Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities| Treatment Solutions

Treatment Facilities for Substance Abuse

Addiction is a complex and persistent condition that involves uncontrolled use of a substance despite negative consequences. Individuals who struggle with addiction often experience brain changes that threaten their self-control and interfere with their ability to avoid intense drug-taking impulses.

Addiction is treatable and can be handled effectively. For years and probably for their entire life, people who are in recovery from an addiction may be at risk for recurrence. Evidence shows that combining medications for the treatment of addiction with behavioral therapy provides most patients the greatest chance of success.

In order to provide the patient with the types of care that will bring them the most benefits, substance abuse treatment facilities rely on methods adapted to their unique substance use habits and individual needs. Treatment professionals may also consider and address any co-occurring physical, emotional, and social issues the individual is dealing with, which may also contribute to achieving lasting recovery.1

Substance Abuse Facilities: What Do They Do?

Many different types of facilities offer care for substance use disorder (SUD). In many recovery facilities, the primary providers are professionally qualified people who are accredited or licensed as substance abuse counselors.2

Most recovery services appoint patients to a trained healthcare team. Depending on the type of treatment, teams can be made up of social workers, counselors, physicians, nurses, psychologists, therapists, or other professionals.

A person entering care usually receives a clinical assessment. A complete evaluation of the person is required to help the care workers provide the type of treatment that best suits the individual. The evaluation also allows program counselors to collaborate with the participant to create a successful treatment plan. While clinical assessment continues during the care of an individual, it begins at or just before the patient is admitted to the treatment facility for substance abuse.

A counselor or case manager is assigned after the assessment. The treatment specialist will work with the patient to build a recovery plan. This strategy outlines the challenges, treatment targets, and ways to accomplish those goals. Based on the evaluation, the counselor can refer you to a physician to determine if you need medical supervision to stop substance use.2

treatment facilities for substance abuse

Methods Used at Treatment Facilities for Substance Abuse

Typically, the following three methods are now incorporated into most services:3

  • A medical model emphasizes the biological and genetic or physiological roots of addiction that need medical care and uses pharmacotherapy to alleviate symptoms or modify behavior.
  • A psychological model concentrates on the maladaptive motivational learning or emotional dysfunction of a person as the main cause of drug addiction. This method involves psychotherapy or behavioral therapy conducted by a mental health professional.
  • A socio-cultural model emphasizes flaws in the social and cultural system or process of socialization that can be improved by changing the physical and social environment. This is especially achieved through participation in fellowships or spiritual practices of self-help and supportive social networks.

In most current programs, these three models have been woven into a biopsychosocial approach applied in the following types of substance abuse treatment facilities:4

  • Long-term residential treatment: Care is given 24 hours a day, usually in non-hospital settings.
  • Short-term residential treatment. It offers comprehensive yet relatively short care based on a modified 12-step program.
  • Outpatient treatment: Varies in the type and intensity of services offered. Such care costs less than residential treatment and is also more appropriate for people with employment or with extensive social support.

Who Can Benefit From Going to a Substance Abuse Facility

Most people dealing with substance abuse addiction can benefit from entering a treatment facility for alcohol addiction or drug abuse.5 When in rehab, patients will be able to concentrate fully on healing. When in care, they will be isolated from people and places that may have encouraged substance abuse, and from people who might want to convince patients that they cannot recover. Patients at a dedicated facility don’t have to deal with day-to-day stressors when focusing their time and energy on recovery and rehabilitation.

Addiction involves mental, physical, and psychological issues, and treatment is vital to helping people in recovery understand the emotional roots of their substance use. They also learn how to build new, healthier coping strategies. Treatment facilities can help patients see flaws in their thinking and actions that can contribute to their substance use, helping them adopt positive thoughts and behaviors.

One advantage specific to inpatient treatment is that there is 24-hour medical care patients can access during their stay. This can be highly important for the prevention of relapse of those with progressed addiction since individuals in recovery are susceptible to a number of health complications after stopping the use of the drug to which they have become addicted.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When talking about substance abuse, this can refer to dependency on a variety of substances.

    Commonly Abused Substances

    Some of the substances that are most frequently abused include:6

    • Alcohol.
    • Heroin.
    • Cocaine.
    • Prescription opioids and stimulants.
    • Methamphetamine.
    • MDMA.
    • Tobacco/Nicotine.
    • Marijuana.

    The goal of treatment at dedicated facilities for drug use or alcoholism is to make it easier for the patient to learn how to overcome their substance dependency. Some of these facilities also aim at preventing the physical, mental, legal, financial, and social effects that can be induced, in particular by extreme abuse.

  • Depending on a patient’s severity of addiction and overall physical and mental health, they will be provided with a personalized treatment plan. In some situations, medication may be needed, most often in the detox phase of your treatment, where physical symptoms of withdrawal are common. In addition to joining inpatient or outpatient programs at treatment facilities for substance abuse, the following types of therapy are often commonly applied.
    • Individualized counseling helps the patient develop coping mechanisms and tools to refrain from using drugs and to maintain abstinence.
    • Group counseling draws on the social support provided by peer discussions and to help facilitate drug-free lifestyles.4

  • The typical short-term recovery stay is about 28 to 30 days. Long-term recovery averages around 90 days, while longer stays are not rare in extreme cases. Both recovery options entail one to two weeks of detoxification accompanied by an evaluation of the personal problems that lead to addiction. This can involve psychological stress, chemical imbalances, and an excessive amount of addiction triggers.6

  • After being approved by a psychiatrist or other treatment specialist, most substance abuse treatment facilities permit visits from loved ones. Visits are a way for family members to be more involved in the treatment of their loved ones through seminars and family therapy sessions.Treatment providers know how important help from family and friends is to those suffering from substance abuse. For the first week of therapy, visits are usually substantially limited and progressively increased during the stay.

    Some facilities provide seminars during the stay of a person in rehab and promote family therapy sessions. This can be very beneficial in resolving problems of codependency, denial, rage, confidence, and improving communication.7

  • When it comes to rehabilitation, the environment at a substance abuse treatment facility and the comfort of its accommodation can be as important as psychosocial therapies. Factors like landscaping, furniture, cooking, and services will help heal the mind and nurture the body.Not all treatment facilities provide the same set of conditions or the same level of accommodation. There are several different types of facilities providing substance abuse recovery programs, from public detox facilities and community mental health centers to stand-alone rehabilitation facilities for substance abuse. Basic recovery services such as detox and counseling can also be offered in private hospitals, detention centers, and emergency rooms.

    In general, luxury centers for treating addiction provide more convenience, a higher staff-to-patient ratio, and more pleasant accommodation. In general, you should expect to pay more for a higher standard of service and a more comfortable atmosphere.


1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts

2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2006). Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 21. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4171. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). What is Substance Abuse Treatment?

4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians

5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). How Effective Is Drug Addiction Treatment?.

6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Commonly Used Drugs Charts.

7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Types of Treatment Programs

8. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy