Posted in Alcohol and Drug Treatment on July 3, 2012
Last modified on May 10th, 2019

How to Choose the Right Drug and Alcohol Treatment

If you or a loved one is in need of drug and alcohol treatment, the wide range of facilities and levels of service can be overwhelming–multiple providers, varying philosophies, different treatment modalities, pricing differences, insurance and more. Where do you look for help? And how do you choose the best option?

A quick Internet search will lead you to a myriad of treatment providers. The good news is that virtually all these providers have web sites equipped with helpful self-assessment tools and contact information to speak with knowledgeable professionals.

Determine your comfort level and confidence with the treatment provider

  • Is the person on the phone professional? Genuine? Caring?
  • Does the facility offer a range of treatment approaches?
  • Can you assess their reputation by searching web reviews or blogs?
  • How does the provider establish client needs and develop individualized programs?
  • Does the provider provide both group and individual therapies?
  • Do they involve family members and loved ones?
  • How do they deal with mental health issues? Utilize professionals on staff or refer to others?
  • Does the provider show ethical and clinical expertise?
  • Are they knowledgeable about insurance and other financial considerations?

Addiction severity determines the most beneficial type of treatment

The most intensive level of treatment is detoxification which is usually three to five days of medically monitored, inpatient care. Outpatient detoxification is available if specific criteria are met and it is typically combined with an intensive outpatient program.

Residential treatment, which requires clients to live at the facility, is usually a 30-day program but the length of stay can vary. This option is beneficial for people who are in crisis, are not living in safe environments, are not showing stability, have had multiple relapses, and those who have completed detoxification.

Partial hospitalization allows clients to live at home and attend programming at the treatment facility, usually eight hours each day. These sessions may or may not be held in combination with those of clients in residential treatment.

After residential treatment or partial hospitalization, it is recommended that clients continue with intensive outpatient programming for eight weeks or longer. This level of care is also effective for people who work or go to school and have a stable, supportive living environment. Intensive outpatient programs require attendance for a total of nine to ten hours a week.

An outpatient program can consist of group or individual therapy sessions and is usually one day a week for one to two hours. This level of care is appropriate for someone who has completed a more intensive level of care and needs continued help with the struggles of daily life or other unresolved issues.

Each person responds differently to addiction treatment and there are many variables to consider. It is the provider’s job to guide treated individuals and their families through this process and help them take the necessary steps to successfully live life in recovery.

Editorial Staff

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Editorial Staff

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