The Addiction Treatment Process from Detox to Outpatient and Aftercare

The Complete Continuum of Addiction Treatment

With all of the advanced therapeutic methods in addiction treatment these days, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to get started and what the process should look like. Luckily, there is generally a pretty standard timeline of the treatment process that most often yields the best results for successful sobriety. The levels of care for addiction treatment generally take the form of the stages listed throughout this article. Addiction treatment starts with detox.

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Medically Supervised Detox

It is pretty common for people to think that they don’t need to receive medical detox, that they can do it on their own. However, studies show that medical detox is extremely effective in making the withdrawal process much smoother, and can oftentimes even save lives.

For example, for people who will be detoxing from alcohol and benzodiazepines, it can often be fatal to detox on their own. The sudden absence of these substances from the system has resulted in many deaths, as the body and brain go into shock without them. Not to mention the extreme depression, suicidal thoughts, and malnourishment that can come along.

So detox is very beneficial because individuals have access to 24-hour, around-the-clock care, medical professionals who will be frequently evaluating their vitals, and medication that can help ease the withdrawal symptoms that can oftentimes lead people back to a drug if they were at home.

Addiction Treatment – Inpatient Treatment

Addiction treatment process

The next step in the treatment process, after medical detox, is inpatient living. This is where the individual will be living on-site at a treatment facility, usually somewhere between 30-90 days, with some even ranging to 6 months. 

This is where most of the intensive therapy takes place, along with:

  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Addiction education
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic healing options
  • Physical exercise
  • 12-step meetings.

A longer stay during inpatient treatment has actually been shown to be more beneficial for a therapeutic process as, during this time, the individual can become more open and trusting of their primary therapist, which can result in more intensive work being done on any past traumas or behavioral patterns that often fuel the using patterns.

Inpatient treatment is also extremely important in keeping the individual away from the temptations of the outside world. Ads for alcohol and even commercials for medications are all over the place in our society today. These quick reminders can often be enough to send someone on a relapse.

Not to mention, if a person chooses to stay in their hometown or an environment where they have used in the past, it can be much easier to go back to their old behaviors, old friends, old hangouts, and end up right where they started.

It can often be difficult to think about leaving life for one to three months, however, if you or your loved one has found that trying to quit at home has been unsuccessful in the past, inpatient treatment might be the only option left.

Outpatient Treatment

The next step in the treatment process, and often times just as crucial, is the outpatient phase. This allows the individual to live in their own home but still attend a structured therapeutic environment during the day.

During this time, many people move into a sober living facility, where they are expected to uphold certain responsibilities and accountabilities that foster a successful sober life. These often include:

  • Working part-time
  • Finding a sponsor and working the steps in the 12 step fellowship of their choice
  • Abiding by the house rules (curfew, no guests, etc.) to ensure the safety of the house
  • Helping with house chores (cleaning, grocery shopping, etc)
  • Paying rent (sober living homes that charge the insurance are often scams)
  • Routine drug testing (to ensure accountability)

During outpatient treatment, individuals often participate in about the same hours of therapy, process groups, and addiction education courses that they would during inpatient therapy, which is around 6-8 hours a day. The only difference is, at the end of the day, they can go to their own home and work, go to meetings, or get involved in a healthy activity of their choosing.

The outpatient phase of the treatment process can be a tricky one. Some people flourish from the benefits of living in a structured environment and excel, while on the other hand, some people take advantage of their newfound freedom, and slip back into old behaviors.

This is considered the crux of the treatment process, as it is the first small step back into independent living, and can sometimes happen too soon for many people in early recovery. This is another reason why an extended stay at inpatient treatment with an opportunity to do some real self-searching has been proven to be fruitful for many addicts and alcoholics in early recovery.

Addiction Treatment Aftercare

Aftercare is the final, and sometimes longest stage of the treatment process. The actual layout of the aftercare program can vary depending on the treatment facility and what they offer. However, the idea is to continue holding the individual to a level of accountability and to offer support through their first year of sobriety.

Aftercare programs can oftentimes be at completely different locations than the inpatient and outpatient programs, which can sometimes create a disconnect in the transition for people. Find Addiction Rehabs works to avoid that disconnect by creating a plan, side by side with the individual, that makes the most sense for them and will foster the healthiest recovery in the areas they need it the most.

For example, many people who struggle with addiction suffer from other forms of mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar, disordered eating, or anxiety. Aftercare programs allow for these other areas to be treated just as much as the substance abuse disorder, as they often feed off of each other.

The services that a truly holistic recovery center provides during the aftercare phase of the treatment process consist of:

  • Continued counseling and therapy
  • Supplemental addiction treatments
  • Sober housing options
  • Support groups
  • 12 step programs
  • Psychoeducation
  • Career and financial planning

All of these options can help an individual balance and manage their reintroduction to everyday life. Having the knowledge that a team of professionals is working with you to provide guidance and support can make a world of difference upon graduation after a few months in the treatment process.

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Freedom From Addiction: Found Here!

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, understand that you are not alone in your struggles! If you are ready to change your life and finally be free of your addiction, then Find Addiction Rehabs can help. We can give you the jump-start you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted. The holistic programs we often recommend are unique in that they don’t just treat the addiction, but rather they treat the whole person, so if you are interested in finding out more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call now!

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