Types of Addiction Treatment
clock_iconOctober 23, 2020 clock_icon7 min read
Addiction treatment is often broken down into several levels of care, from which the major ones are the following:
  • Detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • outpatient treatment 
  • Support Groups
  • Aftercare and Counseling
  • Sober Living 

All of them serve different purposes through the recovery process and are often accessed in that particular order.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has created a scale for ranking the acuity or intensity of the level of care which ranks from 0-4 with 4 being the most acute. For more information on the levels of care keep on reading the next sections.

What is Detox?

Detox is the process of facilitating the safe clearance of drugs or alcohol from the patients’ organism. Depending on the substance of abuse, the detox process commonly lasts anywhere from a few days to weeks.
Abruptly quitting alcohol or the use of certain drugs on your own can be both unnecessarily difficult and problematic, particularly when severe physiological substance dependence has developed. With substances such as opioids or alcohol, many people will experience characteristic symptoms of physical withdrawal such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and tremors. More severe withdrawal symptoms or withdrawal complications, such as marked agitation and seizures, can occur depending on the substance of use.
It’s worth noting that there may be a difference in the levels of detox services available. In some cases, detox may not necessarily mean medical detox. While in a medical detox program, you may be given medications to help control the severity of withdrawal symptoms and minimize cravings to use. You may also have extensive medical monitoring, in case you experience complications from withdrawal.

Detox Process

Though precise detox experiences will vary, when a person seeks professional detoxification services, they are likely to encounter three elements important to the early recovery process:


During the evaluation, a patient undergoes a complete mental and medical health assessment, including various tests to identify which drugs are in the patient’s system.


Stabilization involves bringing a person into a substance-free state as safely and comfortably as possible. Several strategies can be used, including the administration of medications, various psychosocial interventions, and involving a patient’s family with treatment to help motivate the patient. In addition, here, at West Valley Detox, our professional team will work with patients to familiarize them with treatment and the next stages.

Transitioning to Treatment

Facilitating a transition into additional rehabilitation or substance use disorder treatment. Admission into treatment is an important goal of a professional detoxification program. Getting the drugs or alcohol out of a person’s organism is not the end of treatment. Check our previous article, if a drug detox guide is needed, provided by the best experts.

what is detoxification

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment or residential rehabilitation:
Substance abuse treatment is considered to be an integral part of our society. Millions of people struggle with addiction, with potentially catastrophic and irreversible consequences. Substance abuse treatment provides a source of hope for those who are struggling with addiction.
Treatment involves many different kinds of services, which range in intensity. Some of the various forms of treatment that are available today are the following:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient
  • Residential
  • Outpatient therapy
  • Case management
  • Support groups

However, inpatient and residential rehab are the two mainstays of addiction treatment. It is these treatment tracks that will generally help an individual address the underlying medical and physiological causes of their addiction.

Inpatient and residential substance abuse treatment is available for various types of addictions. Opioids, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine are some of the types of drugs that inpatient and residential treatment can target.

Inpatient or Residential Treatment?

Many people assume that inpatient and residential treatment are the same. Confusing the two terms or using them interchangeably is common, due to their many similarities. Both treatment tracks involve living with people who are recovering from substance abuse and usually have a specific and time-limited length of stay.

Inpatient and residential treatment differ in a few key aspects. First, the length of stay in inpatient and residential rehab can vary greatly. Generally, inpatient rehab is shorter than residential rehab. Second, the purposes of stay can differ as well. Inpatient tends to be tailored to helping individuals achieve medical stability while addressing the problems of addiction. And third, the intensity of service can vary greatly between inpatient and residential rehab. Again, inpatient tends to be more hands-on in terms of medical treatment and achieving stabilization, while residential rehab is usually based on the assumption that the patient is medically stable.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is focused on helping people transition from the controlled environment of inpatient rehab to normal lives. It involves attending individual or group appointments while living at home. Due to the lack of a residential or hospital setting, outpatient rehab is most successfully used after detox or inpatient rehab treatment. If you have not accessed those levels of care first, you may want to consider our sobriety guide which outlines the typical steps of treatment.

Types of Outpatient Treatment

There are a few key options within the outpatient treatment that you should consider. Because these treatment services are offered on an outpatient basis, you can continue to live at home and participate in your community, which may benefit your adjustment to living sober. Outpatient treatment options include intensive outpatient programs, traditional outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) or day treatment.
Intensive Outpatient Programs, or IOPs, are designed to offer a higher level of care than traditional outpatient services. IOPs may be a good choice if you aren’t an appropriate candidate for inpatient treatment or if you have recently graduated from inpatient treatment but continue to need more than weekly or bi-weekly treatment to assist with recovery.

Traditional Outpatient Treatment may be appropriate for you if you don’t need structured or intensive treatment but would still benefit from ongoing supportive services to facilitate and sustain recovery.
Partial Hospitalization Programs are designed for people who need intensive treatment, structure, and support during the day, but are stable enough to not require medically intensive services and can live at home.

Addiction Support Groups

There are many different layers to a recovery program. These layers include interventions that may be intensive, formal, and specialized as well as interventions that are less intensive, minimally structured, and informal. It is important to ensure that you are receiving the most effective care based on your specific needs and your stage in the recovery journey.

Support groups are initially assessed during treatment in either inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment settings as a form of group therapy. Though this is where people generally first access support groups, many people continue on with support group meetings after treatment ends. This is a form of aftercare that often goes along with counseling.
Learn also about 12-Step Support Groups here.

Addiction treatment support groups

Addiction Therapy and Aftercare

Substance abuse counselors are certified or licensed professionals who provide drug counseling to help people struggling with addiction. States may have different requirements regarding education and credentialing for drug rehab counselors. However, most addiction therapists have at least a Master’s degree in their field.

A drug rehab counselor might be a licensed social worker, certified substance abuse and alcohol counselor, employee assistance program counselor, psychologist, mental health counselor, marriage and family counselor, or licensed professional counselor.
An addiction counselor’s goal is to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. Substance abuse counselors know what it takes to become clean and sober and how to best support you throughout the recovery process. They offer a wide range of necessary services to help people become and stay abstinent from drugs or alcohol.
Check also our article about Sober Living Homes, which is considered to be another type of addiction treatment and are housing options that are supportive of a clean and sober lifestyle.

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