No More Excuses: A Guide to the Many Different Types of Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

treatment centers

Did you know that substance abuse and illicit drug use cost the United States on average $740 billion each year? These costs result from:

  • Lost work productivity
  • Crime
  • Health care

What’s more, the total number of overdose deaths skyrocketed from 16,849 in 1999 to more than 70,237 in 2017. The sharpest increase in deaths occurred amongst fentanyl and other synthetic narcotics abusers.

Substance abuse is a disease. Relapse rates mirror those for health conditions such as hypertension, asthma, and diabetes. Fortunately, drug and alcohol addiction are treatable conditions.

But do you know your options when it comes to different types of treatment centers? Read on for a breakdown of what’s available so that you can get on the road to recovery.

Admitting There’s a Problem

When it comes to treating addiction, the initial step proves the hardest. Many addicts struggle with admitting they are no longer in control. They may deny they have a problem.

Owning up to the problem can prove particularly difficult for those suffering from alcohol abuse disorders.

Why? Because our society has embraced alcohol as an integral part of socialization. Alcohol is paired with holidays, sporting events, initiation into adulthood, and much more.

When everyone’s drinking around you, it can be difficult to admit that you have a problem.

Underlying psychological problems may also make individuals hesitant to ask for help. They may fear having to deal with pent up emotions. They may not know how to deal with the issues they’ve been using drugs to avoid.

Getting Assessed for Substance Abuse

Although addiction is a disease, a diagnosis doesn’t come through a simple blood test or x-ray. In fact, there is no surefire method for making a diagnosis.

Instead, you should seek out a comprehensive substance abuse assessment. Assessments can happen over the phone. They can even take place online.

Once the level of addiction is evaluated, a professional will recommend an appropriate course of action.

Most centers offer these evaluations in order to ensure you get the highest level of care. These care plans are customized and tailored to your specific needs.

Detoxification and Medically Managed Withdrawal at Treatment Centers

Detoxification or medically managed withdrawal from substances represents the first step in rehabilitation. During the detoxification process, your body must purge itself of drugs or alcohol.

The best place to do this is in an inpatient or outpatient center.

Detox can prove unpleasant. Why? Because of the nature of drug abuse and the effects of different substances on the body.

In some cases, it can even pose a dangerous medical situation.

Our society tends to admire individuals with the “willpower” to quit cold turkey. But the truth is detoxification involves acute and potentially deadly physiological effects.

During medically managed withdrawal, a physician may prescribe a variety of medicines to help the patient detox. These medications can help with addiction withdrawal from:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbituates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Nicotine
  • Opioids
  • Sedatives

But a word of caution. Detox alone is not enough to end substance addiction.

Why? Detox can’t address underlying behavioral problems. Detox can’t help patients overcome psychological and social issues associated with addiction either.

Yes, detox represents the beginning of recovery. But it remains just one step in a lifelong process.

An Introduction to Residential Treatment Centers

For those with the most severe drug and alcohol problems, residential care represents your best answer. Here, you’ll receive the highest level of rehab service available to patients.

Treatment at a residential center begins with a thorough evaluation of your mental health. Treatment staff will also examine your medical health and ask for your chemical use history. Based on this information, a detox plan gets formulated.

Your treatment team may wish to speak with other professionals or your family members, too. But they may only do this with your permission.

This approach lets treatment center workers better address your unique needs. It also helps them to understand the individual challenges that you face.

Your Rehab Team

Addiction is a complex, though treatable, disease. So, you’ll need to work with a highly specialized team of medical staff.

Depending on your circumstances, team members may include:

  • Clinical case managers
  • Continuing care coordinators
  • Financial advocates
  • Licensed addiction counselors
  • Licensed marriage and family therapists
  • Nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Wellness and fitness specialists

The wrap-around care provided by these specialists will ease you into sobriety. The team will also help you establish a new life oriented around healthy goals.

Many rehab centers provide gender-specific care. Why? Because of the nature of the treatment.

After all, many sensitive issues may be discussed. Gender-segregated therapy is proven to help patients stay focused.

This approach also helps residents bond with one another without having to worry about romantic attachments and complications.

Short-Term Residential Treatment Centers

Short-term residential treatment centers were established to help alcoholics. Today, these centers have expanded to treat many different types of addiction.

They offer an intensive, though brief, therapeutic experience. Many are based on the traditional 12-step approach in one form or another.

In the mid-1980s, these centers were among the first to take in cocaine addicts. They developed new recovery protocols. They also broadened the scope of their treatments to help people facing a variety of addictions.

As the name suggests, short-term residential treatment programs prove temporary. They often only last between three and six weeks. They also often occur in hospital settings with a focus on continued outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment helps reduce the incidence of relapse. But individuals who graduate from a short-term residential treatment center need to remain active.

They must stay engaged in the process in order to guarantee post-treatment success.

Long-Term Residential Treatment Centers

Long-term residential treatment centers provide patients with care 24 hours a day. Most treatment centers take pains to structure their sites around non-hospital settings. Yet, they still boast a high level of care.

