When you’ve made the difficult decision to accept and go into treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, you’re past the first hurdle. But how do you find the treatment program that’s right for you? Here are five essential tips to help you get started.
1. Do Your Research
Before you can find the best treatment center to suit your unique needs, you must do your research. This holds true whether you are the person seeking treatment or you’re conducting the search on behalf of a loved one, family member or friend. Keep in mind that there are many different treatment choices available to those who desire to get clean and sober and begin a life in recovery. Not all of them will be appropriate for your needs. Put in the time to do a thorough search. After all, you want a treatment program that will provide you with the best foundation for living a drug- and alcohol-free life.
2. Ask the Right Questions
An important part of research is asking the right questions. While the number and variety of leisure activities helps with ambience and overall comfort, it shouldn’t be at the top of the list of things to look for. These are considerations, of course, but they should be after other critical treatment areas are addressed.
A guide1 published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists five main questions to use in searching for a treatment program:
Does the program use treatments backed by scientific evidence?
One of the first considerations in selecting the treatment program that’s best for you is to find out if the drug rehab center uses scientifically-backed treatments2. Just what are some of these treatments? The NIDA says that they include behavioral therapy, medications, and ideally a combination of both. As for types of behavioral therapy, there are many, such as:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)3
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)4
- Motivational Incentives5
- Motivational Interviewing6
- Group Therapy7
What’s important to note is that while some therapies may be more appropriate for those with certain addictions than others, with the right screening and evaluation and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of your treatment therapies, scientifically-backed behavioral therapies can assist you in making progress toward your goal of long-term sobriety.
Does the program tailor treatment to the needs of each patient?
You want confidence that the treatment program you choose will provide personalized and tailored treatment8 to meet your needs. You want treatment that is broad in scope, considers your age, gender, culture, ethnicity and other factors in addition to your specific needs with respect to your addiction.
The severity of your addiction, how long you’ve been addicted, whether this is your first time in treatment or you’ve been in treatment multiple times following relapse, and other efforts you’ve used to stop using drugs and/or alcohol will also affect the type of treatment approach tailored to meet your needs.
Does the program adapt treatment as the patient’s needs change?
Whatever drug rehab or alcohol rehab center you choose, the only way treatment will have a chance of success is if it evolves and adapts9 to meet your changing needs. This means the treatment professionals assess and modify treatment to meet these needs.
Built-in drug monitoring is one aspect of adapting program treatment. Medications are adjusted based on tolerance and effectiveness in treating your addiction. Meeting your needs for certain support services is another way the best treatment programs help adapt to meet your needs.
Is the duration of the treatment sufficient?
Research from NIDA suggests that effective treatment lasts three months or longer10. A longer-duration treatment time is necessary to better ensure that you’re able to stop or reduce drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, there’s considerable documented evidence that longer treatment times produce better recovery outcomes.
While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment approach, and how long you remain in treatment will depend on the type and degree of your drug or alcohol problem and your needs, the fact that drug addiction treatment experts recommend longer treatment duration of at least 90 days in a long-term rehab center is a good parameter on which to select the treatment center for you.
Remember that recovery is an ongoing process. Relapse is not only frequent, it is expected. This does not constitute failure, however, as many in recovery experience multiple relapses before they’re fully self-confident and have a firm grasp of effective strategies to maintain their sobriety. Longer stays in alcohol treatment centers and drug rehab centers also gives you the opportunity to cultivate and maintain ongoing support with members of your family, other loved ones, 12-step and self-help groups and the community.
How do 12-step or similar recovery programs fit into drug addiction treatment?
Two statements you’ll often hear about addiction and recovery are that you’re not alone in recovery and you never recover alone. What this means is that those in recovery need the support and encouragement of others like themselves to help maintain their sobriety and adopt other healthy lifestyle goals. They find this in 12-step and other self-help groups, the oldest and most widely recognized of which is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).11
Where 12-step programs fit within the treatment program is another key question to ask – before you enter a drug or alcohol abuse treatment program. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities strongly encourage participation in 12-step group meetings both during their treatment stay and upon entering recovery. Some drug rehab centers incorporate 12-step principles into their overall treatment philosophy.
