Treatment Center Basics

Treatment Center Basics

The ultimate goal of any treatment program is to enable patients to recover from their addiction and to lead healthy, productive lives free of drugs and alcohol. Taking a patient suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction and turning their life around is no easy task and it takes time, patience, and persistence from both the patient and the addiction professionals involved with their treatment. It's commonly acknowledged in the industry that there is no single treatment that works for everyone, which is why there are many different approaches to addiction recovery and many different types of treatment centers.

Complete recovery from addiction is a long and challenging journey. It is not something that is resolved overnight, and it is very common for addicts to relapse or try multiple treatment centers before they are successful in their recovery. However, those addicts that actually seek and receive treatment in the United States are in the minority. There are millions of adults with alcohol and drug abuse disorders that never receive treatment and are caught in a vicious cycle that carries a heavy weight on society. Untreated substance abuse and addiction add significant costs to families and communities including those related to violence, property crimes, theft, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, healthcare costs, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care, welfare costs, reduced productivity, and unemployment. Of course these factors don't take into account the emotional and mental cost a family endures when a loved one is fighting addiction. The best course of action if you think or know you or a loved one is battling with addiction, is to seek professional advice. Its considered best practice to treat addiction just as you would any other chronic disease.

Treatment Centers: The Basics
No matter what type of addiction you're facing, there is a treatment facility that will fit your needs. The patient and family need to determine the best fit for their addiction. Here are a few things to consider when researching multiple treatment centers:

  • Does this facility offer detox?

  • What's their approach for treatment?

  • Does this treatment facility specialize in my addiction?

  • Does the facility offer inpatient and/or outpatient treatment?

  • How much will my treatment cost?

  • What forms of payment can I use?

  • Does the facility offer co-ed or gender-specific treatment?

  • How long is a typical stay?

Detoxification, or detox as it is more commonly referred to, is not always offered at a treatment facility. Detox can be a very dangerous time during an addict's recovery and needs to be done under close medical supervision to ensure everyone's safety. Many times, a medical professional will administer medication to ease the pain and symptoms of withdrawal during the detox period. Ask the treatment centers you're considering if detox is offered at their facility. If it is not offered, many times they will partner with a medical facility for detox, then transfer the patient when detox is completed. Keep in mind, detox is just the first step of a long journey through recovery- detox alone is not a successful form of treatment.

Treatment Approaches
As stated above, there is no one approach that works for everyone, however studies show that a combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and relapse prevention seem to be effective in treating addiction.

Medications are not available for every addiction, but they are currently available for opioid and nicotine addiction. Medication is currently being developed for other common addictions such as marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Opioid addiction medications such as methadone and buprenorphine act to relieve the cravings and withdrawal symptoms so the addict can focus on therapy and treatment, and abstain from reckless behavior.

Many industry professionals will agree that group treatment is the most effective form

Behavioral treatments are used to modify attitudes and behaviors toward drugs and alcohol, while teaching healthy life skills and coping techniques. Behavioral treatment will also enable the medication and overall treatment program to work more effectively. Behavioral treatment comes in many different forms at both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. Many industry professionals will agree that group treatment is the most effective form of behavioral treatment since the group members will hold each other accountable throughout recovery. Other behavioral treatment types include family therapy, motivational interviewing, and motivational incentives.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Facilities
Inpatient or residential treatment as it's commonly referred to, can be a very effective option for addiction recovery. It allows the addict to retreat to a peaceful, serene environment removing them from social situations that might make it more difficult to become sober. Many times a holistic approach to treatment is used at residential treatment facilities. Many residential treatment centers do not have a religious affiliation, but will incorporate the sense of a higher power or spiritual element into the treatment. Residential treatment can be very costly which can prohibit many addicts from receiving the type of treatment they may need, as residential treatment facilities cater to severe cases of addiction.

Many southern California residential treatment centers have been in the media lately due to the high number of celebrities that receive treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. While these facilities have become very popular, they are the high-end and priciest option for residential treatment. There are many options in all price ranges for addicts that need residential treatment, however if you have the option of outpatient treatment there even more choices available.

Outpatient facilities allow the addict to continue living at home and possibly keep their job while receiving addiction treatment several hours each week. One of the main benefits of outpatient treatment is the constant support and involvement from the family, which studies indicate can significantly increase the addict's chance of long-term sobriety. Outpatient treatment is significantly less expensive than residential treatment as well. Outpatient treatment is usually a good option when the addict needs a low to moderate level of treatment, however any addict should always see a medical professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

The Cost of Addiction Treatment
Addiction treatment is a lifetime investment, which must be kept in mind when researching addiction treatment centers since they usually come with a high price tag. However when someone is able to regain control of their life and their future, that type of rehabilitation is truly priceless. Residential treatment facilities will always be more costly than an outpatient treatment program, however prices vary greatly depending on the treatment, length of stay, amenities, food, perks, and of course insurance.

When calculating your out-of-pocket expenses, first speak to your insurance company to find out what type of coverage they offer. Many insurance companies are realizing that addiction is a disease and it is well worth supplementing the treatment versus paying for a lifetime of doctor visits and consequential health risks.

If insurance is not available and you're unable to pay the cost of addiction treatment, there are government programs available. Also keep in mind that some residential treatment centers can supplement care and also award scholarships each year to those who are unable to afford treatment otherwise.

Find the Best Fit
When researching treatment centers keep your mind open to all of the options out there and speak frequently to your medical professional to make the best decision possible. There are long and short term residential treatment centers, gender-specific programs, inpatient, outpatient, aversion therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and many other choices. Give yourself the best shot at recovery by choosing a treatment facility that will work best for you.


All Treatment does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.