Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse treatment is a broad term that encompasses therapy for addictions to alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs. At Renaissance Recovery, we offer premier substance abuse treatment at our outpatient facilities.

There are many different forms of treatment beyond residential rehab, the first thing that springs to mind when many people think of drug rehab.

While residential rehab, also known as inpatient treatment, is effective for many people grappling with severe addictions, this form of rehab is not always necessary. Beyond this, many insurance policies will not offer coverage for residential rehab. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, though, providers are obliged to meet the costs of outpatient treatment for addiction.


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Types of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

The following types of substance abuse treatment programs are typically delivered in an outpatient setting.

Inpatient rehab sees you spend 30 to 90 days or more living at a treatment center while engaging with a variety of therapies. With outpatient treatment, you’ll take advantage of broadly similar services, but without the prohibitive cost, and without needing to put your life on hold for months.

Table of Contents

Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is the most intensive form of outpatient treatment for addiction.

Also known as a day program, you’ll attend sessions of individual and group counseling as well as engaging with psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavior therapy). In the evenings, you return home rather than remaining at the treatment center.

Sessions will last for 60 minutes to 3 hours depending on type of service provided, and you’ll attend personalized sessions on weekdays.

One of the key benefits of a PHP is the flexibility of treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Program

One step down on the continuum of care, an IOP (intensive outpatient program) is less intensive than a PHP, but it’s more intensive than a regular outpatient program.

Most intensive outpatient programs involve a minimum time commitment of nine hours weekly.

Research shows that IOPs can be just as effective as inpatient programs for the purposes of substance abuse treatment.

Medication Assisted Treatment Program

MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is a catch-all term used for the delivery of addiction treatment incorporating FDA-approved medications.

Buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone are approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorder and heroin use disorder.

For alcohol use disorder, the FDA recommends the use of disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

The medications used in MAT serve two broad purposes:

  1. Reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms
  2. Minimizing cravings

Medication-assisted treatment for addiction is most effective when it’s delivered in combination with talk therapies, also known as psychotherapies.

Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapy in its broadest sense involves an appropriate and integrated delivery of MAT and/or psychotherapy.

You can attend addiction therapy sessions in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

Vocational Development Program

Addiction can create many problems at work as well as at home. If you require assistance with re-entering the workforce, the right vocational development component to addiction programming can help you dismantle the barriers preventing you from obtaining and holding down meaningful employment.

Sober Living

If you want to engage with outpatient substance abuse treatment but you lack a stable and supportive environment at home, sober living homes are a potential solution.

Structured sober living surrounds you with others in active recovery. You’ll need to pay all expenses, attend meetings, and respect the rules in place. Sober living homes are substance-free and you can expect regular drug tests. This helps to keep the environment free of temptation for you and all other residents.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Where drug addiction was once uncharitably viewed as a moral failing or lack of willpower, the modern conception of addiction has shifted substantially.

Today, drug addiction is widely recognized as a chronic and relapsing disease characterized by uncontrollable and compulsive drug use regardless of the adverse outcomes triggered and the changes brought about in the brain, damage which is sometimes long-lasting. It is these changes to the structure and functioning of the brain that leads to the harmful behaviors people abusing substances often engage in.

The dated idea that addiction is a choice has a grain of truth to it. For many people, the path to drug addiction starts with a voluntary decision to take drugs. Over time, though, the ability to make a choice about drug use diminishes. By this stage, drug seeking and drug abuse are compulsive, due to the way addiction influences the parts of the brain responsible for control over behavior, motivation, and reward.

Addiction, then, is a disease that impacts both the brain and behavior.

Effective addiction treatment needs to help you to achieve the following:

  • Stop using substances
  • Remain substance-free
  • Become productive again, at home, at work, and in society

There are many proven modalities for substance abuse treatment, including:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Behavioral counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Integrated treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Relapse management and prevention strategies
  • Aftercare

Detoxification, commonly abbreviated to detox, does not in itself constitute drug addiction treatment. It is, nevertheless, the first crucial step in the process. One 2014 SAMHSA study showed that medications were used in almost 80% of detoxifications at treatment centers.

Most patients who discontinue treatment post-detox return to substance use.

