Top Questions People Have About Addiction Treatment

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Acknowledging that you are struggling with drugs or alcohol is a crucial step in getting your life back on track. The next step is finding the best addiction treatment for you. Having countless rehabs and treatment programs to choose from can make this process overwhelming. This is especially true if you and your loved ones have never been through this process before.

Before you begin to panic or put off going to treatment, we have answers to some of the most common questions individuals struggling with addiction ask. We hope this will help you start your recovery in the best place most suited to you.

What is Addiction Treatment?

Addiction treatment is intended to help individuals stop compulsively seeking and misusing drugs and alcohol. There are various types of treatment available, allowing individuals to find the one that best meets their needs.


For those who are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol, detox is necessary. During the detoxification process the body rids itself of toxic substances, allowing the body to stabilize. Medically-monitored detox is particularly important for those addicted to alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines.

Residential Treatment:

For those in need of around-the-clock care and support, residential treatment is ideal. While in residential treatment, individuals are able to address their psychological dependence, discover the root of their addiction, learn to manage triggers, and gain relapse prevention tools.

Outpatient Treatment:

For those who need addiction treatment on a flexible schedule, outpatient treatment is best. Outpatient services allow individuals to maintain their personal and professional commitments without sacrificing their health.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT):

For those who are struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction and need help managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, MAT can be life-saving. MAT provides individuals with addiction medications such as Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone), Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release), and Vivitrol (naltrexone) to help them stay sober and committed in their recovery.

Addiction treatment can occur in a variety of settings. It may also incorporate complementary services such as wellness therapies that can provide individuals with the necessary tools to maintain their sobriety once they have completed treatment. Because addiction is a chronic disease, many individuals need treatment that is long-term and includes post-treatment monitoring. To help determine if you will need additional care after treatment, many treatment centers will have a case manager help you develop an aftercare plan.

What Happens During Treatment?

Many people begin their recovery journey with detox, which allows the body to eliminate all the toxic influences of drugs and alcohol. The detoxification process can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, even life-threatening. Because of this, it is highly recommended that individuals do not detox alone. In a medical setting, addiction professionals can ensure the individual’s safety and comfort. In some cases they may prescribe medications to help alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Holistic therapies such as acupuncture and yoga can also help manage pain during this phase of treatment.

After the the body has been stabilized, treatment continues and segues into residential, also known as inpatient or outpatient programs.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment often consists of addiction education, individual and group counseling, and, often, family counseling. Comprehensive treatment programs will also offer wellness therapies, psychiatric services, and gender-specific groups.

Inpatient treatment provides you with a safe environment away from triggers or negative influences, as well as a network of supportive peers who all have the same common goal: recovery. It also gives you continuous access to addiction treatment professionals who can walk you through any challenges you may come across, and medical staff to monitor your physical and mental health.

Outpatient Treatment

Typically, outpatient treatment consists of a combination of individual and group counseling. In some cases, medication-assisted treatment may be paired with outpatient treatment. Depending on your substance of choice and level of dependence, the duration of the program and frequency of the sessions will vary.

Outpatient treatment allows you to continue living at home, and in many cases, continue working. And while it does offer a flexible schedule, you are expected to show up and participate at every session.

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab — Which is Better?

Both are equally as effective at addiction treatment. Which one is better depends on your specific needs.

Inpatient programs at addiction treatment centers offer 24-hour care from a hands-on and attentive staff. These programs are usually sought after by those who have multiple addictions, dual diagnosis conditions, or those who can greatly benefit from immersive treatment, such as individuals who have received addiction treatment before but have since relapsed.

Outpatient programs offer individuals the opportunity to have shorter intervals of treatment and therapy. You visit a treatment center at designated times and leave to go home after each treatment session. Some outpatient programs involve all-day sessions while others will hold sessions for an hour or two a day. This may be ideal for someone whose dependence is not severe, or someone with a strong support system at home.

How Long is Treatment?

When it comes to treatment, there is no set amount of time that applies to everyone. A lot of treatment centers offer 30-day inpatient programs as the minimum recommended stay. However, based upon your physical and mental needs as well as what substance you are being treated for, you may benefit from 60-day, 90-day, or longer programs.

Does Rehab Cure Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that has no cure but rather the potential to be managed. Dependency to chemicals is permanent, and despite doing well in treatment, you should avoid drinking or using drugs ever again. This is the reason why when a person has completed treatment they are said to be “in recovery,” not “recovered,” as the process is an ongoing lifelong commitment.

Should I Go to a Rehab Facility that is Local or Far Away?

Some people seeking treatment look for options that are further away from where they live. This is done to avoid the influences of environmental triggers. However, if you have life commitments that make it difficult to travel far, you may want to consider an inpatient or even outpatient treatment center closer to where you live yet still be able to help you avoid environmental triggers. If choosing an outpatient program, be sure to pick a convenient location to help you avoid a long commute, which might deter you from sticking with the program.

How Can I Find an Addiction Treatment Center?

A google search not only provides an overwhelming amount of results, but it also makes it difficult to differentiate quality programs from scams. A good way to start your search is by looking at trusted government sites that provide addiction treatment locators. When narrowing down your options, consider selecting a treatment center that is accredited. Being accredited requires them to meet a higher standard of care. Also, make sure that it offers services that meet your needs. For example, does the program offer a family wellness program to help heal your relationships with your loved ones, or does it offer medication-assisted treatment to help increase your chances at a lasting recovery?

Recovery is possible and there are treatment centers that can help you take the next step in changing your life for the better.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.
Click here or call (888) 833-4676 to speak with one of our addiction treatment experts.