When dealing with substance abuse, whether it is alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs, there are a variety of treatment programs available. The challenge is to find the type of program that best matches with the person and the substance. Not every treatment program will work for every person, or for every substance. That is why it is important to understand the various types of programs that exist so that you can match the needs of the person with the right program.
One decision point when searching for treatment programs is whether or not they will be residential programs, often known as “in-patient,” or whether they will be out-patient rehabilitation program. The major difference is where the patient resides during the course of treatment.
There are many treatment specialists who believe that residential treatment is generally the most effective across all circumstances. The primary reason for this is the fact that the patients become a captive audience with no distractions. This means that they will be solely focused on their treatment programs.
However, some people do not have the option to leave their home and family to live at a treatment facility for several weeks or months. Besides their obligations to their families, there are people who have jobs that they can’t leave for an extended period of time while receiving treatment.
With residential treatment the daily regimen can include one on one counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, group support sessions, and education. There might even be nutrition counseling and a physical fitness program. The objective is to get the person healthy, both in body and mind, while arming them with the tools to avoid drugs once they leave the program.
For those people who do not have the ability to move into a residential treatment facility, there are lots of options for out-patient treatment programs. While many of the program offerings during the course of treatment are the same as at a residential facility, they take place during a prescribed time of day and then the patient returns home each night.
Some of these out-patient treatment programs last all day and the patient only goes home to sleep. In the situation where the substance abuser must work during the day to support his family, he might attend his therapy sessions in the evening after work hours. The primary difference is that the substance abuser is not confined and is somewhat at risk for relapse or return to old behaviors.
Whichever program type a patient uses, the ongoing care after primary treatment is often times the same. It usually includes regular counseling sessions, a support group, and sometimes participation in a 12-step program. The key is sticking with a treatment program until you feel confident that you are not at risk for further substance abuse.