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Ten Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Addiction Treatment

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The prospect of choosing the right rehab program for yourself or a loved one can feel daunting. There is a lot of choice and some options are expensive. Your concern is that the person seeking treatment gets what they need to get healthy. We get it. After a decade in this industry, we get that you have questions about addiction treatment. Here are the ten most frequently asked questions about addiction treatment that we hear and the answers.

1. What are addiction treatment programs?

An addiction treatment program is a program that offers a variety of therapies designed to help those suffering from an addiction disorder a path to sobriety. People suffering from a substance abuse addiction may find it impossible to “just quit.” An addiction treatment program provides the necessary support for those seeking to end an addiction. There are a wide variety of treatment programs available. Some are in a hospital or hospital-level care facility. Additionally, there are a variety of residential treatment programs that offer 24-hour care. Not every addicted individual needs hospitalization, but many find a residential setting less distracting. A live-in program allows the person more hours for professional interaction and a chance to heal free from the responsibilities that exist outside of the treatment program. Outpatient treatment programs allow participants to benefit from professional help while remaining at home and can be considerably less expensive than a residential program.

2. What are addiction treatment centers?

An addiction treatment center is a facility that offers one or more addiction treatment programs. A wide variety of addiction treatment centers exist that vary in the level of care, variety of therapies and treatment modalities offered, and the professional level of the management and medical team. Some treatment centers offer live-in care. Others provide outpatient services. The National Institute on Drug Abuse classifies addiction treatment programs as follows:

  • Long-term residential treatment – offer 24-hour care, generally in a non-hospital setting. Client stays are typically three to twelve months.
  • Short-term residential treatment – provide intensive, but shorter-term treatment. Like long-term treatment programs, programs are highly structured. Stays can be as short as a few weeks but a 90-day minimum stay is recommended.
  • Extended Care treatment – is a newer option that is also residential, but with a less intensive structure than traditional inpatient setting. Extended care can bridge the transition from inpatient to outpatient sobriety support.
  • Outpatient treatment – programs vary considerably in intensity, accountability, and support. Intensive programs can be comparable to residential programs in the level of services offered. Other programs offer little more than peer support and education.
  • Individual drug counseling – private counseling is designed to address the addiction, impaired functioning and the content and structure of the client’s recovery plan. Private counseling assists with goal development and the development of new coping strategies. The counselor may offer referrals for other supportive services.
  • Group counseling – focuses on the development of a healthy peer network to promote a drug-free life. Group therapy offers improved effectiveness when combined with individual counseling or is formatted to reflect the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management.

3. How does addiction treatment work?

Addiction is a chronic disease, much like high blood pressure or diabetes. When managed well, you can live a healthy life. A failure to manage the disease can lead to disaster. Addiction treatment disrupts the effects of the addict’s drug of choice on the brain. Treatment programs also teach new behavior and coping skills, so the individual regains control of their life.

4. What is outpatient addiction treatment?

Outpatient addiction treatment is, quite simply, a formal and structured addiction treatment program that does not require that you live on site. A wide variety of outpatient treatment options exist but those new to sobriety benefit from an Intensive Outpatient Program, also known as an IOP. An IOP is led by credentialed addiction professionals and offers specific treatment options and greater personal accountability than a 12-step support group. Clients attend sessions several nights per week that include education, counseling, and therapy. IOPs offer highly supportive care for those leaving an inpatient program or who have experienced a brief relapse. An outpatient program is a great option for those who have daytime obligations that cannot be addressed if the client enters an inpatient or a residential treatment program. Lastly, IOP offers additional care for those living in a sober living environment who would benefit from continued counseling from addiction professionals. This article covers what an Intensive Outpatient Treatment program is in more depth.

5. What is holistic addiction treatment?

Holistic treatment may sound like a buzzword, but it isn’t. In reality, holistic treatments are increasingly available for a wide range of health issues. By definition, a holistic addiction treatment program combines traditional treatment methods, with evidence-based alternative treatment modalities. This is done to treat the immediate addiction, and the underlying causes for that allowed the disorder to occur so that relapse is less likely. The goal of holistic treatment is to heal the entire person. The brain, its mechanisms, and emotions are all impacted by addiction. Addiction also harms the body. All of this needs to heal. New coping mechanisms and life habits must be learned. Holistic drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs’ goals are to restore the mind, body, and spirit to good health. Holistic addiction treatment is also known as an integrative approach to addiction treatment. This article covers this topic in more detail.