Some patients stay in these facilities for six to twelve months. During this time, they go through medically managed withdrawal. After this detox period has ended, they may also take part in a variety of other comprehensive services.

Research shows that their approach can be modified to aide a wide variety of individuals including:

  • Adolescents
  • Homeless individuals
  • Individuals in the criminal justice system
  • Individuals with severe mental disorders
  • Individuals with special needs

Long-term residential treatment centers meet a variety of needs.

Taking Back Your Life

Programs may include “resocialization” through exposure to the treatment center’s entire community. This includes interacting with other residents, staff, and skilled medical personnel.

In these settings, treatment proves highly structured. It’s also based around the goal of helping residents identify and overcome negative thoughts and behaviors.

Residents who progress through this therapy may also receive other support services. These often include employment training.

Treatment Centers with a Holistic Approach

The best way to combat a drug or alcohol addiction is through a holistic approach. It should take into account a patient’s physiology as well as their mental outlook, spiritual state, and even career choices.

These issues must be identified and explored before they can be overcome. A drug or alcohol treatment center will develop a detailed plan outlining clinical care recommendations based on what’s needed.

This plan is designed to help you return to a healthy, high-functioning way of life. Summaries of your treatment plan can even be provided to your professional contacts, employer, or licensing board as needed.

Some treatment centers even provide specialized care for people in at-risk occupations.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient programs vary widely in terms of the services offered. They also differ in overall intensity and their approach. These programs attract patients because of their affordability and convenience.

They prove suitable for people who already have an extensive social network and lots of support. They also work well for individuals with jobs.

That said, not all outpatient treatment programs are created equal. In fact, the lowest intensity programs may offer little more than drug and alcohol education.

But intensive day treatment programs can approximate the impacts of residential therapy in terms of effectiveness and services. And they don’t require patients to stay overnight.

One of the most powerful tools offered in outpatient treatment is group counseling. This allows the participants in the program to develop a network of individuals who have gone through similar situations and are working to achieve similar goals.

Besides addressing substance abuse problems, the best outpatient treatment programs will also dive into assessing mental health problems, medical issues, and other conditions that may be driving the addiction.

Drug Counseling

Although individualized and group drug counseling sessions often fall within the purview of the programs mentioned above, they may also be pursued independently.

Individualized drug counseling allows patients to examine a variety of issues that may be feeding into their addiction.

These issues might include:

  • Family relations
  • Social relations
  • Employment status
  • Illegal activity

Patients work one-on-one with a therapist receiving highly specialized attention and treatment options. Individualized counseling focuses on short-term behavioral goals and provides patients with a skillset for success.

Developing Tools for a Drug-Free Life

This usually includes an emphasis on participation in the 12-step program (once or twice a week). Counselors also help patients develop stress management and coping strategies.

In conjunction with these tools, the counselor works with the patient to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol. They may also prescribe medications as needed as well as help patients secure other services including employment training.

An often overlooked but highly powerful component of addiction remains the social aspect. Group therapy sessions allow participants to capitalize on each other’s successes while reinforcing their own lifestyle choices through peer discussion.

When offered along with individualized drug therapy, group therapy proves quite effective. It also works well with contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Addiction Rehab for Older Adults

2.5 million older Americans struggle with substance abuse and alcohol addiction. For a variety of reasons, substance abuse can prove especially damaging among elderly populations. Some reasons are related to the natural aging process itself.

For example, metabolic changes associated with aging can lead to more intense effects when older people consume substances.

As a result, even moderate alcohol consumption can lead to dangerous falls. What’s more, many symptoms associated with addiction get masked by the natural aging process.

These include issues such as:

  • Dementia-like symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss

Older individuals may also prove more hesitant to seek help. But this doesn’t change the fact that widowers aged 75 and older have the highest incidence of alcoholism in the US.

Fortunately, there are treatment centers specifically for older Americans. There, they can seek support from like-minded peers. They can overcome their substance abuse problem while maintaining their dignity.

What’s more, in some cases, treating an alcohol or drug problem can help patients regain some of their memory. Sobriety can even reverse the impacts of dementia-like symptoms for some patients.

Addiction Treatment for Those Involved with the Criminal Justice System

Addiction and substance abuse go hand-in-hand with criminal activity. But a criminal past or current incarceration doesn’t have to keep you from getting the help that you need and deserve.

Research shows a strong relationship between drug treatment and decreased criminal activity. What’s more, individuals who stay in treatment longer tend to do better.

And legal coercion often proves a means of getting addicts to stay in a program. At least, in the beginning.

When those convicted of criminal activity receive drug treatment behind bars and follow-up care after their release, they see better outcomes. This points to the importance of a seamless continuum before and after incarceration.

Don’t Put Off Treatment for Addictions

When it comes to treatment centers that can help you with your substance abuse problems, options abound.

These options include medically managed detox to eliminate the pain and discomfort of withdrawal. They also include holistic rehabilitation that treats the “whole” person. You owe it to yourself to find the right rehabilitation center.

And you don’t have to go it alone. We can help. Contact us today to learn more about the services that we offer and how we can help you rebuild your life.

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Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.