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No matter what addiction you are struggling with, there is a treatment program out there for you.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is one of the hardest issues millions of Americans will face in their lifetime. Luckily, there are many treatment options available that will help get you or your family member in a position to transition from a life of addiction to sobriety.

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Is Treatment Necessary?

One of the biggest obstacles that many who are struggling with substance use disorders face is coming to terms with the fact that they have a problem. It’s unsurprising that many people have trouble admitting they have an addiction.

There is a major stigma associated with drug and alcohol addiction, and many are simply unaware of how deeply their addiction is impacting their lives and their loved ones. However, this stigma is rarely based on facts but rather on assumptions, preconceptions, and generalizations. Stigma has the potential to lead to negatively impacting a person’s self-esteem and can worsen defense mechanisms such as denial and minimization of their substance use disorder. It can also result in damaged relationships with loved ones and employers. The stigma can be so profound that it often prevents active users from accessing treatment or admitting they have a problem.

However, becoming dependent on drugs or developing a substance use disorder can happen to anyone, as there are many factors that influence the development of such disorders. It is important to keep in mind that we can all do a better job of decreasing the stigma associated with addiction. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stigma is “A major cause of discrimination and exclusion, and it contributes to the abuse of human rights.”

If you are wondering whether or not you have a problem, you should immediately speak with a substance abuse professional. There is a very common misconception that you have to, “hit rock bottom,” before you should seek treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is never too early to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction if you, or your loved ones, believe you have a problem or if substance abuse is negatively impacting your life. This is true whether the addiction is to a prescription or illegal substance.

How Does Treatment Work?

Because every addiction is unique, every individual’s treatment process will be unique. However, most treatment programs follow some general steps and stages. A typical treatment process will go something like:

Identifying And Planning Out The Right Treatment Choice

Different substances and different individuals require different treatment. For example, some treatment facilities specialize in certain substances (like alcohol) or groups of people (like minors). Most treatment centers have professionals who offer an array of therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Depending on the individual, a substance abuse counselor will tailor the therapy model to best meet the needs of the individual.

The first step in identifying and planning out the right treatment choice for you is to speak with a substance abuse professional for a thorough assessment or evaluation, often called a biopsychosocial assessment. This assessment is used for diagnostic purposes, as well as to determine the specific needs of the client, including the most appropriate level of care in treatment.

It can be daunting trying to decide on the right treatment option for you, but luckily there are people out there waiting to help. If you want to learn about what the admission process into rehab looks like, contact a treatment provider now.


Detox, also known as detoxification, is a process that helps rid the body of harmful substances. Detox is almost always the first step in the treatment process. Depending on a number of factors, detox can be extremely challenging. For many with a substance use disorder, detox is one of the single biggest deterrents to treatment, especially for those who attempted unsupervised detox on their own.

When the body is so used to having a substance in it, it becomes dependent on that substance to function normally. When that substance is no longer present, the body experiences withdrawal, a combination of physical and psychological symptoms that may occur when a person suddenly discontinues the use of an addictive drug, or rapidly reduces their use. In some cases, especially when severe alcohol or benzodiazepine addiction is present, withdrawal can be fatal if it is not medically supervised. For this reason, detox should only be attempted under professional supervision.

Factors that influence the timeline and severity of withdrawal include:

  • Which substance or substances were used
  • How long the person used
  • The individual’s average dose
  • How frequently the person used
  • Whether the person mixed substances
  • Mental and medical history
  • Gender
  • How they took the substance

Detox can either be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient detox requires a patient to stay at a facility, usually in a private room under watch. This is often necessary for severe cases. Outpatient detox allows patients to check in with their medical professional but stay at home and continue their lives comparatively uninterrupted.

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Inpatient Or Outpatient Rehab

Once an individual’s body has been cleared of the substance(s) to which it is addicted, rehab can commence. Rehab treatment can include medications, behavioral therapies, or a combination of both to help individuals recover from their substance abuse and begin living a sober life. The exact course of treatment varies tremendously according to an individual’s unique needs. In general, treatment is focused on understanding the underlying causes behind the addiction, helping the addict recover, rebuilding relationships, and teaching life strategies that will help the patient maintain sobriety.

Like detox, rehab can either be inpatient or outpatient. Inpatient rehab demands that the individual stay at the treatment facility until their program ends. Most inpatient rehabs last for 30, 60, or 90 days, although the time can be shorter or longer. Inpatient rehab is most desirable for patients with severe addictions or for those whose lifestyle is the most likely to lead to relapse.

