Some people need medically assisted treatment for detoxification when they enter recovery. The sudden absence of substances can have physiological effects on the body. While detoxing clears the body of these substances under medical care, it does not address the underlying issue of addiction. After detox, it is important to continue treatment in a short- or long-term program. Those who do not require medical detox and can go directly into a treatment program.
Some individuals opt for long-term residential treatment. This form of treatment features individual and group therapy to address the psychological reasons for addiction, and it prepares residents for their return to mainstream society. Long-term treatment can be anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Long-term treatment if often based on a 12-step program and encourages clients to continue in a 12-step program once they leave.
Short-term residential treatment is from 3 to 6 weeks and is also, typically, based on a 12-step program. Short-term programs also offer individual and group counseling for addiction treatment. Counselors explore the psychological issues of the individual and teach them healthy strategies for coping with stress, cravings, and other potential relapse triggers.
Those whose addiction is not as severe or who have extenuating circumstances may opt for an intensive outpatient program. This allows them to live at home and maintain their work and family responsibilities while attending therapy sessions, addiction education classes, and family programs several times a week.
For those who do not enter professional treatment, a 12-step recovery group is especially important. In a 12-step program, the tenets are quite simple. People come to realize that something (drugs, alcohol, food) has taken control of their life and that they are powerless to find relief on their own. By surrendering to a Higher Power and finding support from others in recovery, people gain the strength to examine their lives and carve a new path.
Types of Treatment Programs. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved April, 2017.