When evaluating the many types of substance abuse treatment programs in Alberta, remember that everyone’s needs are different. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment you may need.
Regardless of a program’s length in weeks or months, support and long-term follow-up are crucial to recovery. A quality treatment program not only addresses the drug abuse, it also addresses the emotional pain and other life problems that contribute to your addiction.
What to look for in a substance abuse treatment program?
When you start looking for substance abuse treatment, you may see advertisements for programs in tranquil settings with gorgeous views. While amenities like that are nice to have, they likely come with a big price tag. Focus on what is truly important: appropriate licensing, quality of care during the program, follow-up services, and staff credentials. Things to check include:
Program accreditation and licensing. Make sure the treatment program is accredited by the state it’s in. Also check to ensure that the program is run by licensed, well-trained mental health professionals and addiction specialists.
The effectiveness of the program’s treatment methods. Treatment centers should have at least some statistics on their success rates, preferably from an objective outside agency.
Type of aftercare services to prevent relapse. Is there a well-run aftercare program? Does it provide referrals to other recovery services and support groups in the community? Also make sure that a staff member will collaborate with you to create a discharge plan before you leave the program.
Types of drug treatment programs
Residential treatment – Residential treatment involves living at a treatment facility while undergoing intensive treatment during the day. Residential treatment normally lasts from 30-90 days.
Partial hospitalization – Partial hospitalization is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but have a stable living situation. These treatment programs usually meet at the hospital for 3-5 days a week, 4-6 hours per day.
Intensive outpatient program (IOP) – Not a live-in treatment program, but it still requires a major time commitment. Intensive outpatient programs usually meet at least 3 days a week for 2-4 hours a day or more. The major focus is relapse prevention. These outpatient programs are often scheduled around work or school.
Counseling (Individual, Group, or Family) – Works best in conjunction with other types of treatment or as follow-up support. Therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.
Sober living – Normally follows intensive treatment like residential treatment. You live with other recovering addicts in a supportive drug-free environment. Sober living facilities are useful if you have nowhere to go or you’re worried that returning home too soon will lead to relapse.
Brief intervention – Only appropriate for those at risk for drug abuse or drug addiction, not those who have already developed a serious problem. Consists of several visits to a healthcare professional to discuss the harmful effects of drug abuse and strategies for cutting back.