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If you have decided that you want to get sober for good, then it is likely that you will benefit from addiction treatment. The decision to get sober may be abrupt and fleeting, so it is important for you or a loved one to quickly determine what kind of treatment will be the most appropriate. Unlike many other diseases, addiction does not have one determined effective method. The style and methods used to treat addiction effectively range patient to patient. Finding the right treatment program can be confusing and overwhelming, so I hope to give some useful tips to streamline your decision process.

Addiction treatment usually includes several stages and many different styles. There are centers for every type of individual, whether it be for wealthy executives, celebrities, those with low-income/no insurance, members of the LGBTQ community, religion specific, dual-diagnosis, or practically anything else, there is surely a program that is right for you or a loved one. Addiction treatment programs are most successful when they can address all contributing factors to unhealthy behavior while allowing the individual to feel as comfortable as possible. This is why so many specialized programs exist.

Learn What Addiction Treatment Looks Like

In the greater part of the 20th Century, nearly all addiction treatment centers were either 12-step oriented, faith based, or even just mental health asylums. Over the past few decades, the understanding of addiction has changed drastically. Science has determined that some styles work for some people, while other styles work better for others. Addiction can be caused by genes, trauma, behavioral issues, or any combination. Classic 12-step treatment may work fine, but a center that can address behavioral problems and trauma may work better. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you need detox?: Finding a center that also offers medical detox may make the transfer from detox to treatment easier and more effective.
  • Do you need behavioral therapy?: Cognitive behavioral treatment can help modify a person’s habits and attitudes.
  • Do you need dual-diagnosis?: Dual diagnosis treatment is a program that treats addiction along with mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar, or schizophrenia.
  • Are you religious?: There many programs that cater to religious preferences or that focus on secular ideas.  

Determine Payment Options or Your Insurance Coverage

Similar to other types of medical treatment, addiction treatment can either be private, public, or cash-pay. If you find a treatment center that might be perfect for you, it could still possibly be out of your price range or out of your insurance network. To find your options, call the phone number on your insurance card. The number may be labeled with “MH/SA” (mental health/substance abuse) on your insurance card. Some treatment centers offer payment assistance, scholarships, or sliding scales. When you contact a program, be sure to ask many questions to be sure you are getting the best rate possible. If you have Medicare or Medicaid, be sure to find centers that support your coverage. Using can help you find these programs.

Understand The Stages of Treatment

  1. Medical Detox – The process of removing drugs or alcohol from the body safely. Benzos and alcohol always require medical detox. Detox can also make withdrawal much more comfortable.
  2. Residential – An inpatient program that lasts anywhere from 15 days to 3 months or longer. Average programs last about 30 days.
  3. Intensive outpatient (IOP) – Addiction therapy lasting several hours 3-4 times per week. Though IOP is popular after a residential treatment, these programs can also be effective without an inpatient stay.
  4. Outpatient – Addiction therapy sessions that are held 1-2 per week. Sometimes, after residential, a person may continue outpatient therapy for months to a year or more.

Research Programs That Are Substance-specific

Some addiction treatment programs specialize in one or more substances. Often, medications can be used to assist a person in recovery and prevent relapse. For alcohol, there are medications that can prevent cravings and reduce the euphoric effect of drinking. For opiates, there are medications that can completely block the effect of using opioids, limiting the risk of relapse and overdose. There are also programs that focus on opioid maintenance opposed to sudden abstinence. Drugs like Suboxone can prevent withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the effects of using opioids. It may be best to consult with a medical professional prior to attending a treatment program. A doctor may be able to give a referral for a specific type of treatment.

Be Open Minded

It is important to be open minded to programs that might be intimidating. Getting sober can be very scary, but once in recovery, it is often the single best decision an individual has made in their life. With all of the treatment options out there, there is no such thing as “easy addiction treatment.” Rehab will often ask a patient for complete commitment and to change nearly all of their behaviors. If you are on the hunt for walk-in-the-park, then you probably aren’t ready to get sober. Some centers may not seem very luxuries or fun in yet might offer top-of-the-line addiction treatment.