Substance Abuse Treatment Options

Depending on the severity and depth of a person’s substance abuse and the financial resources and support systems available in a particular community, there are a variety of different types of substance abuse treatment options for those in need.

Some types of treatment options are very intensive and involve residential stays and inpatient services, whereas other options are outpatient venues and involve support services and individualized or group therapies.

People often seek treatment when they recognize that their substance abuse problems are negatively impacting their lives, are strongly urged to treatment after invention by family and friends or are forced into treatment after getting into legal trouble and offered the option of treatment as an alternative to jail time.


Regardless of the reason for treatment, those who recognize that they do have a problem usually benefit more from treatment than those who deny that they have a substance abuse problem.


As a result, most programs are designed to encourage individuals to face and admit to their substance abuse problem as the first step.  Here is a look at some of the most common treatment programs.

Residential Programs

Inpatient treatment programs are intensive long-term or extended rehabilitation programs that are designed to help individuals find a new life away from substance abuse and develop the tools to resist falling back into drug and alcohol abuse due to life stressors.


These programs usually involve removing the affected individual from their current life and having them stay at a facility away from their hometown and free from their family and friends and those they engaged with while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.


While away, these individuals may under group or individual counseling, learn new coping skills and develop life patterns that don’t involve a reliance on drugs and alcohol.  These programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

Example clinics include Abbeycare – Scotland’s alcohol rehab clinic. This unit is a typical inpatient facility offering 21 beds and round the clock care.

Individuals who leave residential and inpatient care programs often need a form of outpatient program to keep them on the right track.  These programs involve a number of different options.

Group Therapy and Support

Group programs are like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous that provide sessions on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that provide a supportive environment for people to share their stories and support one another.


These programs are usually lead by a certified professional or follow a proscribed and proven program and are offered at little to no costs by nonprofit organizations, church groups and other volunteer organizations.


Individual Therapy

Those who are trained as Certified Substance Abuse Counselors provide individualized therapy to help people deal with daily stressors and triggers to substance abuse, develop individualized behavior modification programs and establish future life goals that will prevent them for relapsing back into substance abuse.


There are advantages to individual therapies that include the ability to address all emotional issues, closer examination of individual triggers to substance abuse and more personalized care.


Additional Services

Treatment may also involve a number of related care services.  There may be a need for medical interventions such as detox program to help individuals’ withdrawal from the drugs or alcohol without harm to their bodies.  This situation occurs under a physician’s care.


Additional programs can help individuals learn new skills such as anger management, job training or specific coping mechanisms.  They may also engage in random drug testing to help monitor their behaviors.


They may get involved in structured classes or activities to occupy their free time and hinder the possibilities of opportunities to engage in substance abuse.


Programs can involve a religious or faith component to help those persons of faith cope and develop a new way of life.

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