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Levels of Addiction Treatment

levels of addiction treatment

A person who needs treatment for a substance use disorder should always be admitted into a level of addiction treatment that is reflective of the severity of their condition. But, sometimes factors such as living environment, finances, and employment impact a person’s final decision. When the appropriate levels of addiction treatment are obtained, however, a person looking to recover from a substance use disorder can be provided with effective, everlasting care that can keep them from slipping back into their old ways. 

Levels of Addiction Treatment 

Residential Treatment

Residential addiction treatment is the top-tier of addiction treatment options. Of all the levels of addiction treatment, residential treatment (also referred to as inpatient treatment) is the most intensive and involved. This level of addiction treatment is ideal for those who:

  • Have a moderate to severe substance use disorder 
  • Have made numerous attempts to get sober but have been unable to maintain sobriety
  • Require detoxification services 
  • Have both a substance use disorder and a mental illness occurring simultaneously (known as a “dual diagnosis”)
  • Do not have a stable environment to live in while obtaining professional addiction treatment 

Residential treatment is offered in 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day programming options. Patients stay at the facility for the duration of their treatment, where they are closely monitored and cared for by medical and mental health professionals, as well as addiction specialists. Residential treatment programs offer a wide variety of therapies to ensure that all patients are able to get the care they need in order to remain in recovery. Some of the most common of these therapies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Individual therapy 
  • Group counseling
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Trauma therapy (including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Contingency management 
  • Family therapy 

When a person completes residential treatment, they either return to their everyday lives or step down into different levels of addiction treatment that are not as structured or strict as residential treatment. This decision is made between the professionals in the residential program and patients prior to their completion of the program.

Partial Hospitalization Program 

A partial hospitalization program, or a PHP, is designed to meet the needs of people who are experiencing both a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. This level of addiction treatment is highly effective in treating those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and who also have a mental illness, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Personality disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders

Those who enroll in partial hospitalization programs either live at home or a sober living facility during the time of treatment. They must also be able to get to and from the facility, as well as care for themselves when at home.

During PHP, patients can expect to spend the majority of their time at the facility, and during time spent in a sober living home can be learning and applying newfound skills to daily life. During this level of care, patients receive individualized therapy as well as other types of therapeutic and pharmacological services, such as:

  • Group counseling
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Life-skills classes
  • Regular psychological evaluations
  • Family therapy

The amount of time that a person spends in a partial hospitalization program is based on a number of factors, including how quickly they progress while in treatment. The majority of people in a partial hospitalization program spend several weeks there and then transition down to other levels of addiction treatment. Some patients stay in their partial hospitalization program for a few months. Again, length of stay is usually determined based on progress, along with mental wellness. 

Intensive outpatient program

Intensive outpatient programs, which are commonly known as “IOP’s”, share several similarities with a partial hospitalization program, however there is not as strong of a focus on mental illness in an IOP. Intensive outpatient programs provide patients with a consistent structure that allows for them to obtain the care they need without having to stay in a residential setting. This type of program is a good option for those who:

  • Have completed higher levels of addiction treatment such as residential treatment or a partial hospitalization program
  • Cannot dedicate their time to a residential treatment program due to extenuating circumstances
  • Need regular, but not daily, addiction treatment in order to continue to recover
  • Do not need detox services or around-the-clock supervision

An intensive outpatient program usually runs 3-5 days per week for several hours at a time. Because of this, it is recommended that patients make their treatment their top priority, as it takes up the majority of their week. Overall, an IOP usually lasts for up to twelve weeks. 

When participating in this level of care, patients are provided with evidence-based treatments, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Behavioral therapy (including cognitive and dialectical)
  • Trauma therapy 

Much of the time spent at the facility during an IOP will be spent in group settings. Group counseling, process groups, and skills groups (to name a few) are conducted regularly, allowing for a strong support system to develop among patients.

Outpatient treatment

For those individuals who are experiencing a mild to moderate substance use disorder and who can continue to maintain their sobriety outside of a treatment facility, outpatient treatment is ideal. Of all the levels of addiction treatment available, outpatient treatment is the most accessible, as it is often covered partially or in full by most insurance companies and allows patients to uphold a life outside of treatment. This means that patients can continue to work, raise their children, attend school, or continue to carry out any other responsibilities they may have. 

It is extremely common for individuals who have completed higher levels of care to also attend outpatient treatment to help ease them back into everyday living. This is also frequently done by those who still need a greater amount of guidance and structure than  what the average therapist or support group can provide. As with most other levels of addiction treatment, outpatient treatment can provide therapies such as individual and group therapy to EMDR and motivational interviewing. 

Addiction Treatment in Orange County

No matter how mild or severe your substance use disorder is, getting treatment is the best, most effective thing you can do. If you are ready to put a stop to your active addiction and reclaim your life, call us right now. We are standing by and ready to help you, so do not wait any longer. Make the call today. 

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