Medications can help minimize the chances of relapse by encouraging the reestablishment of normal brain function while at the same time reducing cravings.

Medications are available for the treatment of opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and nicotine addiction. Research is ongoing into medications to treat stimulant use disorder (cocaine, meth) and also cannabis use disorder. In the case of polysubstance abuse, you’ll need treatment for all the substances in question to increase the chances of sustained recovery.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Most people imagine alcohol use disorder is always treated with 12-step programs like AA or with a stint in residential rehab.

Over the past fifty years, though, more treatment options have become available, and there is no boilerplate solution for alcohol use disorder (AUD). What works for a friend may be ineffective for treating your problem with alcohol abuse, so it pays to become aware of the options at your disposal if you’re considering engaging with alcohol addiction treatment.

In most diagnoses of severe alcohol use disorder, a month or more in residential rehab is normally advisable. For mild and moderate cases of AUD, though, outpatient treatment can be highly effective.

Types of Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

The primary methods of treating alcohol use disorder are:

  • Behavioral interventions
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Mutual support groups and 12-step groups

Behavioral interventions

Counseling, both individually and in group settings, can help you to moderate the behavior that led you to abuse alcohol.

You’ll engage with counseling sessions led by health professionals and backed by an evidence base proving the effectiveness of counseling for alcohol addiction treatment.

Medication-assisted treatment

There are currently three medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of alcohol use disorder:

  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate
  • Naltrexone

Topiramate shows promising results in large-scale clinical trials, but this medication is not yet FDA-approved for treating AUD.


Marketed as Antabuse, disulfiram disrupts the way alcohol breaks down in your system. If you drink alcohol while taking this medication, acetaldehyde builds up in your body. This triggers uncomfortable adverse effects, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Warmth and redness to face
  • Irregular heartbeat

While compliance can be an issue with disulfiram, in patients fully committed to sobriety, this medication can be a powerful addition to the treatment arsenal.


Acamprosate can help to minimize symptoms of long-lasting alcohol withdrawal, such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and dysphoria.

This medication might be more effective in patients with severe alcohol use disorder.


Naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors associated with the rewarding effects of drinking alcohol. The medication also helps to reduce cravings for alcohol.

The medication is proven to reduce relapse in heavy drinkers, and can be a highly effective component of alcohol addiction treatment.

A primary care physician or a health professional will prescribe these medications, either for use in isolation or in combination with counseling and psychotherapy.

Mutual support groups and 12-step groups

12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous provide powerful peer support and accountability for anyone committed to sobriety.

The anonymous nature of these groups means it’s tough to obtain hard data establishing their effectiveness. Many people find attending AA groups a valuable extra layer of support in combination with an integrated treatment plan.

Types of Behavioral Therapies for Alcohol Addiction

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) helps you identify the people, places, and things that trigger you to abuse alcohol. You’ll learn to change flawed thought processes that lead to poor behaviors like alcohol abuse. You’ll also learn healthier copy strategies to help minimize the chances of relapse.

MET (motivational enhancement therapy) is a short-term therapy intended to firm up your motivation to change your behavior when it comes to drinking problematically.

With family therapy, you’ll involve your loved ones in parts of the treatment process with the goal of strengthening your interpersonal relationships and improving your communication skills.

Counseling in both one-to-one and group sessions can help you to learn more about the risks of addition and the benefits of treatment.

Finding Substance Abuse Treatment Near Me

When you’re looking for a substance abuse treatment center, it’s worth bearing in mind the following pointers:

  • Location
  • Types of treatment and therapies
  • Specialties and areas of expertise
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Staff/client ratio
  • Is insurance accepted?
  • Avoid rehab centers promising guaranteed success


According to NIDA (the National Institute on Drug Abuse), there are over 14,500 treatment centers in the United States. This gives you ample choice over the location of the treatment center.

If you’re engaging with outpatient treatment, it’s practical to choose somewhere close to home. Lengthy trips to counseling sessions at an already stressful time are the last thing you need.

For anyone looking to head to residential rehab, you’ll be free to choose almost anywhere. Some people find a complete change of surroundings is beneficial, while others prefer the security of being closer to home.

