Substance Abuse and Addiction - Treatment Overview
Do you need detox?
Your doctor may decide you need
detoxification, or detox, before you start treatment.
You need detox when you are
physically addicted to alcohol. This means that when you stop
drinking, you have physical
withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling sick to your
stomach or intense anxiety.
Detox helps get you ready for
treatment. It doesn't help you with the mental, social, and behavior changes
you have to make to get and stay sober.
Whether you need detox
and whether you can go through it at home or need to go to a clinic or other
facility depends on how severe your withdrawal symptoms are. Most people don't
need to stay at a clinic but do need to check in with a doctor or other health
professional. Whether you need to spend time in a clinic (called inpatient
care) also depends on other problems you may have, such as a mental health
Your doctor may give you medicines to help reduce
What's the best treatment program for you?
Your doctor can help you decide which type of program is best
outpatient treatment, you regularly go to a mental
health clinic, counselor's office, hospital clinic, or local health department
inpatient treatment, you stay at a facility and have
treatment during the day or evening. This usually lasts 1 to 6 weeks. You most
likely will then go to outpatient treatment.
- In residential treatment, you live at the facility
while you recover. These programs may last for months. This may be a good option if you have a long history of
alcohol or drug use, have a bad home situation, or don't have social support.
If you are thinking about going into a treatment program,
here are some
questions to ask.
What does a treatment program include?
programs usually include
counseling, such as:
Individual and group therapy, where you talk about your
recovery with a counselor or with other people who are trying to quit. You can
get support from others who have struggled with alcohol.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), where you learn to
change thoughts and actions that make you more likely to use alcohol. A
counselor teaches you ways to deal with cravings and avoid going back to
Motivational interviewing (MI), where you resolve
mixed feelings about quitting and getting treatment. A counselor helps you find
personal motivation to change.
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET), which uses
motivational interviewing to help you find motivation to quit. It usually lasts
for 2 to 4 sessions.
Brief intervention therapy, which provides feedback,
advice, and goal-setting in very short counseling sessions.
family therapy, which can help you become and stay
sober and keep good relationships within your family.