Types of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

On the road to recovery, treatment of substance abuse disorders involves varying levels of care with different psychosocial and sometimes physiological approaches according to a 2013 study on the Continuing Care Model of substance use treatment.

Below are three of the most common treatment facilities for substance abuse.

Residential Treatment Programs

Commonly known as "rehab," these programs usually last from 1 to 3 months where an individual lives at a location away from home to avoid triggers that compel addictive behavior, according to licensed professional counselor, Nicole Miller.

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Individuals with long histories of substance abuse represent the majority who enter residential treatment. Residential treatment programs offer a supportive environment of caring professionals and peers. 24/7 patients are immersed in structure and activities, and group sessions that confront deep rooted emotional issues and destructive patterns that lead to risky behavior. These are effective in reducing the feelings of isolation people who struggle with addiction often experience.

"There are also long-term residential programs that can be a year long, which are designed for individuals that may have failed in the past at shorter rehabilitation efforts, or for individuals who need to do career counseling and other case management work while they work on employment, education, or housing issues," says addiction specialist, Aaron Sternlicht.


According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, medically-assisted detox facilities allow for a safe withdrawal. People at this stage of treatment have difficulty remaining sober long enough for the body to rid itself of all the toxins and stopping abruptly can be potentially fatal.

Detox is a form of "medically managed withdrawal" where drugs are administered to combat the side effects associated with physiological drug dependency. Those who successfully complete detox programs are less likely to relapse than those who drop out. However, post-detox treatment is associated with a better long- term outcome abstaining from substances.

Sober Living

Often used synonymously with "transitional living," sober living homes offer support after an intensive residential program and before one returns to their normal lives. One of the biggest challenges in maintaining sobriety is finding a stable living environment that supports recovery efforts. Residents learn new skills and coping mechanisms to support them in their recovery. Most programs allow the resident to stay as long as they wish if they comply with house rules and meetings.

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