July 17, 2023

What is Substance Abuse Treatment?


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Although substance use disorder is incurable, most addictions show positive responses to substance abuse treatment.

Treatment options such as therapy, counseling, and holistic interventions can address the underlying causes of addiction, enabling individuals to develop coping mechanisms and kickstart the process of healing and recovery. Since addiction affects each person uniquely, the path to recovery may differ for each individual. Thankfully, there is a wide range of specialized rehabilitation programs and treatment options available to cater to the personalized needs of each person.

Types of Substance Abuse Treatment

When it comes to addressing substance abuse, there are various types of treatment options available that cater to different needs and circumstances. The goal of substance abuse treatment is to help individuals overcome their dependence on drugs or alcohol, regain control of their lives, and achieve long-term recovery.

Read on to learn more about inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment for substance abuse.

Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs are designed for individuals who do not require 24-hour supervision and can maintain their daily routines while receiving treatment. This type of program offers flexibility, allowing individuals to live at home and remain anchored to personal and professional commitments. 

Outpatient treatment typically involves regular therapy sessions, counseling, support groups, and educational programs. It provides a supportive environment where individuals can learn coping strategies, develop relapse prevention skills, and address the underlying issues contributing to their substance abuse.

IOPs (intensive outpatient programs) are designed to provide a higher level of care than standard outpatient treatment. Individuals attend therapy sessions several times a week, allowing for more comprehensive treatment while still maintaining their daily responsibilities. This type of program is suitable for individuals who need more support than traditional outpatient treatment but do not require 24-hour supervision.

PHPs (partial hospitalization programs) offer a level of care that falls between outpatient and inpatient treatment for substance abuse. Individuals attend treatment sessions during the day, usually five days a week, and return home or to a supportive living environment in the evenings. This type of program is beneficial for individuals who have completed inpatient rehab or treatment or require more structure and support than traditional outpatient treatment.

Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse, also known as residential rehab, provides a structured and immersive environment for individuals with severe substance abuse issues. In this type of program, individuals reside in a specialized facility where they receive around-the-clock care and support. Substance abuse inpatient treatment is ideal for those who require a higher level of supervision, have co-occurring mental health disorders, or have unsuccessfully attempted outpatient treatment in the past. 

Drug Detox Treatment

Drug detoxification, commonly referred to as detox, is often the first step in substance abuse treatment. It focuses on safely managing the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that present when someone stops using drugs or alcohol. Detoxification can be carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction and the substance involved. 

Medical detox programs provide professional supervision and may include the use of medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Heroin addiction treatment often involves MAT (medication-assisted treatment), while there are currently no approved medications for marijuana addiction treatment, cocaine addiction treatment, or meth addiction treatment. 

Detox alone is not sufficient for long-term recovery, but it addresses the issue of physical dependence and prepares individuals with addictions for a comprehensive treatment program that tackles the psychological aspect of drug addiction.

an image of a woman representing substance abuse evaluation

Substance Abuse Treatment FAQs

What are the two main types of substance abuse?

The two main types of substance abuse are alcohol abuse, which involves excessive and harmful alcohol consumption, and drug abuse, which refers to the misuse or overuse of illicit drugs or prescription medications.

How is a substance abuse treatment evaluation done?

A substance abuse evaluation is typically conducted by healthcare professionals or addiction specialists. They assess an individual’s substance abuse history, physical and mental health, and social circumstances to determine the most appropriate treatment approach and level of care.

What is the best form of treatment for substance abuse disorders?

The best form of treatment for substance abuse disorders can vary depending on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Generally, a comprehensive approach that combines behavioral therapies like CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), with medical interventions and support systems, such as counseling and peer support groups, has been found to be effective in treating substance abuse disorders. However, the specific treatment plan should be tailored to each individual’s unique situation.

Substance Abuse Treatment Plan

A substance abuse treatment plan is a comprehensive and personalized roadmap that outlines the specific goals, strategies, and interventions to address an individual’s substance abuse issues. It serves as a guide for both the treatment providers and the person seeking treatment, ensuring a structured and focused approach towards recovery. Here are key components of a substance abuse treatment plan:

      • Assessment and evaluation: The treatment plan begins with a thorough substance abuse assessment and evaluation process, where healthcare professionals gather information about the individual’s substance abuse history, physical and mental health, social support system, and any co-occurring disorders. This evaluation helps identify the severity of the addiction and determines the most appropriate treatment interventions.

      • Goal setting: Clear and measurable goals are established collaboratively between the individual and the treatment team. These goals may include achieving abstinence, improving overall well-being, addressing underlying issues contributing to substance abuse, rebuilding relationships, and gaining essential life skills for maintaining long-term recovery.

      • Treatment modalities: The treatment plan outlines the specific treatment modalities and interventions that will be utilized to address the individual’s unique needs. This may include individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, CBT, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention training, and holistic approaches such as mindfulness and yoga. The long-term substance abuse treatment plan may also incorporate specialized therapies for co-occurring mental health disorders.

      • Medication management: If MAT is deemed appropriate, the treatment plan will include details about the prescribed medications, dosage, and monitoring procedures. MAT is commonly used for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders, as well as for heroin treatment, and involves the use of medications like methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone that are FDA-approved to reduce cravings, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and support long-term recovery.

      • Support systems: The treatment plan emphasizes the importance of establishing a robust support system. This may include involvement in peer support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous), connecting with a sponsor or mentor, engaging in sober social activities, and building positive relationships with family and friends. The plan may also include recommendations for aftercare programs and ongoing support beyond the initial treatment phase.

      • Progress monitoring and adjustments: Regular assessment and evaluation of the individual’s progress are integral parts of the treatment plan. The plan includes milestones to track progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment interventions. This ensures that the treatment remains effective and responsive to the individual’s changing needs throughout their recovery journey.

      • Continuum of care: The treatment plan recognizes that recovery is a lifelong process and emphasizes the importance of a continuum of care. It outlines strategies for transitioning from more intensive treatment settings to less intensive ones, such as stepping down from inpatient treatment to outpatient programs, and highlights the significance of ongoing support and relapse prevention strategies post-treatment.

    A man looks out at a landscape to represent substance abuse treatment plan

    Get Treatment for Substance Abuse at Gratitude Lodge

    At Gratitude Lodge, we can help you combat substance use issues at our pet-friendly treatment centers located in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA. Engage with a supervised drug or alcohol detox to withdraw from addictive substances as safely as possible.

    Following detox, you can move directly into a 30-day inpatient program for substance abuse. Here, you can access the following science-based and holistic interventions:

        • Psychotherapy

        • Individual counseling

        • Family therapy

        • Aftercare support

      For substance abuse treatment in Southern California, put your trust in Gratitude Lodge. Call admissions today at 888-861-1658 and let us help you move beyond substance use disorder.

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      Joe Gilmore

      Joseph Gilmore

      Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
      Jenni Bussi

      Jenni Russe MS, LPCC

      Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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