Reaching out for help is an amazing and brave step. However, the search for treatment can be overwhelming, full of jargon, and very confusing.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone is unique and so is their path towards recovery. Finding the right kind of treatment depends on a lot of factors: severity of use, drug of choice, personal preferences, home situation, and schedule flexibility.
Here is a crash course in the different levels of treatment so that you can start to think about which is the best fit for you:
Detox is medically supervised withdrawal. If your withdrawals are severe enough (causing hallucinations, seizures, irregular heartbeat, severe anxiety), you will likely need medical supervision.
Detox might be the right choice for you if your drug of choice is alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opiates. Supervision during these withdrawals makes it much safer.
Detox is shorter in duration when compared to other treatment options. It is limited in
scope to the time it takes for your body to rid itself of the drugs in your system.
During inpatient treatment, you will stay in a medical facility (like a hospital or clinic) with a clinical staff for an extended period of time. The most common length for an inpatient stay is 28 continuous days, but this will depend on things like your insurance coverage and severity of use. It often includes a detox at the beginning and then includes other forms of therapies, like group programs and 1-1 counseling.
Inpatient might be the best fit for you if your home life isn’t conducive to your recovery, if you are at risk for terrible withdrawals, if previous forms of less intense treatment haven’t worked, or if you’d like 24-hour medical and emotional support.
Residential is similar to inpatient except that the program length is often a little bit longer (a month or more). Residential programs also differ in that they don’t take place in a medical facility, rather they take place in a setting that’s a little more “homey.”
These programs might also serve as a follow-up or a continuation of inpatient care.
Residential might be for you if you’re interested in an inpatient for a longer amount of
time so that you can master the tools of recovery before applying them to the outside
PHP is the most intensive non-inpatient level of care. It is 5 days per week, all day, but you can go home on nights and weekends. The treatment plan usually consists of 1-1 counseling, group counseling sessions, relapse prevention groups, and other specialized programming.
Intensive outpatient, in most cases, is 3 hours per day, 4 (or more) days per week, of 1-1 counseling and group sessions. You still get to live at home and will need to commute to and from the IOP location. Some IOP programs require additional activities, like attending AA meetings or getting a sponsor, but not all. There are a wide variety of IOP programs.
Intensive outpatient might be for you if you’d like to continue work or school but would still benefit from a high-touch level of treatment.
Outpatient is less time intensive than IOP and allows you to live at home and continue with your life largely as it is. Outpatient programs typically meet a few hours per week on the evenings or weekends.
Outpatient might be for you if you’re not at risk for extreme withdrawals, this is your
first time trying to reduce or moderate, or if you’d like to continue work or school while
going through a more time-intensive program.
Counseling is often included in other more intensive programs, but is also available independently. Frequency of traditional counseling meetings is very flexible and can be adjusted to meet your needs. If desired, you can seek out psychiatrists and psychologists who specialize in addiction treatment.
1-1 therapy might be a good option for you if you are coping with mental health issues outside of addiction or if you know you dislike group therapy formats.
MAT is a subset of both inpatient and outpatient programs. MAT programs provide medication like Methadone, Buprenorpine, or Naltrexone to help decrease the withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
MAT patients receive the same full set of services as inpatient/outpatient patients.
MAT programs have been proven effective, and might be right for you if you have relapsed before, are at high risk for relapse, or are currently using a drug for which there is a treatment medication (alcohol, opioids, and cigarettes).
Traditionally, treatment was only accessible by showing up in person at scheduled times with a provider. Today, you can find high quality providers that will deliver one-on-one therapy or an outpatient level of care, all simply by loading your laptop or logging into Facetime. It can be super convenient for people that are constantly travelling, have a busy schedule, or simply find it easier to open up when there is a screen between you and the therapist.
Virtual options are typically only available for outpatient treatment and one-on-one therapy.
With technology continuing to progress, there are new and innovative ways to receive support being developed every year. Some have more proof than others on their effectiveness and are generally not considered replacements to therapy. They range from structured programs via video chat, to texting with a therapist, all the way to on-demand peer support for those not ready to engage with more formal treatment.
Many of these support systems are delivered right on your phone and can be really great tools in addition to the treatment pathway that is best for you.
Formal care is just the first step in a lifelong journey of well-being. Setting yourself up for success post-treatment is crucial to long-term success. Today, there are many options for on-demand tools and resources, available on your phone and in person, in the moments you most need them. They often help with cravings, finding peer support in your area, daily motivational tools, and goal tracking. Most importantly, they can assist in visualizing your progress and ensuring you have the tools you need to be successful for the rest of your life.
These groups are not treatment programs, but might be available to you in treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”), Narcotics Anonymous (“NA”), and SMART Recovery are a few of the most common ones.
This is a question Triggr can help you answer! But some things to consider might be
what your circumstances are at home, if you can live away from home for an extended period
of time, and the severity of your addiction.
Explore Options With Us.
Our team is available to help you find your options.