Substance Use

6 Different Types of Addiction Help

When you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, reaching out for help can be a difficult first step. Fortunately, when you are ready to take that step, there are many different types of addiction treatment options available. So, what is the most effective way to deal with addiction? Choosing the right type of treatment will depend on many factors, including the type of substance you or your loved one are using, the severity of addiction, and personal preferences. Here, our experts explain six different types of treatment programs that have proven effective in treating substance use disorder.

Residential & Inpatient Treatment

Residential and Inpatient treatment programs for substance use disorder are intensive, residential programs that provide care for patients 24 hours a day. By requiring patients to stay full-time at a treatment facility for as long as 6-12 months, distractions of ‘normal’ life are eliminated so that they can focus solely on addiction recovery. While the level and type of services vary from one treatment facility to the next, most include different types of individual or group therapy, as well as medical care and other support services. Residential and Inpatient treatment programs will address substance abuse problems, as well as any underlying mental health issues, and provide social support.

Residential and Inpatient programs are designed to help people suffering from severe or complex addiction. A stay at a treatment center is often the best choice for patients going through medical detox or Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs for alcohol or drug abuse allow patients to receive treatment services while still living at home. The type of treatment and intensity will vary based on each individual’s needs and may include individual or group therapy or both. It is important to work with your healthcare provider to determine whether outpatient treatment is appropriate for you. Outpatient treatment is sometimes the best choice for people who have a job or a strong social support network.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is another type of outpatient treatment for people who require more support and structure than a traditional outpatient program will provide. These programs require a specific time commitment each week and may address behavioral health and medical issues in addition to alcohol or drug addiction. Intensive outpatient treatment may include individual and group counseling, education, MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment), and family therapy.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT combines the use of FDA-approved medications and behavioral therapy to treat substance use disorders. MAT is most commonly used to treat opioid addiction. Medications such as buprenorphine and Suboxone® dramatically reduce the risk of relapse and help prevent cravings and withdrawal symptoms in people who are addicted to opioids. When patients are not dealing with painful physical symptoms, they can focus all of their energy on recovery. MAT can be a part of both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans.

Suboxone® is a registered trademark of Indivior UK Limited. Caron Treatment Center is not affiliated with Indivior UK Limited or its affiliates ("Indivior"), and any reference to it or its intellectual property is for informational purposes only and is not endorsed or sponsored by Indivior.


Medically-monitored detox is a way for patients to rid their body of drugs or alcohol in a safe environment. Withdrawal from addictive substances can cause painful and even life-threatening physical symptoms. At an addiction treatment center, detox is overseen by medical professionals who can keep patients safe and comfortable during the process. Detox is usually combined with individual or group therapies to treat the behavioral causes of addiction.

12-Step Programs

12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are support groups designed to help people abstain from drugs and alcohol as they work through the recovery process with the support of others who share similar experiences. A 12-step program is not meant to take the place of substance abuse treatment but can be a complement to a formal treatment plan. Members of AA or NA attend regular meetings, even online, and receive support from the community while working through the 12-steps of the recovery process. Support groups such as Al-Anon also exist for those who are worried about a family member or friend who is suffering from alcohol addiction.

Online Sobriety Spaces

Online sobriety spaces are virtual support groups, and they are a valuable resource that patients can access without leaving their homes, which has been crucial throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Online sobriety programs are a great first step for people who are hesitant to put themselves out there in a normal group setting. Many organizations, including AA and NA, offer virtual support for a global community of people at different stages in the recovery process. Click here to access SAMHSA’s list of virtual recovery resources.

If you or a loved one are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, help is available. Contact Caron today to learn about our many treatment options and personalized approach to care.

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