Skip to content

substance abuse treatment successSubstance abuse is a condition that plagues every demographic of every country and culture. It can be found in every level of society and does not discriminate in who it afflicts. Substance abuse can be mild and occasional or it can be severe and life-threatening. It benefits no one and damages everyone. The faster a person can recover from substance abuse, the faster they can lead a healthy life again.

So, the question is, how does one quit substance abuse? Everyone wants to know how to successfully end substance abuse, whether it is related to a recreational substance or a prescription substance. The answer to this question is personal. One can only know what type of treatment they need if they understand their own needs. There is a range of treatment options available and their level of success will be determined by how well matched a substance abuser is with their type of treatment.

  • Inpatient treatment is ideal for severe or long term substance abusers because it completely immerses a person in their treatment, as well as immersing them in an environment free from the substance they abuse.
  • Outpatient treatment is ideal for mild or short term substance abusers because it allows them to connect with all the same resources as inpatient treatment does while still allowing them the freedom to function within their world. A mild or short term substance abuser does not always need the heavily immersive style that inpatient treatment offers.
  • Individual counseling can be an effective means of dealing with substance abuse issues. For people who prefer privacy to group interaction, individual counseling can enable a person to work through the underlying causes of their substance abuse issues and help them into a healthier lifestyle.
  • Support groups are very effective for those who have already received treatment or are already working toward their recovery and benefit from peer support or the social aspects of recovery.
  • Self help is always an option for the independent, mild substance abuser who prefers self healing to formal means of treatment. This is usually in the medium of self help books or gatherings.

outpatient substance abuse treatmentOutpatient substance abuse treatment is an alternative to inpatient, and can prove very effective for those who choose it wisely. Outpatient substance abuse treatment entails submitting to ongoing treatment while continuing to go about usual daily activities. Unlike residential substance abuse treatment, which requires clients to live on site, outpatient treatment allows clients to continue living in their personal residence and hold appointments for their substance abuse treatment. This type of treatment can still be intensive, with some part of treatment taking place everyday, but it is no where near as intensive as inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment gives a person with substance abuse problems access to individual counseling, group therapy, facilitator sessions, support groups, sponsors and other exercises that change their thought patterns and strengthen their coping skills. Through sessions that last for a matter of hours, a client has the opportunity to interact with other substance abusers who are in recovery as well as mental health experts who are able to help them understand why they abuse substances as well as how to stop themselves.

The outpatient model allows the individual to continue holding a job, engaging in extracurricular activities and maintaining their personal relationships while attending substance abuse treatment. This gives the individual the freedom to stay active in their lives while still working toward recovery. This is a benefit to people whose substance abuse is not severe. The reason for this is the newness or mildness of the person's substance abuse problem means it is not deeply rooted and therefore does not require the most intensive forms of treatment to solve. A severe substance abuser could not benefit from this option because the triggers and opportunities to relapse that they encounter in the world are too strong. The option of remaining active in one's life would undermine the success of outpatient treatment for a severe substance abuser. But for a lesser substance abuser, the balance between regular treatment and continued exposure to the world can make for the perfect balance.

inpatient substance abuse treatmentResidential substance abuse treatment, or inpatient substance abuse treatment, hinges on the client living in the treatment facility for a number of days. It is typically 30-day, 60-day or 90-day intervals that are optional to clients in residential treatment centers. This model of treatment has been around for many years as people have long recognized the need to quarantine substance abusers in a safe place away from the substance they tend to abuse. Residential substance abuse treatment takes place within a treatment facility that is usually licensed to run out of a residential home or resort-like setting. The client submits to a certain number of days living within the facility under supervision by mental health professionals in order to strengthen their resolve to quit their substance abuse.

The start of residential substance abuse treatment is a detoxification period. Anyone abusing a substance requires detoxification because substance abuse throws off the body's chemistry. In order to be clearheaded and physically healthy enough to undergo extended treatment, a person must first cleanse their system of harmful toxins. Detoxification lasts for a number of days and is overseen by medical professionals who make the cleansing as comfortable as possible.

After detoxification, cognitive behavioral treatment begins in the form of sessions, workshops, assigned readings, workbook exercises, individual counseling, group therapy, physical exercise and therapeutic activities. This conglomeration of treatment devices is aimed at discovering the underlying cause of the individual's substance abuse problem and eradicating it. By changing the individual's thought and behavior patterns, they are able to re-enter the world with a new set of coping skills that will help them resist the urge to abuse substances again.

Once a person completes residential substance abuse treatment, they still have access to a great many resources that they had during their treatment, as well as new ones. They receive thorough exit counseling that gives them detailed directions on who and what is available to them during their ongoing recovery, including counselors, sponsors and support groups. Residential substance abuse treatment is highly recommended as the most intensive and successful form of substance abuse treatment available.

outpatient inpatient substance abuse treatmentIn selecting a method of substance abuse treatment for yourself or for your loved one, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether you will go with inpatient treatment or outpatient. The difference between inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment may seem basic - the client is admitted for one and not for the other - but this difference in methodology between the two actually sets them apart quite distinctly. These two different types of substance abuse treatment have very different dynamics, and you will want to carefully choose between the two in order to receive the treatment that is most relevant.

Inpatient substance abuse treatment is thought of by mental health professionals as the most intensive and effective form of substance abuse treatment available. This method entails living on site in the treatment facility under 24-hour per day monitoring. The main objective of this type of treatment is to keep the individual securely away from the substance they have been abusing so that they can relearn how to function without it. During the time they spend in the treatment center, they focus on their mental and physical health with the help of professional counselors and facilitators who lead them through a detoxification period, therapy sessions, cognitive exercises, readings, physical exercise and therapeutic activities to prepare them to re-enter the world with a new set of coping skills. This method is best for those who have a moderate to severe substance abuse problem.

Outpatient substance abuse treatment has similar therapeutic methods but because there is no admittance, treatment is much less intensive. The individual is still free to interact with the outside world however they choose, but they attend regular appointments and sessions with counselors, facilitators, sponsors and groups in order to work toward recovery and strengthen their mental health. Outpatient substance abuse treatment allows the average person to stay active in their lives and in their jobs rather than forcing them to take leave. This makes outpatient substance abuse treatment a great option for mild to moderate substance abusers, or individuals who have already been through inpatient treatment and need to supplement what they learned with more treatment.