6. Will my insurance cover addiction treatment?

There are many ways to pay for addiction treatment that include both private and public insurance. Benefits can vary considerably based on your plan. Also, there are public and charity run facilities that offer free or low-cost care. Many rehabs also offer scholarship money. At a minimum, participation in 12-step support groups are free. Your best bet is to reach out to an addiction treatment center and discuss your situation with an admissions counselor. Every facility has a team of people that are experts at working with insurance companies to maximize your available benefits. Even if you don’t have coverage, most programs will refer you to other programs that may be able to provide care. Ask!

7. How much are addiction treatment centers?

There are a lot of choices when it comes to addiction treatment. Some programs involve hospitalization or that you live on premise for a period of time. Other programs are outpatient and allow participants to live at home or in a sober living situation. Some programs are merely supportive in nature – they are designed to support sobriety for those who have already detoxified from the addictive substance. Other programs offer extensive resources and therapy options to meet more specific needs. The choice of which type of program is best for you is a highly personal matter that depends upon your addiction, history of relapses, and the existence of other co-factors such as a mental or physical disorder. Life circumstances such as a job or children that you must tend to can also impact what type of program is best for you. Lastly, the level of insurance coverage you have access to may inform your choice. How long you need care will also affect the cost of care. Extensive research has shown that longer periods of treatment offers higher success rates. However, given the variety of sobriety support programs available, it is possible to structure a long-term care plan that includes support from a variety of types of programs. This can reduce your total expense considerably. As there are many different options, and durations of care, pricing can range from free to tens of thousands of dollars. The best way to determine your expected cost is to talk with an experienced addiction specialist who can help devise a plan that fits your needs for care and your budget.

8. What is a 12-step program?

A twelve-step program is any addiction support program that includes the principles of the original 12-steps. The 12-steps originated with Alcoholics Anonymous, a support group founded in 1935. The twelve-steps were first published in 1939. Over the years, 12-step programs have been developed to address nearly every type of addiction including alcoholism, drug addiction, and food addiction. As summarized by the American Psychological Association, the process of working the 12 steps involve:

  • admitting a lack of control over one’s alcoholism, addiction or compulsion;
  • recognizing a higher power or force as a means to give strength;
  • examining past mistakes and misdeeds with the help of a sponsor (someone who has worked the 12-steps;
  • making amends for the mistakes and bad deeds you committed while under the influence;
  • learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior;
  • providing support for, and helping, others who suffer from the same alcoholism, addictions or compulsions.

The original 12-steps includes a belief in God but has been adapted over time to include any higher power, or life force bigger than one’s self, enabling those who do not have a religion to benefit from the support 12-step programs offer.

9. Are 12-step programs effective?

Given privacy concerns and the tendency of addicts to be less than truthful, reliable effectiveness and relapse rates are impossible to obtain. However, it is a fact that nearly all drug and alcohol rehab programs are based in the 12-steps. There are millions of people who have participated in 12-step based treatment programs that do sustain a sober life. Thus there is ample evidence of the value of working the 12-steps as a method of support for long-term success in sobriety.

10. What’s the difference between a 12-step group and addiction treatment?

Given that most addiction treatment programs are based on the 12-step philosophy, it’s reasonable to ask how a 12-step group such as Alcoholics Anonymous differs from a substance abuse treatment program. 12-step meetings are designed for members to share with others in the group how they are working and applying the steps to their recovery. 12-step groups are also a great place to establish a peer support network – new friends who share your goals for sobriety and living a healthier life. Twelve-step groups are led by lay people; leaders who have also fought addiction and are living the 12-steps in their own lives. People living in sobriety often participate in a 12-step group for the remainder of their life. An outpatient or inpatient rehab program offers a greater level of accountability and professional therapy to meet the needs underlying your addiction. An addiction treatment program has a specific duration of time where the person is under care. Treatment programs include both individual and group therapy and offer a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities that may include a combination of traditional therapies, medicinal, or cutting-edge treatment methods. Addiction treatment programs are designed to heal the mind, body and soul. There is more information on the difference between AA and an Intensive Outpatient program in this article.

Still have questions about addiction treatment programs?

Give us a call. Our friendly and trained admissions counselors will be happy to answer your questions, as well as assist you with finding the right program, in our out of The Arbor system. References: