Most people do not really know what options are available out there for addiction services. Here is a quick run down of most of the available levels of help that you can get:
1) Inpatient treatment – this is probably the most common form of services for addiction, and this is what you think of as being the typical “28 day program.” The addict or alcoholic would generally go through a detox process under close medical supervision, and then they would stay in a residential facility for the remainder of the time. The standard used to be 28 days, but that is quite expensive and lengthy, so most stays now run closer to 10 days or 2 weeks.
Inpatient addiction services usually are 12 step based, meaning that they rely on AA or NA meetings as the foundation for the recovery. They also typically use group therapy and lectures as part of the program.
This type of setup is expensive, flexible, and powerful. Sadly enough, the typical success rates for short term, residential rehab are generally pretty low. Those who claim to have outstanding success rates are either lying or have very poor data to back up their claims. Nevertheless, this is most likely the best option for most addicts.
2) Outpatient treatment – similar to inpatient, but the participants go home each night. This makes for a lousy experience, because the temptations of normal drug use are basically all around you when you are “on the outside.” This is a serious limitation to outpatient services. Success rates are generally a bit lower than with inpatient treatment.
3) Counseling or therapy – similar to outpatient, but more one-on-one between client and professional. Generally not enough to actually help a person turn their whole life around. Most intensive therapy is needed for massive changes.
4) Long term rehab – living in a halfway house or a rehab for longer than 30 days, usually several months. A slightly better success rate than other forms of treatment, but by no means a magic bullet. Pretty expensive unless it is set up to house homeless addicts.
5) Daily 12 step meetings – this is not really an addiction service, but for some addicts and alcoholics, it has served as their only solution for addiction, and they have made it work for them. Pretty remarkable considering that meetings are basically free, and everything else on this list costs an arm and a leg. On the other hand, 12 step success rates are just as bad as other forms of treatment, and the program is certainly not for everyone.
If you are not sure which services you need, then I strongly urge you to call up a local treatment center and just try to get into short term treatment. Why? Because from there, you can likely get matched up with the exact services that you truly need in order to recover. Working with a therapist in short term residential treatment is a good starting point from which they can direct you to any number of different services. They might even just point you toward AA and NA meetings. Or they might encourage long term rehab, and so on.