Levels of Substance Abuse: Which Type of Care Is Best for Me?

Outpatient Treatment, illustration showing five levels, each with a person standing on one - substance abuse

By Sandy Baker

Substance abuse treatment isn’t a simple set of steps or therapies that lead to a single outcome. It’s a windy road with some blockages in the way and frequent detours. One of the first steps on this path is to determine what level of care or type of therapy may be best for a person. This is usually determined by a team of addiction healthcare professionals working in consultation with the client.

How Treatment Type Is Determined

Clients coming into a treatment center undergo a comprehensive assessment. This may include a mental health evaluation, a physical exam, and a medical history. The healthcare team gathers as much information as possible during this initial evaluation. Then, they work with the client to determine how long the treatment will take and which type of therapies are best suited to that person.

Often, it’s hard for a person to accept that they need intense therapy, such as residential treatment, to overcome their addiction. But addiction counselors understand the long and difficult road to long-term healing and want to support the client in that journey. They consider many details about a person’s substance use and mental health history when making their recommendation, including:

  • The length of use
  • The at-home situation (is it drug-free and safe?)
  • Mental health needs
  • The type of drugs used and how addictive they are
  • Physical health needs
  • Emotional and spiritual health needs
  • Desires and goals

The Types of Substance Abuse Treatment Available to You

Once therapists and doctors determine the level of care needed, they create an individualized plan for the client. Here is a look at some types of treatment that may be presented.

Drug Detox

Detoxification is a natural process. There’s no way to speed it up, though some medications and therapies can make it a bit easier to manage. The goal of a drug detox program is to provide a safe place for a client to be while clearing the body from substances.

Detox typically is necessary when the person has developed physical dependence, when they have used a long time, and when they have tried to stop using on their own and failed. Detox is a type of reset for the brain and necessary to help a person work through the complications of dependence and addiction. Detox typically lasts about a week but can be anywhere from 3 to 10 days.

Residential Treatment Programs

After detox, many people enter residential treatment. Residential treatment provides a controlled environment with no access to drugs or alcohol. It allows the client to leave behind family stress that may be interfering with their sobriety. And it presents clients with opportunities to heal through numerous evidence-based and holistic therapies. Most often, residential treatment includes individual, group, and family therapy.

Residential treatment programs can range from 30 days to 6 months, depending on the needs of the individual. Even in treatment, clients can still see family and enjoy a home-like setting.

Outpatient Treatment

Various levels of outpatient therapy depend on the amount of time and the type of therapy a person needs. Some of these levels include:

  • Intensive outpatient program: This type of program, called IOP, typically meets most days of the week for numerous hours. It involves a lot of the same therapies found in residential care.
  • Partial hospitalization program: PHP is much like IOP but also includes help and support for mental health needs.
  • Outpatient program: Traditional outpatient programs are a type of step-down treatment. They may begin with group therapy sessions several times a week and then taper off as needed.

Outpatient treatment can be part of aftercare. Most people benefit from continuing their care for some time after they leave formal treatment. Aftercare helps people stay on track and work towards achieving their goals as they handle life’s challenges.

Where to Start With Addiction Treatment

If you think you or a loved one need addiction treatment, the first step is to give The Ranch at Dove Tree a call to discuss your needs. Let us set up an evaluation and assessment for you to better determine the level of care best suited for your needs. Our substance abuse treatment center in Lubbock, TX, is comprehensive, offering all levels of care you may need.

The Fear of Being Sober: It's the Nagging Feeling at the Back of Your Mind - the ranch at dove tree - drug and alcohol treatment center in lubbock, texas

Are you or someone you love looking for outpatient alcohol treatment in Texas? To learn more about our programs at Ranch at Dove Tree, please contact us today at 800.218.6727.