Guide to Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Program

Embarking on the journey to recovery is a significant and courageous step, but navigating the myriad of addiction treatment options available can be overwhelming. In our comprehensive guide to choosing the right addiction treatment program, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and understanding needed to make an informed decision. 

We’ll explore various types of treatment programs, including residential, outpatient, holistic, and alternative methods, providing you with an in-depth look at their unique benefits and challenges. With this information, you’ll be better equipped to select the program that best aligns with your individual needs, fostering a successful and lasting recovery.

As we delve into the world of addiction treatment options, it’s essential to consider the individual’s unique circumstances, preferences, and goals in recovery. In the following section, we’ll begin by examining the core differences between inpatient and outpatient programs, setting the foundation for a deeper exploration of specialized treatment approaches.

Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

There are all sorts of different types of treatment programs available for substance abuse. Most fall under one of two categories: inpatient or outpatient. Inpatient treatment is typically facilitated in a residential home and includes 24-hour supervision. 

Detox is an example of inpatient treatment. Outpatient typically entails clients living in a sober living environment and attending therapy daily. 

Attending group therapy at a facility 5 days per week, 3 hours per day, is an example of outpatient treatment. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities can offer various treatment programs, such as:

  • Faith based 
  • 12-step based / non-12-step based
  • Holistic 
  • Ketamine/ Ayahuasca/ Psilocybin assisted treatment
  • Treatment centered around a particular modality of therapy such as EMDR, CBT, REBT, Matrix Model, etc.
  • Evidence-based 
  • Animal assisted therapy 
  • Dual diagnosis 
  • Medication Assisted Treatment 
  • Age specific addiction treatment 
  • Gender specific addiction treatment 
  • Career or demographic specific treatment 

Faith-Based Treatment 

Faith-Based treatment prioritizes the spiritual element as a large focus of treatment. Spiritual advisors may facilitate counseling, guidance, individual therapy, group therapy, and overall guidance through treatment. Religious leaders help those in recovery find peace through their faith. 

Some denominations of religion do not believe in medication assisted treatment and may offer tools such as prayer for withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Scripture readings, discussions, prayer, and meditations are common practices in faith-based drug rehabs. In addition, faith-based treatment provides those who are battling addiction with a strong sober community of support. 

12-Step Based/ Non-12-Step Based

Some treatment programs center around the 12 step program entirely, and others reject the 12-step program and its teachings. Yet, one of the most successful aspects of addiction treatment is individuals coming together to support one another in their sobriety. 

The 12 step program provides immense sober support. According to a 2014 Membership Survey by AA 86% of members belong to a home group, members attend an average of 2.5 meetings per week, and 82% of members have a sponsor. Having a home group and attending meetings with those same individuals 2-3 times per week plus having a sponsor to turn to at any time means having a safe place full of sober support if triggers or craving compromise the long term sobriety of someone battling addiction. 

Based on the immense support that there is to be found in AA/NA meetings, one may be puzzled as to why a treatment center would specify that they are not 12-step based and stand against the program. 

Two major contributors to the rejection of the 12-step program are steps one and two. 

Step one is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.” Many treatment programs which reject the AA/NA method encourage clients to take control of their addiction, so admitting powerlessness is not aligned with that treatment concept. 

Step two is “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” For atheists who do not believe in a power greater than themselves, step two is problematic, and finding a facility that will not require a step like this can be a big relief. 

Evidence-Based Treatment and Treatment Specializing in a Specific Modality

Many treatment facilities center treatment around a specific therapy their experts identify as the best approach. The most common category of therapy treatment centers may focus on is Evidence-based therapy. This means that their program only offers therapies that have been proven to show results. 

Furthermore, some treatment facilities center treatment around specific evidence-based therapies such as CBTEMDRREBT, or others. 

Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatment is an approach that considers patients’ physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Mindfulness and meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and fitness are all examples of treatments one may encounter while attending a holistic treatment facility. 

Many holistic approaches to addiction treatment are not evidence-based. Holistic rehabilitation programs typically include traditional addiction treatment, such as one-on-one therapy and group therapy, but they also involve holistic approaches. 

