Do I Need a Substance Abuse Program?

“How do I know if I need a substance abuse treatment program? I drink alcohol socially with friends, every once in a while I may use other drugs, but I just don’t know.” This is a common question from people who may be on the edge of developing an addiction. If you have found yourself debating this, call Recovery Connection at 800-993-3869 and find out if you qualify for drug rehab.

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction help is available now. Recovery Connection provides you a personal link to treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-993-3869. Call now and speak to a trained coordinator.

Consequences of Substance Abuse

Drug Addiction
Substance Abuse Treatment

The difference between needing a treatment program and not needing one is the consequences that a person has faced because of substance abuse.

Waiting for things to get worse before entering treatment won’t help. There is a saying in recovery about where untreated addiction leads: Jails, Institutions and Death.  If we try to research rehab while we continue with substance abuse, some of us will end up in one of these places rather than living a fulfilling sober life. Substance abuse treatment programs are there to help you learn how to live free from addiction and regain your life.


  • Increasing arguments with loved ones
  • Loss of employment
  • Mismanagement of finances
  • Physical complications
  • Dependence on and tolerance for substances
  • Loss of relationships
  • Social services/child welfare involvement
  • Arrests related to substance abuse (e.g., DUIs)
  • Disturbances in mood such as anxiety and depression

What Is Substance Abuse Treatment?

Addiction treatment centers provide a variety of services for those who need help conquering their drug and alcohol addiction and addictive behaviors. The services can vary in intensity, types of therapies used and the experience of substance abuse counselors, doctors, nurses and clinical staff. The duration of treatment can also vary depending upon psychological needs, physical needs, insurance coverage and one's ability to self-pay.

The ultimate goal of all drug and alcohol rehabs is to provide the patient with the tools necessary to achieve long-term abstinence. To achieve this goal, certain characteristics are common to the best programs.

What the best substance abuse programs do:

  • Address your medical and psychiatric needs
  • Provide nutritional and medical management counseling
  • Facilitate family healing through a family program
  • Work on the development of interpersonal relationships
  • Improve daily living skills
  • Maintain attendance at 12-step support groups
  • Provide addiction education
  • Develop a relapse prevention plan
  • Formulate a workable aftercare plan
  • Provide 24-hour on-site medical supervision
  • Have certified addiction medicine physicians and supporting staff
  • Use comprehensive psychiatric evaluations by experienced psychiatric and addiction nurses
  • Manage medication
  • Develop ongoing evaluations and individualized treatment plans
  • Include an interdisciplinary team approach
  • Engage master’s-level therapists with addiction expertise

Alcohol and drug detox can be challenging, but it is not a substitute for an addiction treatment program. Transitioning directly into a substance abuse program following drug detox provides the addict with the greatest opportunity for recovery. Most quality addiction treatment programs ensure that their medical detox programs are designed to ensure your safety and prepare you for ongoing addiction treatment.

Levels of Care at Inpatient Rehab Facilities

The average length of stay for private insurance in an inpatient drug rehab facility is approximately 15 days, but some can offer treatment for up to 6 weeks. A residential treatment center that is federally funded may have a length of stay that is approximately 3 to 6 months, but these subsidized treatment facilities usually have long waiting lists.

After an addict has been stabilized medically and psychiatrically, he or she can move into an inpatient drug rehab facility that provides structure and monitoring.

  • Inpatient Detoxification (Detox)
    Inpatient detox may be done in a facility that only provides detox services, in a separate unit that is part of a substance abuse rehabilitation facility or in a general medical hospital. Generally, these units are part of a medically based treatment program. Both alcohol detox programs and drug detox programs will be used as part of the evaluation for the next phase of early alcohol treatment or drug treatment. The shift from inpatient detox to inpatient residential treatment provides for a smooth transition in early recovery.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Treatment
    Inpatient substance abuse treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse can last from several days to several weeks, depending on the needs of the patient. They are structured inpatient units with medical supervision and constant monitoring. These programs provide several types of therapies that work together with a formal individualized treatment plan for each patient. The addict who completes the inpatient treatment program can transition to a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or to an intensive outpatient program (IOP).
  • Residential Rehabilitation
    After an addict has been stabilized medically and psychiatrically, they can move into a residential treatment center that provides them with structure and monitoring. They live in supervised facilities and engage in extensive addiction treatment addressing the role that drugs and alcohol have played in their lives.

Levels of Care at Outpatient Rehab Facilities

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or Day Treatment Program
    Partial hospital or day addiction treatment programs meet 5-7 days per week for approximately 6-8 hours per day. PHP is not a substitute for inpatient addiction treatment. Patients who participate in PHP may live at specified sober housing or live at home.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
    For most addicts early in recovery, traditional outpatient treatment does not offer enough treatment to sufficiently help the addict or alcoholic stay clean and sober. Generally, intensive outpatient programs last from 3-7 days a week, requiring attendance at group therapy and individual therapy 3 hours a day. This level of treatment is considered to be intermediate and not appropriate for moderate to severe drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Traditional Outpatient Programs
    The traditional approach to therapy can take two forms. If a person seeks help from a psychiatrist, treatment will usually occur once a month for approximately one hour (sometimes more, sometimes less). Or if the person seeks help from a social worker or family therapist, he or she will generally be seen once a week. In either case this form of treatment may not be comprehensive enough for those wishing to stop using drugs or alcohol.

Without getting to the underlying causes for the addiction, the addict or alcoholic runs a greater risk of relapse. A comprehensive addiction treatment program can provide the new recovering addict or alcoholic with the tools, the knowledge and the courage to stay abstinent and learn to live one day at a time clean and sober.


Looking For Treatment?
If you suffer from addiction, Recovery Connection coordinators are here to help you. Placement can seem overwhelming that is why we offer our services free of charge. All calls are confidential. Call 800-993-3869 and regain your life today.
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