Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or for a loved one, there are a lot of options when it comes to substance use treatment. You want to be sure you’re making the right decision and getting the appropriate level of care for your needs, or for the needs of your loved one. From intensive inpatient drug rehab to less demanding programs like regular outpatient therapy, there are a lot of different settings to choose from.
In order to make an informed decision, you should be aware of all the different treatment options out there and know what kinds of situations typically call for each different type. That’s what this post is here to accomplish. We’ll take you through most of the major types of best drug rehab centers, and we’ll talk a little bit about who might benefit most from each type. Not everybody needs to be in intensive inpatient drug rehab.
A standard disclaimer before we begin: Talk to your doctor if you’re considering an intensive inpatient drug rehab or any other kind of substance use treatment. They will have the best, most specific advice for your exact circumstances.
Okay, with that said, let’s jump into it. Here are some of the different kinds of best drug rehab centers.
Intensive Inpatient Drug Rehab
We’re going to start with the most intensive options first and work our way down from there. So, that makes intensive inpatient drug rehab the most obvious place to begin. When you think of a rehab program, this is usually what most people picture. An intensive inpatient drug rehab is going to offer the most support and structure for their clients compared to all the other options on this list.
Clients spend the night at the treatment facility, which is what differentiates inpatient from outpatient treatment. Their days mostly consist of different kinds of therapy, usually both individual and group. The treatment modalities offered differ between facilities, but the best drug rehab centers all use evidence-based therapies to help their clients achieve lasting sobriety.
A typical inpatient program lasts about a month, but many, if not most, people with substance use disorders need treatment for a longer time period than that. Many of the other types of treatment on this list are meant to pick up where an intensive inpatient drug rehab left off.
A partial hospitalization program is often used for people with serious cooccurring mental health conditions in addition to their substance use disorder. These types of programs will usually treat their participants for four to six hours every weekday in a clinical setting. Although that schedule is similar to an intensive outpatient program (we’ll cover the specifics of this kind of treatment a little later), the actual programs are very different.
Sometimes a partial hospitalization is used as a step down after an intensive inpatient drug rehab program. In other circumstances, it’s considered an appropriate first course of treatment.
The first phase of any recovery journey is the detoxification, or detox, phase. Lots of the other forms of treatment on this list will include detoxification as well. Other times, your detoxification will happen in a separate setting from the rest of your treatment.
Many people would prefer attempting to detox on their own, but it’s usually a better idea to enter some kind of treatment instead. This is because not only are withdrawal symptoms uncomfortable and likely to make you want to relapse, but they can also be dangerous in some cases if they’re not properly managed. The best drug rehab centers know how to get their clients through this initial phase safely, which is not something that can be said of everyone’s home environment. Then, the professionals at the best drug rehab centers can consult with you on what the next steps on your recovery journey should be. You don’t have to go through the process alone.
By the name alone, this one might sound almost indistinguishable from intensive inpatient drug rehab. Not everyone differentiates between inpatient and residential treatment, but often, residential treatment implies a longer time frame, and as such, less intense medical needs. These settings tend to be less clinical than an intensive inpatient drug rehab program. Some of the other treatment settings we’ve listed here, like therapeutic communities and sober living homes, are types of residential treatment. We’ll go over those next.
This is a very specific form of residential treatment. Your stay in one of these types of settings will last a minimum of six months. What makes therapeutic communities unique is their focus on the second part of their name: Community. It’s true that all the best drug rehab centers have the right staff to help their clients, but a therapeutic community goes a step further. The idea is that everyone, clients and staff alike, work together to build a structure that can resocialize people working on achieving lasting sobriety.
Many of the staff at these types of places are in recovery themselves. The emphasis on helping others with their recoveries is thought to be an important part of a client’s own journey toward lasting sobriety.
This type of treatment setting isn’t easy to define because it’s something of an umbrella term. A lot of similar but slightly different programs fit under the sober living label. Basically, these are residential programs for people looking to transition from a more strict environment like intensive inpatient drug rehab to a less strict one — namely, living independently at home. A sober living environment offers a lot of benefits to its residents. There might be training programs, help with finding a job, life skills classes, and other kinds of support on top of therapy.
Like other long-term residential options, people in a sober living home also have the opportunity to form friendships and support systems with other people on a recovery journey. Having this type of community around you can make a big difference, especially during the early stages of your recovery. Your old friends might be bad influences, so if you have to cut them off, having new friends to support you can be some comfort.
