Start Your Addiction Treatment – Effective Programs for Recovery

Last Updated: May 21, 2024

Dr. Norman Chazin Reviewed by Dr. Norman Chazin
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Accepting addiction may be the most challenging part of recovery. This resistance to seeking addiction treatment is costing thousands of lives every year.

In 2021, the U.S. reached a grim milestone exceeding 100,000 deaths in a year due to drug overdoses, marking the highest number in the nation’s history. Sadly, this drug overdose statistic is increasing each year. Treatment is a crucial help to stop drug overdose and even prevent future substance abusers.

Treatment provides support, education, and resources for individuals to overcome substance dependency, fostering healthier communities. Explore our article to learn more about the substance dependence treatment process, types of treatment available, associated costs, and where to find the best one for you.

What’s Addiction Treatment?

Treatment for addiction is a series of interventions provided by licensed healthcare professionals that help people overcome their dependence on substances and regain self-awareness about their lives and decision-making processes. It’s not a quick fix but rather a broad approach that addresses the physical, psychological and social aspects of addiction.

A prime example of personalized dependency treatment is the type of drug abused by the patient. For instance, drug detox is the first step in treatment. In the case of opioid addiction, medication combined with behavioral therapy is the primary treatment approach. Medical detox also helps with alcohol and nicotine addiction. Unfortunately, no medications exist for stimulant or cannabis addiction, and behavioral therapies should be the path to take.

Most Common Types of Addiction Treatment

For treatment to be successful, it must cover the individual’s substance abuse alongside related elements such as medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal issues.

Here are some of the most common types of substance treatment:

Detoxification (Drug Detox)

Detox is often the initial step in the process of recovery. In this stage, the addictive substance is safely removed from the system. This step can be challenging as the body struggles to stabilize in the absence of the substance, causing withdrawal symptoms like tremors, sweating, anxiety, and even cravings.

Depending on the substance, detox programs can administer medications to ease discomfort and reduce the risk of complications during withdrawal. The length of detox varies depending on the substance, severity and the patient’s past medical history. Detox can last from a few days (~7 days) to a few weeks.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient programs are ideal for patients suffering severe withdrawal symptoms and are considered one of the most common private addiction care. These centers offer intensive, round-the-clock medical supervision in a structured and safe environment where patients reside at the treatment facility.

Among the benefits of inpatient treatment, we have:

  • A safe space away from triggers and temptations.
  • 24/7 access to medical and therapeutic professionals.
  • Regular schedules and activities create a sense of normalcy and stability.

Inpatient treatment can be expensive compared to outpatient options, but insurance coverage can help. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), standard successful inpatient treatment duration should last at least 90 days.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs allow you to live at home while attending therapy sessions, group meetings and other addiction treatment activities during the day or evening. These types of programs are ideal for patients with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms or when detox is not needed/already completed.

Among the benefits of inpatient treatment, we have:

  • Offers more flexibility, allowing patients to manage work and personal routines.
  • Provides a smoother transition back to daily life while receiving support.
  • Generally less expensive than inpatient treatment.

Remember, outpatient treatment is still treatment and success relies heavily on the patient’s ability to stay committed to the program and avoid temptations while at home.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines medication with behavioral therapy for addiction treatment. Medications are used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to focus on therapy and other recovery efforts.

Common medications used in MAT include methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone) and naltrexone for opioid addiction and disulfiram (Antabuse) for alcohol dependence. It’s important to know that these MAT medications can have side effects (i.e., constipation, drowsiness, fatigue and dizziness), which should be discussed with a healthcare professional.


As drug abuse and addiction frequently concur with other mental disorders, it’s essential to assess patients for additional mental health issues. Treatment should address all co-occurring problems to guarantee the best care. For this instance, cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction is the option to understand the underlying causes of your condition.

In addiction treatment, there are many different types of therapy available, including:

Aftercare Programs

Rehabilitation aftercare is a vital stage following detox and medical treatment as it functions as a continuation of drug addiction treatment, aiming to support the patient in achieving long-term sobriety and preventing relapse.