3. Residential or Outpatient Treatment
If you have adequate insurance coverage to pay for residential treatment12, particularly in a long-term drug rehab center, this may be the best way to go to overcome your addiction. Even if you lack coverage for the full amount of treatment, inquire about financing, sliding-scale payment plan, scholarships, and federal, state or local assistance. Inability to pay should never stand in the way of getting treatment.
For some seeking the best treatment for their addiction, physical residence at a drug rehab center is not the most accommodating choice. They may have work or family obligations that preclude being away from home for an extended stay. Intensive outpatient treatment may prove to be the smart choice here.
Close to Home or Far Away
For many individuals considering drug rehab, the final selection process comes down to an alcohol or drug treatment center that’s either close to home or some distance away. If you want loved ones and family members to be able to visit when permitted, and can freely participate in family therapy13, a close-by inpatient drug rehab center is likely the way to go.
Sometimes, however, your personal circumstances are such that you don’t have family or don’t want them to visit for any number of reasons. This could include other members of the family currently addicted and refusing to go into treatment, being estranged from the family, or other negative influences that might jeopardize your treatment. You might also feel that you need a complete, clean break from all home influences to get the most out of your treatment. These reasons may make consideration of an out-of-state rehab center or an alcohol or drug treatment center several hours away.
Visit the Facility
You wouldn’t buy an expensive item or service without checking it out firsthand ahead of time. One of the most reassuring ways to ensure you’ve chosen the right treatment program is to pay a visit to the facility. There’s nothing like walking the grounds, taking a guided tour through the communal areas of the facility, checking out the lifestyle activities offered, and meeting with some of the staff to get an overall feel about the place.
If a physical visit isn’t practical, look for addiction treatment program centers that have virtual tours available on their website.
After detox1, all the toxic substances are out of your system, hopefully for good. Many people mistakenly believe that detox is the end of the story, that they’ll be able to resume a normal, everyday life just because they’re now clean and sober. Despite sound reasons from medical professionals why residential treatment is recommended after detox, they may reject the advice or think it’s not for them. Unfortunately, such misguided thinking often lands the newly sober individual right back in the same situation as before: succumbing to cravings and urges and being unable to resist the temptation to drink and do drugs.
Just because detox was completed, it doesn’t mean the now-sober individual is equipped to deal with life’s daily stressors, not to mention the too-recent dependence on alcohol or drugs. They haven’t learned about the disease of addiction or acquired any coping skills to be able to withstand cravings and urges.
The truth is that detox is often not enough to stay sober or remain clean in the long-run. In fact, without the kind of comprehensive, integrated treatment available in a residential drug rehab center or alcohol treatment center, relapse may be just one slip away.
What’s Best After Detox?
Once drug or alcohol detox is completed, the real recovery journey begins. There’s a learning curve involved, where you not only learn about the disease of addiction, but also become better equipped with effective coping strategies for dealing with cravings and urges which are likely to continue for some time.
Depending on the length, severity and type of substance, this process can take much longer than the typical 30-day stay in short-term treatment. Long-term treatment of 90 days of more is preferred for optimum recovery. Long-term rehab centers that provide such comprehensive care are not as prolific as other residential rehab facilities, but they are unique in the treatment and recovery field.
Following successful detox, the body and mind are still reeling from the effects of the drugs or alcohol. In some cases, physical characteristics remain, while others are more psychological and emotional in nature. Depression2 is common during early recovery, and can be intermittent or somewhat persistent during the first year of recovery. Sometimes, patients experience strong and troubling emotions that won’t go away, but are afraid to mention it. By immediately bringing it up with the therapist, however, something can be done during long-term drug rehab to help get past this transition period. If the issue is more deep-seated, therapy can help in addressing it. Working together, patient and therapist can come up with ways to manage such difficulties.
