According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Treatment Episode Date Set (TEDS) 1.8 million individuals entered treatment programs for substance abuse in 2008.

Alcohol abuse accounted for the majority of substance abuse treatment admissions (41.4%), followed by heroin and opiate-drug related admissions (20%) and marijuana (17%). While some treatment facilities may focus specifically on one type of substance abuse problem, most rehab centers offer treatment for both alcohol as well as drug abuse.

Selecting the right treatment program will help ensure your loved one receives the care that he or she needs. This information is designed to help you better understand the different treatment programs available for your loved one, including 12-step programs and holistic programs, as well as the difference between inpatient and outpatient programs.

Q. What is an inpatient treatment program?

An inpatient treatment program, also known as a residential treatment facility, provides care 24 hours per day. Some individuals who are struggling with substance abuse problems benefit significantly when they leave their home environment and stay at a residential treatment facility. This change in environment helps to remove negative influences and gives individuals the opportunity to focus solely on their health.

Q. What is an outpatient treatment program?

Outpatient treatment is a form of rehab where individuals travel to a treatment center to attend classes or therapy sessions and then return home the same day. If a loved one has successfully completed inpatient treatment, an outpatient program may be part of ongoing care. Some outpatient treatment programs may last only a few hours each week, while others require individuals to come in for several hours each day. The level of care and the time commitment involved can vary widely based on an individual’s treatment needs.

Q. What is a 12-step program?

A traditional 12-step program is one of the most popular treatment methods for drug addiction. Twelve step programs have helped millions of individuals recover from substance abuse and maintain life-long sobriety. This program is designed to bring sobriety, strength and serenity to an individual’s life. Program participants advance in order through each of the 12 steps. These steps include acknowledging that they have a problem and are powerless to control it; believing in a higher power that can bring back control; and turning their problem over to this higher power. The level of religiosity attached to a 12-step program can vary. While all programs stress fellowship and community support, not all programs include prayer or God.

Q. What is a holistic treatment program?

Holistic treatment programs integrate complementary therapies to address psychological or mental issues that underlie substance abuse. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, a past history of sexual or physical abuse, or other personal problems may contribute to an individual’s substance abuse struggles. These individuals may abuse drugs or alcohol as an “escape” from their problems. Holistic treatment programs may use meditation, yoga, tai chai, acupuncture or other alternative therapies to help restore an individual’s sense of well-being and purpose.

Q. What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a type of treatment designed to help individuals recognize destructive patterns of behavior and alter these behavioral patterns in order to prevent future substance abuse. Cognitive behavioral therapy may take place either as group counseling or one-on-one counseling. Many treatment centers offer behavioral therapy in conjunction with a 12-step program or holistic treatments.

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