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What are the Different Types of Substance Abuse Services?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of substance abuse services. Substance abuse services usually differ in specific purpose and length depending on the severity of somebody’s addiction and how many times they he or she has been in treatment.

If somebody is new to addiction and does not need medical attention for the detoxification process, he or she may be sent to an IOP, or intensive putpatient program. In an IOP, the patient usually comes to a substance abuse treatment center, whether it is attached to a larger hospital or a smaller clinic and participates in group therapy with other addicts. Since it is an outpatient program, the patient does not stay at the hospital or clinic. Outpatient treatment programs are usually anywhere from two to five days per week.

If somebody has been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time and is in need of a medically supervised detoxification, he or she may need an inpatient treatment program. This is often the case with alcoholics, considering that alcohol withdrawal itself is potentially life-threatening. Inpatient substance abuse services usually last between two weeks and a month, and can last in some instances much longer.

The duration of stay in an inpatient treatment program depends on the treatment center itself and also on how the patient is paying for treatment. Most insurance companies are less likely to pay for a long-term visit. In an inpatient substance treatment program, the patient stays overnight in the hospital and is not permitted to leave. The first part is the detoxification process which usually lasts anywhere from three to five days, depending on the drug or drugs from which the body is detoxifying. After the detoxification process the patient usually works closely with a psychotherapist and is introduced to a program in the hospital filled with group therapy sessions and other informative lectures on recovery from addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which are the traditional 12-step recovery programs, are a type of free substance abuse services and often introduced to patients in different substance abuse treatment centers. The 12-step approach believes in complete abstinence from alcohol and drugs because they adhere to the “disease concept” of addiction. These programs also feature a life of regular attendance at meetings, along with belief in a Higher Power and working the other steps with a sponsor, who becomes a personal guide through the 12 steps.

Another form of substance abuse services are halfway houses. Halfway houses are for a substance abuse service where housing is provided for the addict or alcoholic who is not prepared to reenter society in sobriety and needs support from a house full of other people working toward recovery. On-site counseling is usually offered in halfway houses.

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