Residential treatment that’s long-term is best to combat the pendulum of emotions that go with the recovery process. It’s never a straight-line from suffering with addiction to being in recovery from addiction. There are many distinct aspects of living in sobriety to learn and practice. That’s why the incorporation of a variety of treatment services3 is so important in long-term rehab centers. These include services to help meet specific needs: vocational, social, medical, legal, and psychological.
How Long-Term Residential Treatment Works
What can you expect with long-term residential treatment? How, specifically, can it assist you in better learning how to live in sobriety without the constant fear that you’ll relapse? A point of fact is that in long-term rehab centers with continuing care4 you have the best opportunity to learn and practice coping skills and devise effective strategies for dealing with life’s complex issues. Indeed, rather than succumbing to temptation out of loneliness, depression, a feeling of worthlessness or helplessness, with targeted, evidence-based treatment modalities you are better prepared to overcome these holdovers of addiction, to be confident that you’ll have a well-thought-out plan to deal with any eventualities or situations.
When sobriety is the goal, the effort expended is worth the time it takes. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)5 is important to help modify behaviors and attitudes associated with drug use, increase healthy living skills, and continue in conjunction with any necessary medications and other forms of treatment deemed appropriate.
Since you’re dealing with the rest of your life, isn’t giving yourself the best chance at recovery the best choice? For many who seek to live a life without drugs, residential treatment after detox offers the greatest likelihood of success.
Going through detox1 and treatment for alcohol or drug abuse is an important first step on the road to recovery. It is, however, only the beginning of the sobriety journey. Once you complete formal treatment and return home, the reality of familiar people, places and things you associated with substance abuse comes crashing down. You need a safe harbor, a strong and supportive network to help you withstand the cravings and urges that are likely to surface, sometimes without warning and often with a vengeance.
Our continuum of care is a caring, evidence-based approach to help you achieve long-term sobriety. We’ve assisted thousands of people just like you do exactly that. Not only do you benefit from ongoing access to quality care, you’re connected with resources to ease your transition to everyday society. We offer a carefully strategized and individually tailored 15-month plan that can put you on the path toward effective long-term sobriety.
Components of Our Continuum of Care
What’s involved in our continuum of care? Some of the elements you already know, or suspect are part of it. These include:
- Detox and inpatient or long-term residential treatment2, during which you initially rid your body of toxic substances and then begin the process of formal treatment where you learn about the disease of addiction, receive individual and group counseling3, participate in psychosocial groups, engage in various treatment modalities and behavioral therapies4, enjoy therapeutic and calming alternative therapies, socialize and interact with others in recovery, begin attending 12-step meetings5 and more.
- Intensive outpatient treatment6, offered for those who are unable to participate in residential treatment due to time constraints, needing to be at home with family, work responsibilities or other reasons.
- Aftercare, during which you continue to receive much-needed support and encouragement after you complete the formal part of a residential treatment program in our drug rehab center.
- Sober living, an important transitional service where you live in a sober home and we help you with resources to combat chronic relapse, provide life coaches and ongoing mental health support so you can further strengthen your recovery foundation.
- Personal monitoring, available for the first year of your recovery following treatment, is access to continued support from our staff and interaction with a new community of sober friends to help you become stronger and more self-confident in sobriety.
Why Ongoing Support is So Important to Long-Term Sobriety
There’s no doubt that the process of getting clean and sober is different for everyone. Some know what to expect, having been through treatment before, while others find the prospect of going in for treatment downright scary, confusing and intimidating. What each person soon begins to realize, however, is that they’re not in this journey alone. Nor can they achieve and maintain long-term sobriety on their own. It’s also not enough to just get detoxed from drugs and alcohol in an alcohol treatment center or drug rehab center. Whether on an inpatient or outpatient basis, detox and treatment only sets up the next phase of the recovery journey.
You need more than that. You need ongoing support, access to professional counseling, resources for coping with the stresses and urges that may linger from your days in addiction. You need a buffer against the everyday world that you’re not yet strong enough to rejoin. Many people who are new to recovery desperately want a safe environment in which they can gradually gain strength and self-confidence as they practice healthier sober living techniques. Our continuum of care7 provides what you need every step of the way.
