When you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction, you likely have a lot of questions.
What’s the best program for me? How much of my stay will insurance cover? Should I travel for rehab or stay close to home?
Before you can answer these questions, you have to first determine what level of care is needed.
In this article, we’ll review five potential routes for addiction treatment. These include:
- Individual therapy
- Outpatient services
- Intensive outpatient (IOP) services
- In-patient/residential services
- Medically managed intensive in-patient services
1. Individual Therapy
One of the first steps is assessing the risk-level of the person struggling with the addiction. Are they talking about hurting themselves? Is there a danger of them overdosing? Or possibly running away and getting into some dangerous situations? In these cases, you’ll immediately want to look at more intensive treatment options.
However, say a person isn’t in immediate danger. Maybe their addictive behavior is just starting to develop into a more dangerous routine. Or, maybe you’ve discussed their addiction, and they’re not ready or willing to go to more intensive options yet.
In either case, a good first step is therapy. A therapist can help someone begin to address the things they’ve kept internally buried for years and years. They can help the person start to make realizations about their belief system, and start to understand why they act and think the way they do.
For someone who has experienced trauma, a therapist can help them begin to come to terms with the incident, as well as learn how to move on and heal.
There are different specialities that therapists can be trained in. When choosing a therapist, do a little research into the various modalities offered.
Maybe you want one who specializes in EMDR, a technique that is especially helpful for people with PTSD.
Perhaps you want a marriage and family therapist, who can also give insight on your relationships with your partner, kids, and other loved ones.
Humanistic therapists help their clients realize their own self-worth and give them the tools to grow.
Mindfulness-Based therapy uses mindful techniques to help people heal any emotional pain they’re dealing with, as well as confronting any physical pain they may be experiencing from their pent up emotions.
No matter what specialist you consult, know that seeing a therapist weekly or even twice a week is a powerful introduction to healing oneself.
2. Outpatient Services
Outpatient programs are slightly more involved than seeing an individual therapist. While you’re still able to maintain your work life and live at home, you’ll be going to an outpatient clinic multiple times a week.
Rather than only seeing the same therapist by yourself, an outpatient clinic is typically made up of several therapists from different backgrounds. By going multiple times a week, you’re able to be introduced to more than one modality.
Additionally, you’re also likely taking part in group therapy sessions, rather than only individual sessions. In these group therapy sessions, you’re offered a different dynamic and the chance to see that you’re not alone in your struggles. You can also learn ways to overcome your addiction by listening to your fellow group members.
3. Intensive Outpatient Services
If someone needs more help than an outpatient is able to provide, they may go to an intensive outpatient program. If someone is attending an intensive outpatient program, they’re likely going to the outpatient clinic multiple times a week for several hours at a time.
For some people, this could include going to the clinic for four hours at a time, three days a week. For others, a schedule could be going to the program for two hours at a time, six days a week. Typically, the amount of time in therapeutic sessions is nine to 20 hours a week
Much like the outpatient clinic, people going to intensive outpatient programs are likely working with multiple therapists and different groups of fellow attendees.
For intensive outpatient programs, the center may provide the option to reside in some of their accommodations, depending how often you’re going to therapy sessions. Other clinics work with you to be able to continue living at home and going to work.
4. Residential/In-Patient Services
Residential programs are designed for people at a variety of stages with addiction:
- People who have a serious addiction problem that is affecting their health, relationships, and work
- Someone who is very motivated to end their addictive behavior and wants to do so rather quickly (in 30 days) rather than in years of therapy
- Someone who has been ordered by a court of law to get in-patient help with their addiction (for example, after multiple DUIs or a drug charge)
Residential treatment centers typically have programs between 30 and 90 days, where the client lives at the program. If the client goes off-property, they are typically accompanied by a staff member.
The goal of a residential program is to remove a person from their regular environment and offer them support 24/7. Residential programs typically have some medical professionals on staff that are able to provide medical support when the person needs it.
The majority of the client’s day is spent in therapeutic sessions. These can include individual or group sessions.
Not all residential rehabs are the same. Some may specialize in offering holistic services to treat your addiction, like The Exclusive Hawaii. These services can include acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutritional therapy.
Others may offer a 12 Step approach, where AA or NA meetings are incorporated into your treatment plan.
5. Medically Managed Intensive In-patient Services
This option isn’t necessary for most people, so it’s not widely known. This highest level of care is similar to a psychiatric hospital, in that they provide high-level medical support as well access to hospital-level medical equipment.
Medically managed intensive in-patient services may be for someone who is needing a medical detox, is in very poor physical health, or is a threat to themselves or others.
Having knowledge of the different kinds of addiction treatment levels helps you make the most informed decision when it comes to your health.