There are a number of different addiction recovery services that may or may not help you to recover from addiction and alcoholism. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can get help, and look at some of the pros and cons of each.
Now obviously, there are thousands of addicts and alcoholics out there who are using outpatient therapy, long term rehabs, methadone clinics, inpatient rehabs, and so on. Many people fail and a certain percentage do succeed.
What works for some will not work for others. This much should be obvious. But there are also some general trends that you should know.
Outpatient detox services
A lot of people who are early in recovery and do not have experience with trying to get clean and sober think that outpatient sounds like a great idea. It is cheaper and they can stay in the comfort of their own home, at least initially.
The idea of doing detoxification on an outpatient basis, however, is a terrible idea. It is horribly unsafe, and you have pretty much zero support. The chance of relapse is extremely high in this situation.
I don’t generally recommend outpatient in any form, but outpatient detox is especially stupid. Avoid it.
Outpatient drug rehab counseling
Some people attend rehab and go to the therapy, groups, and lectures, but stay at home while they are doing and simply commute back and forth each day.
Again, this sounds like a great idea and might also save everyone a bunch of money. Unfortunately, it works pretty poorly for most people who try it.
Now it will work for some, of course, but for anyone who is struggling even a little bit with their addiction, outpatient does not make much sense.
Consider the environmental impact that threatens to make the addict or alcoholic relapse on a constant basis. With outpatient treatment, you don’t get any shielding from this constant threat at all.
All of those familiar triggers that remind you to use your drug of choice will still be in your life if you choose to go the outpatient route.
Inpatient alcoholism and drug detox
Now if you decide to call up a rehab center and check into an inpatient setup, you will likely go through detox first, then residential treatment. This is what I would recommend for anyone who struggles to stay clean and sober and cannot make it work on their own. The cost may be a bit steeper up front than outpatient, but the cost savings if you do manage to stay clean and sober are infinitely great.
For example, if you it costs you 5 thousand dollars for inpatient, but you stay clean and sober for the rest of your life, then you can consider that to be a bargain. Most people spend at least 5 thousand dollars each year on their addiction, and usually it is more than that when you figure in the far reaching effects that it has on all areas of their life.
Inpatient detox is where you stay there overnight, as if in a hospital, and are supervised by medical staff around the clock. This is especially important if coming off of alcohol or certain other drugs that can have a violent physical withdrawal. In some cases it can even be dangerous or even fatal to do an unsupervised detox (which is why outpatient detox is so nuts!).
If you can afford it or have the resources, I recommend that most people start with inpatient detox.
Inpatient treatment services
Usually after inpatient detox you would go to residential treatment for anywhere from about 10 days to maybe 28 days total. Anything longer than that is generally going to be considered long term.
Residential treatment is the part where you go to groups, lectures, and see a therapist. You probably will be exposed to 12 step meetings such as AA or NA as well at this point.
For the most part, this is going to be the most powerful and useful option for anyone who is really serious about recovery. Going through detox and then residential inpatient usually go hand in hand. Most people do both.
Depending on the situation, a counselor or a therapist who works with you in residential treatment will set you up for some form of aftercare. This answers the question: “How do we help this addict or alcoholic after they leave our treatment center?” Some will go to meetings, some to outpatient therapy, some to long term rehabs, and so on.
If you do not have ANY form of aftercare to follow through with, this generally decreases your chances of staying clean and sober. Those who follow through with an aftercare program and stick with it are the ones who generally do well in recovery.
So basically: go to treatment, then do what they tell you to do. Follow through.
Long term treatment services
If you have the means, go to long term treatment. The rate of success is generally higher for those who stay in treatment longer.
What you will find in a lot of long term rehabs is a pretty poor rate of success. Why is this? Because most people tend to leave early, and do not follow through with the full program. Or, they fail to follow the rules, and sabotage their own recovery.
But anyone who really wants to get clean and sober can definitely do it by living in long term. This solution offers the BEST support that you can get, period. You will also probably get lots of therapy, groups, and 12 step involvement at most long term rehabs. All good things, for the most part, and all of them can help you.
Drug maintenance programs like methadone or Suboxone maintenance
If you have chronic pain issues in your life that go beyond your addiction then you might benefit from a long term drug program.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of those who end up on these medications are just people looking for the easy way out. They do not really have chronic pain issues and they are just trying to medicate their problem away.
The rate of success with maintenance medications in the long run are not very encouraging. It might work for some but you should talk with your doctor to see if you are a good candidate for it. It is also important that you find a doctor who has experience and expertise in treating addiction specifically.