Treatment Centers for Addiction: What Are My Options? How Do They Work?

treatment centers for addiction
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The current opioid addiction crisis in America is creating more treatment centers. With multiple options, people who have substance use disorders can make decisions about how to handle rehab. These facilities promise freedom from addiction and guidance towards a new path in life. However, not all treatment centers are the same. 

The old notion of “being sent away to rehab” is fading. It is important to read up on all the different kinds of programs that are available, though. There are potential drawbacks to choosing one method over another, so being informed is key.  

Detox Treatment Centers


A lot of people misuse the word, detox, especially when relating it to addiction. The process of detoxification is a medical withdrawal from a substance under doctor supervision. This is the first stage of treatment where the doctors gradually clear the body of drugs. It attempts to lessen the very painful and sometimes life-threatening effects of withdrawal.

While a detox is the first step in treatment, it’s not a “cure.” Detox doesn’t deal with the psychological and behavioral issues that surround addiction. Treatments shouldn’t use detoxing by itself as a plan to stop drug use. Detoxing treatments should always follow up with a formal assessment and treatment plan. These usually provide counseling to help the person follow a long-lasting drug addiction treatment plan. This attempts to keep addicts from returning to drug misuse.

A detox is also useful in circumstances where someone experiences a relapse and needs help getting back on their road to recovery. In less common cases, people can experience a relapse further into their recovery after they already had extensive counseling and therapy. These patients should revisit group support and counseling to reset their recovery plan.

Long-Term Inpatient Treatment

This is the “historical picture” of addiction treatment. This 24-hour assisted care is for people who are suffering from severe addiction. This facility monitors the recovering addicts, who all live in a therapeutic community among each other. While these places are not in a hospital setting, they do provide medical treatment along with therapy and the “resocialization” of patients.


These programs are abstinence-based, so the treatment focuses mostly on the psychological aspects of someone’s addictive behaviors. There are often intense daily activities that address someone’s deep-rooted issues. These communities structure and provide comprehensive day-to-day treatments from the first phases all the way to the end. This is also the case for pre-release programs where they train the patients for re-employment and healthy living once they leave that sober environment.

Long-term inpatient programs usually take place in very isolated compounds. This separates the patient from their friends and family for an extended period of time. They can have visitors, but they must be monitored by the staff. 

This treatment option is mainly for people who are court-ordered to seek treatment instead of jail time. However, due to the high costs, patients who attend these centers have to be able to afford them. 


Short-Term Residential Treatment

Similar to the long-term residential treatment facilities, these inpatient treatment centers provide an isolated environment. Short-term centers typically last 30 – 90 days and combine outpatient therapy and group sessions. Many of these centers focus on self-help and abstinence-based 12-step programs in order to keep patients engaged in the recovering community.

Many find that the community surrounding this program can help prevent relapse. These kinds of treatment centers were most popular around the 1980s, helping people deal mostly with alcohol and cocaine addiction. However, now that we are facing the opioid epidemic, these facilities are changing.

If you are considering this kind of treatment, be aware of facilities that are untrustworthy and practicing “rehab fraud”. Do your research by reading reviews and checking to see if the treatment center has a license. 


Outpatient Treatment

Clinics that offer MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, are great for people who cannot afford isolated inpatient programs. This treatment includes both individual and group counseling. So, with outpatient treatment centers, people can receive the drug treatment they need, while continuing to attend their jobs and care for their homes and family. This option does not disrupt the lives of recovering addicts as much as the others. 

The reality is that many people are dealing with addiction still have to be active in their lives. “Sending someone away” to a treatment facility in another state may simply not be an option financially or logistically for some people. The programs offered by outpatient centers allow for more flexibility, which makes recovery more manageable. Group counseling is also highly recommended and a beneficial component of outpatient treatment programs.

The Bottom Line

With so many treatment options available, it’s important to think about which program would work best for your substance use disorder and your life. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see what your coverage will pay for. If need be, then you can research programs that offer financial help.

Recovering addicts should take their treatment very seriously. If you choose the right method, it will help lead you to a better and more fulfilling life. Once treatment has begun, you will be well on your way. However, to succeed in the world with your new-found sobriety, you need the proper help to keep you moving forward.