Many people struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. With so many different types of treatment available, how do you know what’s right for you? The good news is, you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. If you are unsure what’s best for you, a therapist can help.
There are many different types of drug and alcohol addiction treatment and it can be difficult to know exactly what they are and if they’ll help you in your current situation. Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert to ask for help. You can call any therapist, and even if they aren’t trained in addiction, they can refer you to a therapist who is. At the end of this article, I offer a list of resources that can help you on the road to recovery, or you can visit the resources page on my website for a more extensive list of addiction and mental health links.
So even if you aren’t sure what’s right for you, take the first step and ask for help.
So how will a psychotherapist determine what addiction treatment is best for you? It depends on your addiction and presenting situation.
Factors that are taken into consideration when recommending drug and alcohol treatment:
- Drug of choice (e.g. alcohol, prescribed medications, narcotics, etc.)
- Duration of use
- Frequency and amount of use
- Method of substance use (e.g. orally, nasally, intravenous, etc.)
- Level of functioning and how your addiction affects your work, academic life, social life, family, activities of daily living (e.g. hygiene, eating, brushing your teeth, etc.), and decision-making
- Severity of current consequences, such as any legal or financial consequences
- Withdrawal symptoms during periods of sobriety or non-use
If you are unsure about what type of treatment is best for you, I encourage you to take that first step in reaching out for help. If you call a therapist, they can either offer you counseling on an outpatient level, or they may refer you to a different provider or type of care.
Different drug and alcohol treatment types:
- Detox for medical necessity – this is facilitated by doctors or nurses who are specially trained in helping patients cope with the withdrawal symptoms of early drug or alcohol abstinence to ensure medical safety. Detox can be provided in a hospital or substance abuse residential facility. This level of care typically lasts up to a week depending on medical clearance.
- Inpatient residential level of care – there are generally two options for inpatient treatment: Long-term residential treatment provides care 24 hours a day, generally in a non-hospital setting, with lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months. Short-term residential treatment is typically between 2 and 6 weeks in a non-hospital setting, and followed by recommendations to step-down levels of care such as Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and/ or Intensive Outpatient (IOP) levels of care. A step-down in level of care refers to the decrease in the number of required hours/days of treatment received per week with the option to eventually go back to work or reside off campus during the course of treatment. These options are dependent upon each specific program. IOP treatment is provided multiple times per week (often with evening hours) and generally a better fit for employed individuals who have extensive social support at home.
- Outpatient level of care – outpatient level of care includes individual therapy or group counseling led by a mental health therapist or psychologist in a private practice setting.
- Community peer support – these are peer run groups consisting of meetings where peers in recovery and those currently struggling with active addiction attend for free and can be found daily at various venues. These peer run organizations include 12-Step and Smart Recovery. Keep in mind that these are not run by mental health professionals. It is recommended to participate in peer support in conjunction with therapy, as they complement each other.
You deserve to live a sober, successful, and healthy life of your choosing. Therapy is all about providing you with the tools you need to decide what your future holds and to chart your own course. If you need help to start your road to recovery and sobriety, I’m here for you. Take that first step and reach out for support. Use the button below to message Dr. Heather Violante online or call (754) 333-1484.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Recovery Resources
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Al-Anon & Alateen Support Groups
- Nar-Anon Support Groups
- Addiction Center – Find Drug Rehab Centers
Note: Serenity Lane Psychological Services is not responsible for the content, claims, or representations of the listed sites. Website links provided throughout this site are intended for informational purposes only and are not meant for self-diagnosis. Please seek professional mental health assistance for such issues or concerns.