Regular Outpatient Treatment
Now that we’ve been over several types of inpatient treatment, including intensive inpatient drug rehab, let’s look at the different kinds of outpatient treatment available. Regular outpatient treatment is not as intense as intensive outpatient treatment, but we need to cover this one first so that we have a baseline of what outpatient entails. When most people think of the word “therapy,” they’re picturing regular outpatient treatment.
This kind of treatment is very different from an intensive inpatient drug rehab program. Clients have a much lower time commitment — only a few hours a week for most people. You go to the treatment center for that time and then return to your regular life for the remaining portion of the week. Outpatient clients still receive support, but this type of treatment is best suited for people who don’t need constant monitoring and have a healthy home environment. People who have responsibilities they can’t leave, like a job, aren’t suited to inpatient treatment options, so they’ll typically benefit from outpatient programs, whether regular or intensive.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment
It’s all in the name with this one. We already know what regular outpatient treatment entails, so intensive outpatient treatment is, you guessed it, a more intense form of that. The key distinction is between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Many of the best drug rehab centers might offer both kinds of treatment. However, others might specialize in one area or another. Some of the best drug rehab centers only offer one one type of treatment, while others keep a broader focus.
For those that focus on intensive outpatient treatment, they’ll host clients for most of the day five days a week. It’s a blend between the more extensive structure and support of an inpatient program and the freedom to go home at the end of the day that you get with an outpatient program.
Even though these aren’t technically treatment settings (they’re a far cry from an intensive inpatient drug rehab), we wanted to include them so you knew you had long-lasting options on your sobriety journey. Many people continue to attend support groups for years after they complete an intensive inpatient drug rehab or similar program, and the best drug rehab centers will often facilitate your attendance to one during your treatment.
Most of us have probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous or AA before, as it’s one of the most prominent support groups for people with alcohol use disorder. It’s the originator of the 12-step program, and many other support groups for other types of substance use disorders are at least partially modeled after AA. In one of these types of mutual aid groups, you’ll be able to build a community of new friends who are all committed to a sober lifestyle. That can be very beneficial for a lot of folks at any stage of their recovery journey. So, don’t count support groups out just because they’re not professional treatment.
How do I decide which one is right for me?
You shouldn’t ever be making these decisions alone. Start by talking to your doctor about your concerns and see what they recommend. The intake departments at the programs you’re considering can also be a great resource. The best drug rehab centers don’t want to take you if you’re not going to be a good fit for their offerings. They won’t just leave you in the lurch though — they’ll be able to refer you to a better treatment option for your specific needs.
Find the best drug rehab centers for your needs.
Treatment needs to be highly individualized in order to see the best results. So, just because one program comes highly recommended or has impressive statistics, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be one of the best drug rehab centers for you or for a loved one you’re hoping will begin treatment. As you can see from the different sections here, there are so many different options that are right for different people at different stages of their recovery journeys. Some of the best drug rehab centers will cover a large chunk of someone’s recovery process, while others will focus in on one stage or another. Intensive inpatient drug rehab might be right for your initial treatment, but then you might need a different kind of plan down the road.
We mentioned how statistics can look promising but don’t actually tell the whole story. Let’s briefly get a little more detailed about that. If you’re comparing statistics between different places that claim to be some of the best drug rehab centers, make sure you’re looking at comparable numbers. What does each facility count as a success — is it completing the initial program, or is there a check in to see if former clients are still abstaining from substances at a set point down the road? There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best program for you or for a loved one, and the numbers can’t be your only reference point.
Learn more about intensive inpatient drug rehab and other treatment settings.
Now you’ve got a baseline understanding of many of the main categories of drug treatment settings out there. Most of the best drug rehab centers fit into at least one of these categories. With this newfound knowledge, you can dive deeper into the kinds of treatment that appeal to you.
Intensive inpatient drug rehab might be the predominant kind of substance use treatment in our collective consciousness, but it’s not the right solution for everyone at every stage of their recovery journey. There are a lot of other options out there. It’s a mistake to think that only intensive inpatient programs are the best drug rehab centers — lots of different factors go into deciding what kind of treatment is most appropriate for each individual. This also needs to be reevaluated over time. Obviously, the goal is not to stay in a residential setting forever, for example.