Finding Drug Rehab – Your Options

If you need drug or alcohol rehabilitation but don’t know what your options are, you came to the right place. Drug addiction is overwhelming for both the addict and the loved ones. The internet is filled with an overwhelming amount of information and most people who call are completely confused as to what is the right thing to do. The truth is that there is no perfect answer, just what works best for you.

We break down the main differences between types of treatment and the various options available so that you can eliminate what’s NOT right and find the right thing for your situation.

Here is a brief breakdown on the main differences in treatment:

Residential vs Outpatient:

residental treatmentResidential Programs are where the addict lives in the facility where the program is delivered. It is a controlled environment with structure and housing is shared with other participants in the program, as well as staff. The benefits of a residential program are that the addict is not tempted to use drugs during therapy and they are totally committed to eliminating distractions so that they can focus 10% on dealing with their addiction.

Outpatient Programs are where the addict still lives at home and travels to treatment during the day. This can range from a one-hour class once a week to a full day, every day. The benefits of an outpatient program are that it is not as costly because the program does not have to house and feed the addict, as well as a greater sense of freedom. However, there is great temptation to use drugs or alcohol while at home or simply blow off and not go to the treatment facility. A drug addict with a serious problem would likely not make it at an outpatient program.

Short Term vs Long Term Treatment:

It is only common sense that the longer one is in treatment, the higher the chance for success, if only based strictly on time away from drugs or alcohol. In drug rehab terms, “short term” would be considered anything 30 days or less. This could be a 1 week detox or a 28 day treatment program. Short term drug treatment can be effective as a diversion with younger people without major drug problems.

Long Term Treatment typically refers to programs over 30 days in length. Some programs may consist of 60 or 90 days, while others may last as long as a year. What is important is that the amount of treatment is comparative to the abuse of drugs. For example, if a person is a drug addict for 10 years, it seems absurd that they might change their entire life in a week or two.

Traditional Treatment vs Alternative Treatment:

While there are thousands of drug treatment programs available, they mostly fall into two basic “philosophies” towards treatment, Traditional or Alternative.

Traditional Treatment would be considered therapy based on the 12-Step Program, originally developed in the 1930’s and used in treating alcoholics through Alcoholics Anonymous. At the time, 12-Step programs were Christian-based and often required surrendering to God as part of treatment. More recently, drug rehab programs have implemented the 12-Steps but without necessarily needing to become Christian. Surrendering to God became surrendering to a higher power and thus allowed others to participate regardless of a specific religion.

Commonly (although not always) found drug rehabs using the Traditional model of treatment is the concept of the “disease model”. This theory is that addiction is a disease and that it must be treated like any other disease, with medication or by treating symptoms. There are obvious arguments for this because you can’t take a pill to rid yourself of addiction like you can a disease treated with antibiotics. By labeling addiction as a disease, doctors and hospitals were able to bill insurance companies for the treatment of addiction. Some see this as appropriate recognition of addiction as a medical condition, while others see it as a way to make money by classifying something as a medical condition.

Alternative Treatment would basically be considered anything which is NOT Traditional treatment. This could refer to Wilderness programs where the addict hikes out in nature to get away from it all, or to a place where the clients doholistic treatment yoga and breathing exercises. Nearly all programs have a treatment philosophy and these can vary greatly. Recently, holistic drug rehab programs are becoming more popular and concentrate on diet, exercise and educational-type treatment as compared to approaching addiction as a disease.

The debate between Traditional and Alternative treatments can be a fiery one. Traditionalists often believe that only the 12-Steps can get someone off drugs and other philosophies are just “fluffy” or “feel-good”. While proponents of Alternative Treatment will call 12-Step programs “outdated” and “obsolete”.

Time-Based vs All-Inclusive Programs:

Nearly all drug rehab programs are based on time whether it is one week, 30 days, 90 days, etc. It makes logical sense to do it this way because a treatment facility only has so many beds and can’t keep people around forever. By having a set number of days, there can be an objective goal about how much progress should be made in how much time. The downside of this is that an addict might not make as much progress as hoped in the amount of time and once the time is up, the addict must leave.

There are some rehab programs that do offer “All-Inclusive” treatment. This means that there is no specific number of days that a person is in a program, but rather a set of goals that must be accomplished in order for them to complete the program. It may take one person 30 days to complete the goals while it takes another person 55 days to do the same thing. The rationale behind this is that everyone learns at their own pace and that an 18 year old who has been abusing drugs for 6 months has much less “baggage” than a 60 year old man who has been abusing drugs for 30 years.

For-Profit vs Non-Profit:

business meetingDrug Rehabilitation has in the past 20 years become a big industry. There are an ever-growing number of For-Profit rehab centers that are competing with each other for “business” and sell different things like amenities such as food, location, recreation, etc. It is much like a hotel or resort trying to entice you to come and vacation at their location, except that treatment methods are included in the amenities. There is such big money in drug rehab that some are even owned by investors and hedge funds, who see profit in treating a certain clientele who can pay for treatment with either cash or insurance policies.

Non-Profit rehab programs are often funded by government grants or through charities, although some are private and raise their own money through program fees. These organizations are not able to pay out profits to shareholders or the CEO, but must invest profits back into the company. They are motivated by their mission statements and work for the good of the community as their primary focus.

People have differing opinions on For-Profit vs Non-Profit treatment programs. Some think that there is nothing wrong with businesses competing with each other for profit just like other corporations and brands in America, and that the customer will benefit from the healthy competition.  Others see a conflict of interest with “Profit” being the primary motive behind the treatment, and that a rehab with shareholders who are worried about the bottom line and maximizing profits will not treat a client the same.

Facility Amenities

horseEach drug rehab facility has a different personality and perks that it uses to appeal to certain people. Some offer very large, lavish facilities while others operate in a small home for people who want privacy. Many look like a hospital or clinic while others resemble a ranch or resort, complete with pool and workout equipment. Some may offer a chef while others have clients participate in making meals and working around the facility.

When speaking to a facility, ask about their amenities. The most important thing is that the addict is comfortable in their environment, and small things can often make a big difference.

Unique Benefits:

Certain programs offer special benefits that are not available at other locations. These may include the ability to transition into a sober living environment or take vocational training after the program is over. Or it may be an aftercare program that eases the process from treatment back into the real world. Ask the treatment program what unique benefits they may have so that you can make the most informed choice.

We hope this has been helpful and given you some insight into what to expect when choosing a drug rehab program. Call us today to help you with your specific situation. We can help you find the right program for yourself or your loved one.


See Also: 

The Top 5 Reasons Interventions Fail

Addiction: Is it Really a Disease?

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Residential Rehab