  • Sober living homes (Halfway houses): Provides structure and support between rehab and independent living.
  • Facility-based programs: Offer continued medical care, therapy and support groups.
  • Therapy and counseling: Helps to maintain the patient’s focus on the recovery journey.

Addiction Treatment Timeline

“How long does rehab last?”

“Am I going to be on substance dependence treatment forever?

These are common questions addiction specialists get from their patients. While the length of treatment can differ based on individual circumstances, the following chart shows a standard timeline in substance treatment programs:

Phase Duration Activities
Assessment and Detox Days 1-7 Medical for supervision diagnosis and detox (MAT administration, if necessary)
Intensive Inpatient Weeks 2-4 Daily therapy sessions, medication if necessary
Treatment Coping mechanisms and relapse prevention
Transitional Phase Weeks 5-8 Gradual reintegration into daily life, continued therapy and aftercare planning
Outpatient Months 3-6 Transition to outpatient therapy, continued counseling and support groups
Treatment and Aftercare Participation in aftercare programs
Ongoing Support and Maintenance Beyond Month 6 Continued participation in support groups, focus on maintaining sobriety and wellness

How to Be Prepared for an Addiction Treatment Assessment?

You may feel anxious or judged before attending a medical addiction assessment. But, addiction specialists provide support and guidance every step of the way. Following the following advice will help you prepare for your medical consultation:

  • Give honest information about your substance use history (i.e., types of substances, frequency and duration)
  • Write down any questions or concerns about the treatment process and your options.
  • Approach the assessment with an open mind and willingness to discuss personal issues.
  • Consider bringing a trusted family member or friend for support.
  • Be prepared to collaborate with your healthcare provider to develop the best treatment plan.

Addiction Treatment – What to Expect and Final Takeaways

The most important thing to expect from substance treatment is licensed, compassionate healthcare professionals, nothing less!

As addiction is a complex disease, often linked to other health and social issues, effective treatment should consider a patient’s unique needs and priorities. Addressing these concerns can improve engagement, retention and successful recovery. Get matched with a treatment program that prioritizes you.

People Also Ask

What is the most common form of treatment for addictions?

The most common form of treatment for addiction is a combination of therapy (individual or group), medication (where applicable), and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

What are management strategies for drug abuse?

Management strategies for drug abuse include behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment, support groups, lifestyle changes and addressing underlying mental health issues. Education, family involvement and relapse prevention techniques are crucial to effective management.

What is 12 step program?

A 12-step program is a set of guiding principles and actions designed to help individuals overcome addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s, the 12-step program has been adapted for various forms of addiction and compulsive behaviors. Its focus on community support, personal accountability, and spiritual growth has helped countless individuals achieve and maintain sobriety.

What are the most addictive behaviors?

The most addictive behaviors include substance abuse (alcohol, drugs), gambling, compulsive eating, excessive gaming and compulsive shopping. These behaviors can lead to significant negative consequences and require intervention for addiction treatment and management.

Page Sources

  1. Products - Vital Statistics Rapid release - Provisional drug overdose data. (n.d.).
  2. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). (2023, December 12). SAMHSA.
  3. Treatment and Recovery | National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2023b, September 25). National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  4. Baird, A., Cheng, Y., & Xia, Y. (2023). Determinants of outpatient substance use disorder treatment length-of-stay and completion: The case of a treatment program in the southeast U.S. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 1-9.
  5. Medications, counseling, and related conditions. (2024, February 5). SAMHSA.
  6. Maglione, M. A., Raaen, L., Chen, C., Azhar, G. S., Nima, S., Shen, M., Maksabedian Hernandez, E. J., Shanman, R. M., & Hempel, S. (2020). Effects of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder on Functional Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Rand Health Quarterly, 8(4).
Retrieved on March 20, 2024.

Published on: September 28th, 2015

Updated on: May 21st, 2024


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Your addiction does not have to define who you are.

You deserve excellent care and a rewarding life in recovery.