Types of Treatment and Therapies

Not all treatment centers are equal, and not all adopt the same approach to treatment.

With some rehab centers, you’ll find a holistic approach with a spiritual slant. Other treatment centers offer primarily medication-assisted treatment.

Rather than hoping to find a one-size-fits-all solution, look for what you feel would work best for you in a treatment center.

While having so many options for addiction treatment is encouraging, if you’re not clear on what each of these approaches offers, you’re highly likely to end up pursuing inappropriate treatment.

Specialties and Areas of Expertise

Different treatment centers specialize in different spheres of addiction.

Alcohol abuse, the abuse of prescription medications, and illicit drug abuse all need to be treated in different ways. It makes sense to seek treatment at a rehab center with a proven record of helping people just like you.

Explore all aspects of programming, from the intake and detox process through to treatment proper and aftercare. Ensure that all your needs will be catered for.

If you need treatment for addiction, you should approach finding the most suitable treatment in the same way as seeking help for a physical condition. With properly tailored care, you’ll increase your chances of a successful recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Addiction to alcohol or drugs can lead to changes in the reward system of your brain.

Most severe addictions will respond most favorably to medication-assisted treatment, especially during the detox phase.

If you feel you would benefit from MAT, make sure the treatment centers on your shortlist offer this.

Staff/Client Ratio

Check that the proportion of staff to clients gives you enough chance of getting the personal attention you need at this challenging time.

Smaller treatment centers often offer minimal distractions, a good staff/client ratio, and a greater sense of privacy. With larger centers, you may find the broader spread of opinions you’re exposed to is useful.

As with all aspects of this decision, all that counts is finding what works for you.

Is Insurance Accepted?

Most estimates suggest that only 10% of those requiring addiction treatment actually receive treatment.

According to reports in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 30% of those who needed treatment without seeking it claimed cost was the barrier to entry.

Like all aspects of addiction treatment, the cost of treatment varies significantly. Fortunately, with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) mandating that insurance providers must offer coverage for addiction treatment, things are moving in a positive direction. At least today, substance abuse and mental health conditions are considered under the umbrella of essential care.

If you are unable to pay out of pocket for your treatment, it’s vital to establish that all the treatment centers on your shortlist accept insurance.

Avoid Rehab Centers Promising Guaranteed Success

This may seem counterintuitive, but you should view any rehab facility promising guaranteed sobriety skeptically.

Addiction is not a curable disease, but it can be treated (albeit with the ongoing risk of relapse present). This means that once you leave the treatment facility, you are not cured, but merely taking the first tentative steps on a lifelong journey.

Instead of being seduced by hollow promises, look instead for genuine testimonials from alumni like Pat C describing the power of rehab:

When I arrived homeless at Renaissance Recovery, I had a trash bag full of someone else’s clothing and a crippling 18-year addiction to heroin. I was ill-equipped to be a part of, let alone contribute to, society. The caring, knowledgeable, and welcoming staff at Renaissance Recovery provided me with the structure and support that I didn’t know I needed. Through the guidance of the leaders in this community that I was so fortunate to have been accepted into, I overcame my chemical dependency, obtained employment, and have since become self-sufficient. I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

Renaissance Recovery’s Addiction Treatment

You should now have a clear idea of the many different paths you could take to address your substance abuse issues.

If you’re suffering from a mental health condition like depression or anxiety co-occurring with addiction, our dual diagnosis treatment program will help you tackle both issues simultaneously.

We offer medication-assisted treatment in combination with psychotherapies like CBT and DBT. You will also have access to a variety of holistic therapies and vocational development programs.

All our addiction treatment programs also offer robust aftercare.

If you’re ready to take the first vital step to sustained recovery, reach out to the Renaissance Recovery Center admissions team at 866.330.9449.

Don’t let your lack of knowledge about addiction treatment programs keep you from getting the right treatment. Contact Renaissance Recovery to fight back against your addiction with help from our knowledgeable staff members. Dial Renaissance Recovery at 866.330.9449 to find out more.

Rehabilitation can put an end to addiction

Call and ask the facility directly or call your own provider to determine if your insurance covers the treatment.

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