It’s not the only way to recovery, yet it is a proven path that has allowed thousands of people new to sobriety maintain their foothold in recovery. Why leave long-term sobriety to chance? Take advantage of a comprehensive, integrated and long-term approach that can give you the best opportunity to achieve and maintain your goals for long-term sobriety.
If you want to overcome addiction and are contemplating what type of treatment can give you the optimal chance for an effective and lasting recovery, experts say that long-term residential care is the best choice. That’s based on statistics, not guesswork.
Addiction1, says the American Society of Addiction Medicine, is a “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry.” Characterized by an inability to abstain from alcohol and/or drugs, addiction also results in behavioral control impairment, cravings, inability to recognize problems with work, school and interpersonal relationships, and significantly diminished emotional response.
Another characteristic of addiction, like other chronic diseases, is that it typically follows a pattern of treatment, relapse and remission. Addiction that’s left untreated and lacking participation in recovery activities such as self-help or 12-step groups can result in a severe downward spiral, culminating in disability or premature death.
Finding a Way Back from Addiction
While the statistics about addiction are startling – some 23.5 million people in the U.S. need drug or alcohol treatment, yet only about 2.6 million get the specific treatment they need – addiction needn’t be a death sentence. There is help available and solid, results-proven treatment that can help the addict find his or her way back from addiction.
The familiar form of treatment for addiction to drugs, alcohol or other substances of abuse, including prescription drugs, involves a 30-day stay in an inpatient or residential rehab facility. While short-term (30-days) treatment is effective for some individuals, for those with chronic addiction, individuals diagnosed with substance use disorder and a mental health issue, a better alternative is long-term residential care2 of longer than 30 days, typically six to 12 months.
Indeed, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) good outcomes from drug addiction treatment are “contingent on adequate treatment length.”3
Treatment is More than Just Detox
Ridding the body of toxic substances, a process known as detoxification or detox, alone will not solve the problem of addiction. It is a necessary first step, however, and should take place in a licensed facility with 24/7 medical supervision and care. Following drug detox or alcohol detox, an assessment and either referral to a treatment facility or transitioning from detox to formal treatment with an individualized treatment plan is the preferred route to recovery.
Long-term residential care facilities are often referred to as therapeutic communities4. It’s this healing aspect and interaction between staff and clients that fosters both motivation and adoption of skills that can form the foundation for lasting recovery. Residents of inpatient drug rehab centers learn about the disease of addiction, receive individual and group counseling, learn to identify and cope with triggers and cravings, receive relapse prevention, are introduced to 12-step groups, participate in healthy lifestyle activities and more. In this, care in a long-term rehab center is like short-term rehab. Both cover the same essential ground in addiction treatment.
Where long-term residential care differs is in the breadth, length and scope of treatment. During treatment, residents will examine long-held and mistaken beliefs, challenge destructive self-concepts and examine behavior that’s contributed to their addiction. Since this takes place in a highly-structured environment, the issues and emotions that surface can be confrontational. This, however, is a necessary part of learning to manage the disease of addiction, as it involves the acceptance of and practicing constructive behavior and healthier ways of coping with life’s everyday stressors.
Key Benefits of Long-Term Residential Care
In addition to the all-important factor of higher success rates for recovery5 with long-term residential care, other key benefits6 include:
- Motivation to change drug-using behavior
- Family treatment and education programs to help provide necessary support to the recovering addict
- Establishment of a positive, therapeutic relationship between therapist and patients
- Development of a comprehensive, integrated treatment plan in cooperation with the patient
- Monitoring to ensure that the treatment plan is followed, or modified according to changing needs and wishes of the patient
- Appropriate medical, social and psychiatric services
- Intensive interventions and treatment modalities to help deal with dual diagnosis, serious medical conditions, or criminal involvement
- Building self-confidence and solid skills to transition from treatment to recovery
- To ensure ongoing support following residential treatment, connecting with formal aftercare or continuing care and community self-help groups7
When you or a loved one are ready to enter treatment for a substance use disorder, it can be difficult to choose between a residential rehabilitation program and an outpatient program. Fortunately, for both outpatient and residential rehab Austin, Texas, options are available.
