Treatment and Recovery

Addiction is a complex, but treatable disorder. Research in the field of addiction and drug and alcohol treatment has led to the development of effective methods that can help people face and overcome addiction and continue living productive lives. This is referred to as being in recovery.

Learning more about treatment, recovery, and available programs will enable users to find adequate alcohol or drug treatment help and start their rehabilitation process.

What Is Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

Drug and alcohol treatment is intended to help people who are addicted stop compulsive drug/alcohol seeking. Treatment can come in many different forms, be conducted in different settings, and last for various periods of time. Since drug or alcohol dependency is generally a chronic disorder, short-term rehabilitation is typically not enough. Treatment is a lengthy process that often requires several types of care and monitoring.1

There are a multitude of evidence-based methods to addiction treatment. Treatment curricula within specialized programs may include cognitive-behavioral therapy and other therapeutic modalities, medications, or their combination. The unique form of care or combination of treatment approaches will vary according to the individual needs of a patient.1

alcohol & drug treatment help, recovery & programs

Basic Drug & Alcohol Treatment Programs

While drug and alcohol treatment programs may vary depending on the patients’ needs and specific facility, some of the most commonly used options are:2

  • Outpatient treatment program that can vary in intensity, attendance frequency, and treatment methods used. It is relatively more affordable than residential treatment, but requires a more stable social and home environment.
  • Long-term treatment program for drug and alcohol abuse that entails treatment at a non-hospital setting and ongoing, 24/7 monitoring.
  • Short-term residential drug and alcohol treatment that is typically short, but intensive in nature.

Treatment and Recovery: What’s the Difference?

Treatment and recovery are related terms, but they are not the same. Generally, the process of going to a specialized center to deal with addiction is considered drug addiction treatment. Recovery encompasses other areas of life, such as mental, physical, and emotional health. Treatment is usually part of recovery, but recovery is not just treatment.3

What Is Recovery?

Recovery is generally defined as the process of becoming better from an illness or going back to a state of physical and mental health. In some alcohol and drug treatment programs, the term ‘in recovery’ defines those who participate in, or have finished, an abstinence-based treatment program, or those who participate in self-help groups.3

How Does Treatment Enhance Recovery?

Like other chronic diseases, drug and alcohol addiction treatment is usually not a cure. However, addiction can be successfully managed. Treatment allows people to counteract the adverse impacts of addiction on their brain and behavior and to gain back control over their lives.4

When treating opioid addictions, drugs are often the first course of treatment, usually in combination with some form of behavioral therapy or counseling. Medications are also available to help treat addiction and withdrawal symptoms.5

After the initial detox, behavioral therapies assist individuals in addiction treatment to change their behavior in relation to drug use. As a result, patients are able to cope with stressful situations and numerous triggers that could cause a relapse. Behavioral therapies can also improve the efficacy of medications and help people stay longer in treatment.4

Unsure where to start? Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. This evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are designed to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. Please be aware that this evaluation is not a substitute for advice from a medical doctor.

How Does Residential Treatment Help With Recovery and Relapse

Residential programs can provide patients with a structured, safe environment while also allowing them to work on recovery in a setting in which there are others who fully understand what they’re going through. Treatment residences tend to be peaceful, safe, and accommodating, where each person is able to keep working on their recovery while being surrounded by those who are equally committed to a life of sobriety.

Residential programs are especially useful for people who are still struggling with substance use disorders because they can concentrate on abstinence without any external distractions. Patients may be encouraged to plan their lives after their stay, acknowledging that recovery is a constant process.