Substance use disorders, or addictions, are complex and devastating conditions that can severely impact one’s brain function, behavior, and quality of life.1 Problems with drugs and alcohol impact people of all ages and demographics, with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimating that 20.2 million American adults (8.4% of the population) had an addiction to drugs or alcohol in 2014.2
As substance use disorders develop, people may begin to use drugs or alcohol despite clinical impairment, health problems, or inability to engage in responsibilities at home, work, or school. Because substance use disorders affect your physical, psychological, and emotional health, quitting on your own can be extremely difficult or even impossible in some cases.2,3 For this reason, formal addiction treatment is frequently sought by people looking to stop drinking or using drugs and to maintain their sobriety.
Addiction treatment varies depending on the type of substance abused and the individual characteristics of each patient. With that said, effective treatment addresses each patient’s substance abuse and associated medical, physiological, social, and legal problems. It is also vital that the rehab takes gender, age, culture, ethnicity, and religion into consideration as well.1
Addiction treatment programs will often utilize comprehensive treatment plan that includes a combination of therapy types, such as individual, family, marital, or group counseling. Counseling can help improve a patient’s motivation for change, build coping skills to resist drug cravings and drug use, and improve self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.1
Patients may also benefit from medication while in treatment. Options may include medications that alleviate drug cravings and block opioid effects, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Psychiatric medications, like antipsychotics or antidepressants, may also be administered to those who are struggling with co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety.1
Each program varies in duration, location, philosophy, and setting. However, the two major settings include inpatient and outpatient rehabs, both of which can help you on the road to recovery.
Inpatient rehab provides intensive services for people struggling with substance use disorders. People live at the facility and receive 24/7 monitoring and supervision throughout their duration of care. Treatment lengths vary (with averages from 28-90 days), though research supports longer durations of treatment (at least 3 months).1 Due to the costs of room and board and around-the-clock patient monitoring, inpatient treatment will be more expensive than outpatient. Inpatient treatment may range from about $14,000 to $58,000, depending on the location, duration, and your insurance policy.4 Insurance will most likely provide partial coverage for addiction treatment services, but you’ll be responsible for the remaining costs, which can get pricey. That being said, there are rehabs that offer payment plans, sliding scale services, grants, and scholarships for people of lower income levels.
Inpatient rehab separates patients from their current environments, which is likely to consist of people, places, or situations that trigger drug use. This means that patients can focus on recovering from addiction without external distractions.
Patients receive comprehensive treatment services from a variety of trained staff members, including:5
There are different types of inpatient rehab programs, such as:
It is important for you to do your research when choosing a rehab to find a program that best aligns with your values and priorities.
Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment allows people to live at home and still tend to responsibilities at work or school while recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. Outpatient rehabs vary in intensity, depending on a person’s needs, but they tend to be far cheaper than inpatient treatment since patients may have access to a relatively less intensive range of services and return home after each treatment session.
Most outpatient rehab programs include several hours of therapy and other clinical programming each week. Typically, treatment consists of individual and group counseling, drug education, and support groups. Counseling focuses on providing incentives for abstinence, addressing motivation and willingness to change adverse behaviors, and building skills to resist drug use. Like inpatient treatment, many patients in outpatient rehab benefit from medications for treating substance use disorders and/or co-occurring mental health issues.5
Outpatient treatment is a suitable option for patients with mild to moderate substance use disorders. It is helpful for those who want little to no disruption of their daily routines while receiving treatment for an addiction. Most people attending outpatient treatment are able to continue working, attending school, and fulfilling responsibilities at home.
There are different levels of outpatient rehab, including:7
If you’re unsure as to which level of care would be best for you, you can receive a professional assessment from your doctor. During the initial assessment, your physician will evaluate your addiction, as well as your physical, mental, social, and emotional health, to determine the appropriate level of care for you. They can refer you to a treatment setting that they believe will best suit your needs.
With that said, outpatient rehab is not suitable for everyone. Outpatient addiction treatment may not be recommended for those with:2.5
Both outpatient and inpatient rehab programs help people get sober each and every day. You don’t have to struggle alone. Reach out for support and get the help you need to make a positive change in your life.