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Although many substance abuse treatment options exist for the tailored needs of addicts dealing with their own degrees of addiction, research studies have organized rehab programs into several general categories to cover nearly the whole gamut. With so many new treatment centers and methods arising, it isn’t entirely possible to place every single one of these neatly into a category. This guide, however, should be adequate enough to cover the basics.

Before getting into the differences between each type of program, a similarity should be noted. Nearly all programs start off with a detoxification process and a medically-managed withdrawal. The purpose of the detox is to purge the body of the immediate drugs inside of it so as to enable a cleaner and easier stoppage of drug use. The detox usually is accompanied by undesirable physiological reactions and potentially fatal side-effects, and so to reduce the risk factor, small medical doses of drugs are given to addicts when weaning off of their substances. This is a medically-managed withdrawal, and more often than not, it is needed in drug rehab.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s research-based guide called, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment, there are many different types of rehab. Now let’s examine a few types of programs.

1.  Long-term Residential Treatment

Probably the most viable option for those with extreme, all-encompassing addictions, long-term residential treatment provides 24-hour care for patients, generally in a non-hospital setting. Treatments here focus on readjusting an individual to be fit for social acceptability and harmonious existence with his peers. These treatments usually occur in therapeutic communities (TC’s) comprised of other recovering addicts. TCs across the country can accommodate people from all walks of life. One usually is checked into a TC with a planned stay between 6 and 12 months.

 2.  Short-term Residential Treatment

Not as drawn-out as long-term treatments, this type of intense treatment method usually has a 12-step program as its crux. The 12-step program is the most common battle plan for producing drug-free individuals, and though it was originally designed for alcohol-dependence, for the past three decades now it has been used to help rehab individuals on many other substances.

Short-term treatments can include 3-6 weeks of hospital stay followed by several more weeks of outpatient therapy and participation in self-help groups, AA meetings, etc. It is strongly recommended to anyone who has completed a short-term program that they continue participating in these outpatient activities so as to prevent a relapse.

3.  Outpatient Treatment Programs

Sometimes all one might need is a little education and camaraderie to help them get over their drug problems. That’s exactly what outpatient treatment programs can offer. Though this choice is probably not for the chronic addict, those who have had a history with drug use or a desire to start using again might benefit from attending meetings where like-minded individuals sit and discuss their own experiences with drug use. Also falling under the category of outpatient programs are day treatment centers, which cater to an individual’s needs in a similar way that a residential treatment center would.

4.  Individualized Drug Counseling

There is an argument to made on the efficacy of group therapy vs. individual counseling. Individual counseling can provide the individual with a more personalized approach to tackling his drug problems, including addressing areas of his life, like his job, marriage, etc. that might be affected negatively by drug use. The counselor encourages adherence to some sort of program, usually the 12-step program, and provides his patient with other tools to help promote drug abstinence. He is also able to make referrals for medical, employment and other services.

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