When it comes to seeking treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism, it may seem like there are an overwhelming amount of options. Back when alcoholism was first officially recognized as a diagnosable disorder, the options were pretty limited – check yourself into a sanitarium or do your best to seek out a nearby AA meeting. Nowadays, we have endless treatment options to choose from. We can check ourselves into a holistic retreat near the ocean, or a 90-day, intensive trauma and addiction treatment center for sexual abuse survivors. We can enter into a Partial-Hospitalization Program, or an Outpatient Program, or even an Intensive Outpatient Program, which falls somewhere between the other two. We can commit to a residential program that houses both men and women, or stick to one that is gender-specific. We can also choose a program that is specific to age, or occupation, or even sexual identity. But how can we possibly tell which treatment option will be the best-suited for our personal needs?
An Overwhelming Amount of Options
Not to worry! It can seem overwhelming, no question, but when you know what to look for in a treatment program, choosing the best option is truly very simple. First of all, consider what level of care is necessary. How long have you been drinking or using drugs, and jut how unmanageable has your life become? If your interpersonal relationships have begun to suffer, if your performance at work or school has been compromised, and if you are using or drinking a daily or near-daily basis, inpatient treatment is certainly the wisest option. Most inpatient programs are between 30 and 90 days (though 3 month-long programs are highly recommended). Inpatient treatment is also known as residential treatment, because patients will live together in a residence while undergoing intensive therapeutic treatment on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for addicts to convince themselves that inpatient treatment is out of the question, claiming that they cannot possibly take 3 months out of their very busy and productive lives. That they cannot possibly take 3 months away from their lucrative careers and their families and all of their other obligations.
Inpatient is Always Recommended
Addiction is a progressive disease, and it will continue to worsen if it is not treated thoroughly and adequately. In the scheme of things, a 3-month commitment is absolutely worth avoiding the potential years of steady deterioration and devastation that active addiction would inevitably cause. Ask yourself – are you a good employee? Are you living up to your full academic potential? Are you emotionally present and available; are you involved in the lives of your loved ones as much as you would like to be? A lifetime of fulfilled and joyous recovery is worth 90 days of treatment. It simply is. Of course, some obligations cannot be postponed. Perhaps you are the primary caretaker of a child or elder, or you absolutely need to continue bringing in an income in order to support your family. Perhaps you do not have health insurance, and cannot afford to pay for inpatient treatment out-of-pocket. If a residential program is not a viable option, you may opt for an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program).
Intensive Outpatient Programs
Most Intensive Outpatient Programs take place between 3 and 5 times per week, for several hours each day. They consist of a combination of group and individual therapy sessions, and focus on a host of pertinent topics, ranging from relapse prevention to spirituality. Essentially, IOP is a condensed version of inpatient. Some will utilize this level of treatment as a supplemental form of care as they are transitioning from residential treatment back to independent living (or a sober living facility). If you do decide to enroll in an IOP program, it is important that you find one run by a facility that specializes in treating any co-occurring disorders you may be struggling with. In most cases, addiction does not stand alone – it is coupled with an undiagnosed mental disorder, unresolved trauma, or a comorbid behavioral addiction (such as a sexual compulsion or an eating disorder). Do your research! Addiction is far from a one-size-fits-all disease, thus treatment methods will vary based on individual needs.
If you need assistance finding the right option for you, we would be more than happy to help. Contact us today.