The holistic category has many other sub-categories of treatment programs, such as wilderness programs, farming programs, and more. 

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapies have helped many individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. This alternative approach involves a more physical and less verbal activity that can promote a change in focus, promote the development of a positive identity, and empowers individuals to feel useful. Studies show that animal-assisted therapy reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Animal-assisted treatment breaks from the typical treatment methods. 

Ketamine/ Ayahuasca/ Psilocybin Assisted Treatment 

Another non-evidence based treatment approach, one that can be particularly appealing to addicts, is Ketamine/ Ayahuasca/ Psilocybin Assisted Treatment. In addition, many treatment centers around the world specialize with a specific mind altering hallucinogen to break individuals free from the grasp of addiction. 

Ketamine treatment centers typically boast benefits of their programs as aiding in abstinence from the substance of choice by blocking reward systems, they claim to reshape neural pathways, allowing effective talk therapy, and ketamine is also used to treat depressive symptoms. 

With Ayahuasca assisted treatment, a tea that has been consumed for centuries with a long track record of use and perceived benefits produces powerful hallucinations. There is some evidence that it can improve depression, anxiety, and addictions, but more information is still needed to know for sure. 

According to a 2015 study of Alcohol Use Disorder, Psilocybin Assisted Treatment has been found to increase abstinence among addicts significantly. However, while psychedelic assisted treatment for addiction may be beneficial in many ways, due to laws in America, treatment can be hard to find facilitated by licensed experts. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

One of the most effective forms of treatment is a treatment that addresses both addiction and underlying mental health conditions, or 

dual diagnosis treatment

Often in addiction treatment, only the addiction is treated, and like cutting a weed, the addiction will come back if the root is not addressed thoroughly. According to SAMHSA, over 9 million adults in the United States have a co-occurring disorder. When someone suffering from a co-occurring disorder only treats their addiction, typically, the other condition will cause them to relapse into their substance use. 

Age/Gender/Demographic Specific Treatment

Other treatment options include programs segregating clients by age, gender, or other demographic differences. The most common of these types of facilities is the gender specific locations. 

Less common options include places that cater to specific nationalities, such as Native American Cultural treatment centers. There are also treatment programs that cater to specific professions, such as first responders treatment programs and programs for professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapy. Drugs such as Methadone and Suboxone are commonly utilized in MAT. MAT requires close medical supervision at a certified drug rehab facility. 

Studies have shown that up to 90% of MAT patients maintain sobriety for at least 2 years. The disadvantage of utilizing MAT is that the body becomes dependent upon the substance being taken in lieu of the substance of choice, such as heroin. When using Suboxone, for example, to get off of heroin, in order to be entirely sober, the client would need to taper off of their Suboxone maintenance, as abruptly stopping can cause withdrawal symptoms. 

Home-based Treatment

Outside of inpatient and outpatient treatment, there is one other option for treatment, and that is home-based treatment. In a home-based treatment plan, rather than individuals attending therapy at a facility, the facilitators of such a program come to their homes for private care. 

Medical professionals can assemble an in-home detox regimen, with nursing staff providing 24-hour support. In addition, therapists, counselors, case managers, and behavioral health technicians can work together in the home of an individual battling addiction and provide their services with an entire focus on one individual. 

While there is nothing as comforting as the privacy of one’s own home, there are disadvantages to this form of treatment in that it lacks the presence of supportive peers who may assist with encouraging long-term sobriety. While there is a lack of support groups in a home-based treatment plan, that can easily be alleviated by attending 12-step meetings. 

The Best Type of Treatment Program 

In addiction treatment, the saying, “you can lead a horse to water but cannot force it to drink,” can oftentimes be reflected upon. This idea is relevant in treatment because regardless of what type of care is being provided if clients are not receptive to the tools they are being shown, they will not reap the benefits. While many therapies may not be evidence-based, if the addict is receptive and cooperative with this form of therapy, then it may be most beneficial to them. The best type of treatment program is a program that the individual in need believes in, cooperates in, and is comfortable with. 

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