Types of Addiction Treatment Programs

30 Apr Types of Addiction Treatment Programs

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In 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that approximately 20.7 million people in the U.S. suffered from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Of these people, roughly 4 million, or 19%, of them sought treatment for their substance abuse. That frightening statistic reveals that millions of Americans are handling their addiction entirely on their own. And, as countless studies indicate, those who do not seek outside help have a very small chance of finding freedom.

Few people can turn to a life of sobriety through sheer willpower alone; most substance abusers need someone to take their hand and help them when the going gets tough. So, if you are at a crossroads in your life and want to get clean, rehab is the first step. Below, we will discuss the various types of addiction treatment and aftercare programs available to you. In all likelihood, you will need to utilize a combination of therapies in order to maintain sobriety, so it is best if you utilize everything at your disposal.

The Different Types of Rehab Programs

The primary goal of rehab is to help a substance user curb their addiction. If you suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol, you have no doubt experienced the unpleasant effects that come from abstaining—commonly known as substance abuse withdrawal. You experience a host of uncomfortable that affect the:

  • Chest – Chest tightness, difficulty breathing
  • GI – Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches
  • Head – Headaches, dizziness
  • Heart – Racing heart, skipped beats, palpitations
  • Muscles – Muscle tension, twitches, tremors, shakes, muscle aches
  • Psyche – Anxiety, anger, irritability, discomfort, depression, cravings
  • Skin – Sweating, tingling

Depending on the substance, withdrawals can be deadly. Especially during opiate or alcohol withdrawal. Regardless, the intense cravings, discomfort, and mental anguish tends to erode at a person’s mental fortitude. People who attempt to undergo a self-imposed sobriety will typically slip at this point and use again in order to make the awful feelings go away. Because of this, medical professionals strongly suggest that a person detox at a medical facility where they will receive:

  • Medical supervision
  • Monitoring and maintenance of their hydration
  • Emotional support
  • Pharmacological assistance  
  • No option to turn back or stop, the only avenue is moving forward

You have two main alcohol or drug detox treatment programs: inpatient and outpatient programs.

Inpatient Rehab

An inpatient treatment plan is more commonly referred to as residential treatment and is likely what most people think of when they hear the word rehab. The distinguishing feature of any inpatient facility is that you are sequestered away in this drug-free place, staying there for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. The length of your stay depends on your particular substance abuse issues as well as your finances.

To start treatment, the patient will undergo a medically supervised drug or alcohol detox at an onsite detox center. During this time, medical staff will help guide them through the arduous couple of days, ensuring that they are as safe and comfortable as possible. Depending on the individual, medication may be given to help alleviate the short and long-term effects of withdrawal. Once the patient is no longer physically dependent, the focus of inpatient rehab shifts to:

  • Education
  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Skill development
  • Self-care

If you have the finances, there are a variety of luxury treatment centers situated in beautiful locations that offer a host of world-class amenities in addition to a top-notch staff and state-of-the-art addiction treatment.

Benefits of Residential Treatment Programs

  • Stable drug-free environment that acts as a safe harbor from the temptations, stressors, and triggers of the outside world.
  • The ability to spend time with and learn from others who have a deep understanding and empathy for what you are going through.
  • Daily one-on-one and group therapy sessions.
  • Ideal for patients who suffer from co-morbidity, i.e., need assistance with both addiction and an underlying mental health issue.
  • Higher likelihood of success in recovery in comparison to outpatient rehab.
  • Support from staff, many of whom have either undergone their own fight with addiction or have family members or friends who have been in your shoes.
  • Amenities, exercise classes, educational groups, hobby classes, therapy, healthy food, and other activities, services, and comforts intended to make it a pleasant experience.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment programs are shorter in comparison to residential services. That said, the first week is usually synonymous. This is because the focus is on helping wean you off the physical reliance to drugs or alcohol. Detox may occur at an inpatient facility or a specialized detox clinic. There, a patient receives the same professional care and monitoring to ensure a safe and successful detox.

Outpatient treatment diverges from residential programs after this initial period. Once a person has stabilized, they are released from the clinic and allowed to return to their home, school, or work responsibilities when they are not receiving therapeutic treatments. Outpatients will attend weekly therapy, including both group and one-on-one treatment. They will have regular psychiatric consultations, reviews, and may even receive regulated pharmacological assistance.  

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment Programs

  • Lowered cost of care, ideal for people with limited budgets.
  • Greater access to your support system, which can be helpful if you have a robust social safety net.
  • Ability to continue working, schooling, parenting or other duties in addition to receiving treatment; some people simply can’t take off 30 to 90 days.
  • A chance to test the therapies, strategies, and techniques in the real world and adjust accordingly with your therapist or counselor.

Aftercare Addiction Treatment Programs

Unfortunately, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), anywhere from 40% to 60% of people who attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment program will relapse within the first year. While rehab can be a life-changing event, it is only the first challenge of many if you wish to maintain your sobriety for the duration of your life.