Outpatient rehab allows patients to stay at their homes or other outside residential facilities while visiting the rehab facility for the day, or at least part of it. Outpatient rehab is generally the best fit for individuals with less severe addictions and who have extensive work and family commitments. Outpatient rehab is generally, though not always, less expensive than inpatient treatment. However, it also presents the individual in recovery with more temptations and less stability.

Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab Infographic

Continuing Treatment

Treatment doesn’t end when the patient leaves rehab. Recovery is an ongoing process that for many will last the rest of their lives. For most in recovery, some ongoing treatment is critical to their continuing sobriety. The type of treatment will vary between individuals. For example, a recovering alcoholic may find it beneficial to take anti-alcoholism medications.

One of the most important forms of continuing treatment is therapy. There are a vast number of therapy options, meaning that it is likely that any individual will find a match that works for them. Therapy is especially useful for individuals with co-morbid disorders (also known as co-occurring disorders or dual-diagnosis), those that have a separate mental illness in addition to their substance abuse. Some of the most common types of therapy include biofeedback, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, experiential, faith-based, holistic, and motivational enhancement.

Attending Support Groups

Recovery can be hard, and life doesn’t make it easier with the constant challenges it presents. A special challenge for many is the changes in the recovering addict’s social life, and the perceived loneliness that many feel as a result. Luckily, there are many others out there in the same situation. Millions of those in recovery have formed communities known as support groups to help each other maintain their sobriety.

There are thousands of support groups out there. Many are heavily influenced by the 12-Step model, popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Such groups believe members should follow a certain number of steps to stay on their journey to sobriety. 12-Step groups are the most widely known and attended support groups. However, there are many other support group models, such as SMART Recovery, any one of which might be a better fit for a particular individual.

What Happens If I Don’t Get Help?

Addiction is a very serious condition, and it results in very serious consequences. Addiction can negatively impact every aspect of the sufferer’s life: personal, legal, emotional, professional, financial, and medical. Many who are trapped in addiction find themselves stuck in a terrible cycle of increasingly severe disasters, each of which worse than the last.

More than 64,000 Americans died of overdose alone in 2016, and this doesn’t count the far greater numbers who died from addiction-related diseases such as lung cancer, heart attack, hepatitis, and suicide. Even those who manage to survive their addiction often suffer from serious health ailments such as HIV, legal issues such as DUI, and financial problems such as debt, not to mention the damage done to their many relationships.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the time to act is now. Don’t wait another second to get your life back. Contact an addiction provider before it’s too late.

How Do I Pay for Treatment?

One of the biggest concerns that many potential patients have before they attend rehab is the cost. While rehab can be a significant expense, there are many payment options available. These options often dramatically reduce the cost of rehab, or even pay for it entirely. Regardless of your situation, there will be payment options available to you. It is also always critical to remember that the cost of rehab is generally dwarfed by the expenses associated with maintaining an addiction and paying for the many associated costs that come with it.

Private Insurance

Many insurance policies cover rehab and other substance abuse treatments. Generally, policy holders will still have to pay fees such as co-pays and deductibles. Many policies place additional restrictions, such as only paying for in-network facilities. The amount of coverage and the types of treatment covered will vary dramatically from plan to plan, so it is important that you consult with your policy representative.

Government Programs

Government at all levels (federal, state, and local) offers programs designed to assist with addiction treatment. Some of these programs actually provide rehabilitation treatment services, while others provide funding for participants to obtain treatment at third-party facilities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) is one of the largest government programs through which addiction treatment is provided. To find out what programs you may be eligible for, contact the agency responsible for that program.


There are a number of financing options available for rehab treatment. Some of these financing options are provided by the treatment providers, and others come from third party institutions. Generally, patients paying with financing will have to pay interest over time, which will increase the cost of treatment, but this is often mitigated by other factors such as eliminating the cost of expensive substances.


Most facilities will allow patients to pay for their treatment out of pocket. This gives patients a substantial amount of flexibility on where they get funds, such as a savings account or by selling old possessions.

How Do I Find Treatment?

There are thousands of drug and alcohol rehab facilities across the country that are dedicated to helping those in need take the necessary steps to get their lives back. With so many choices, there is a solution out there that will be the right fit for each individual’s unique situation. You know that the time for a change is now. Contact a dedicated rehab provider now to find a rehab facility today.

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