer you should be in treatment. Residential treatment may be the right treatment program for you if you can be away from home and your job for an extended period of time.
Most residential treatment programs begin with a medical detox. In a residential facility, you’ll be detoxed under medical supervision, and you may be treated with medications to ease the withdrawal process. Detox can last anywhere from three to seven days. Next, you will begin an intensive recovery program that usually includes the following components:
Group and individual therapy
Substance abuse education
Referrals to other services
Development of coping skills
Participation in peer support groups
Attendance at 12 Step meetings
Residential treatment programs can vary from luxury rehabs and Christian-based rehabs to programs just for men, women, teens, doctors, nurses or gays. Some residential treatment programs treat addictions to certain substances like opiates or crack cocaine. If you have a serious, long-term addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, a residential program would probably be the best treatment option for you.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Also known as day treatment and intensive outpatient treatment, these programs are as varied as residential programs. They can range from a few hours per week in an evening program to 40 hours per week in a day program. Outpatient care may be the right treatment program for you if you cannot take time off from work or family responsibilities to enter a residential program.
Outpatient treatment works best for those with shorter-term, daily-use addictions or for those who binge on drugs or alcohol, but are not daily users. Outpatient treatment can be preceded by a medical detox, and it’s most effective when combined with regular attendance at 12 Step meetings.
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous 12 Step Programs
Some substance abusers who join 12 Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are able to get clean and sober and stay that way for many years. Many of those who recover attend 12 Step meetings regularly, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
Twelve Step groups are a good treatment option for those without insurance coverage and who cannot afford to pay for residential or outpatient care. Alcoholics anonymous is also a good option for anyone who cannot be away from work and family.
Only you can decide on the right treatment program for you. Residential, outpatient, and 12 Step programs have helped many substance abusers to get clean and sober and stay that way. The most important factor in recovery is a willingness to follow the suggestions of those who have themselves been able to maintain and enjoy a clean and sober lifestyle.