Exploring Outpatient and Residential Rehab Austin Options
While rehabilitation programs are all focused on helping a person maintain sobriety and mentally prepare to overcome cravings and temptations to return to substance abuse, there are options for outpatient and residential rehab Austin.
Residential Treatment Centers: Also known as inpatient rehabilitation, these programs involve living at the treatment center full-time. Programs vary in duration, but 90 days is a common length of stay.
Outpatient Treatment Centers: Outpatient rehabilitation involves a person staying at their home at night but going to a treatment center during the day or several days a week.
Each option has positives and potential drawbacks given a person’s history. Evaluating the best option for a person is individual.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Outpatient Rehabilitation?
Outpatient rehabilitation is often used as a way to extend treatment after a person has completed residential rehab Austin. The focus of outpatient rehabilitation is usually centered on the 12 Steps or building a new life away from substance use. Sometimes people choose this program type due to their insurance, childcare commitments or job.
People who might not be an ideal match for outpatient rehabilitation programs include those with addictions to multiple substances, those who have been sober and relapsed several times and those who have a dual diagnosis, which is a substance use disorder coinciding with a mental health disorder.1
Who Is a Good Candidate for Inpatient Rehabilitation?
Inpatient rehab or residential rehab Austin is a way for a person to remove themselves from the temptations of daily life and be at a place where they can focus solely on getting sober. Some people choose inpatient rehabilitation because it is a place focused entirely on sobriety and recovery. It is far removed from the distractions and temptations of daily life, which can increase the likelihood of long-term sobriety.
Inpatient rehabilitation is a good choice for anyone struggling with addiction. It is especially beneficial for those who have tried to get sober and relapsed and who have a long history of substance use.
Making the Decision
Both outpatient and residential rehab Austin are beneficial to a person wishing to become and stay sober. Consulting a trusted doctor, therapist or treatment center can help guide a decision for you or a loved one.2
A 90 day alcohol treatment program may be most effective choice when you’re struggling with an alcohol use disorder, but how long should your stay in treatment last?. That answer can vary per person, from 30, 60 to 90 days in an inpatient facility that provides a high level of structure, 24/7 monitoring and therapeutic treatment.
What Are the Benefits of 90 Day Alcohol Treatment?
Alcohol use disorder is a disease that can’t be quickly overcome.1 90 day alcohol treatment increases the chances for long-lasting sobriety and reduces the risk of relapse.
- Time to understand and address underlying issues related to your addiction:
Once you’ve completed detox, the real work can begin—learning healthier ways of thinking and behaving and acquiring tools to help prevent relapse. The more time spent in treatment, the more work can be done to cultivate lasting changes. Studies show that people who stay three months or longer in rehab have better rates of long-term sobriety.2
- Your brain needs time to heal:
Your brain needs time to physically “bounce back” once you’re abstinent.3 One study showed that people new to treatment often showed mild, but still significant, issues with problem-solving and short-term memory. Several months of sobriety improved attention and working memory. Since alcohol-related cognitive impairment is reversible once you stay sober, a 90 day alcohol treatment program provides the time needed to improve brain health.
- More time to practice skills for a sober life:
A 90 day alcohol treatment program gives you time to practice new skills you’ve learned with a brain and body that’s free of alcohol. A safe environment is important for effective recovery. This is especially important if you have an unstable home environment or need time to prepare new living arrangements you’ll need after treatment.
- Effective and affordable:
Cost may be a factor when selecting a 90 day alcohol treatment program.4 Check your health insurance to determine how much of the costs will be covered. Find a treatment program that makes affordability a priority, so any out-of-pocket expenses are minimal.
Long-term Rehab Builds Solid Foundations for Sobriety
Relapse is more likely in the early stages of recovery. A 90 day alcohol treatment program gives you the time needed to build solid foundations for sobriety in a safe, distraction-free setting. You can focus on getting better and making changes that will last for a lifetime.