Therefore, once you are released back into society where you will face many of the impediments that may have caused you to turn to substances in the first place, you will need to be even more diligent in your long-term recovery. The most powerful tool for maintaining sobriety is aftercare.  

During your stay at rehab, you and your counselor will come up with an aftercare plan that is meant to guide you in the fight ahead. This strategy will be based on a handful of elements such as:

  • Your flaws
  • Your specific triggers
  • Your stressors
  • Whether or not there are underlying mental health issues
  • What your family life is like
  • Your specific substance of choice and the severity of your addiction  

The main components of an aftercare treatment regimen will include:

  • Therapy
  • Halfway homes
  • Groups


There are a variety of therapies and some may be better suited to you than others. It may require trial and error to see what works for you, or you may need several of these therapies in order to bolster your recovery efforts. Specific treatment therapies include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Almost every addict will undergo CBT in one form or another, seeing as it is the most popular evidence-based treatment model used for substance abuse. Its goal is to help those in long-term recovery find links between their thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to be more mindful of how they impact their decision of whether or not to use drugs or alcohol. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a self-help tool that teaches addicts how to spot, evade, and/or handle triggers.
  • Multidimensional family therapy – Family life can be a massive factor that influences whether or not a person uses. Often, a person’s negative home life can cause increased stress or hurt that pushes them towards substance abuse, especially for teenagers. Family therapy is meant to help families verbalize issues at home, increase understanding, and improve communication. A supportive, loving family can make a massive impact on a young person’s recovery.
  • Contingency management – A treatment program meant to employ Pavlovian models wherein healthy behavior and decision making is encouraged and rewarded. Incentives, even small ones, can be motivators that subconsciously change conduct over-time.
  • Faith-Based Therapy – Faith-based therapy focus on both a person’s physical and spiritual wellbeing. Such therapies consider them to be intertwined and believe that bolstering the spirit can provide a person with resolve, self-confidence, and forgiveness. Faith-based therapy will combine rehab techniques with faith building. This can include prayer, worship, teachings, and small group dialog.   
  • Biofeedback therapy – A therapist observes and makes note of how a person subconsciously responds to stress. They will monitor involuntary functions such as:
    • Blood pressure
    • Heart and breathing rates
    • Body temperature
    • Muscle contraction and relaxation

By tracking these functions, a person can be mindful of when they are occurring in real settings and then react by employing stress-relieving practices.

  • Matrix Model – Focuses on empowering the person in recovery by helping promote a positive self-image and help them build confidence. The goal of the Matrix Model is to eliminate the negative voices in a person’s head that lead to self-flagellation, defeatism, and victimhood. Building self-assurance and self-reliance empowers people to seize control of their life, rather than feel like they are at the mercy of outside forces.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy – DBT is meant for people who suffer from co-morbidity, especially those with personality disorders or suicidal thoughts. The goal of DBT is to build self-esteem, increase communication, and an addict learn how to deal with stress, sadness, anxiety, or emotional hurt.   
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment – Many therapists can create a pharmacological regimen that is meant to manage cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms, especially the long-term ones such as depression or insomnia. It can also be useful in treating underlying mental health issues. Such a method is most commonly used for alcohol, benzodiazepine, or opioid addiction.

Halfway Homes

Some people do not have a good support system or home life; others may feel as if their community has too many triggers or stressors. In order to facilitate the transition from the safety of a rehab center to the real world, some decide to spend some time in a sober living community. Such places provide those in recovery with a safe place to instill a sense of stability and community as they ease back into society. If you wish to stay in a halfway home, there are rules you must follow. These may include:

  • Maintaining sobriety and taking tests to prove that you are drug-free
  • Partake in group meetings
  • Help with chores
  • Practice self-care

Support Groups

Regular attendance of support groups is one of the most impactful ways to maintain your sobriety. These addiction treatment programs are just as useful to someone who has been sober for a few weeks as a person who has not had a sip of alcohol in three decades. They allow fellow addicts to congregate, support each other, and discuss their struggles, victories, setbacks, and issues in a safe, non-judgmental space.

Common groups include:

  • AA and its various offshoots such as Cocaine Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, etc.
  • SMART recovery
  • 12-step program (traditional faith-based)
  • Non-faith based 12-step program
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety
  • Celebrate Recovery (Christian specific sobriety groups)
  • Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others
  • Women for Sobriety

Get Help Today

If you have seen the signs of addiction in your life or someone you love, it is critical that you act before things get even worse. There are a variety of addiction treatment programs you can use to fight this battle. If you need help, speak to our medical professionals at our Georgia rehab detox center today. Together, you can formulate a game plan that will give you the best chance for success.


Bose, J. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-annual-national-report

National Drug Control Policy. Treatment Protocol Effectiveness Study. (1996). https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/treat/trmtprot.html

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

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