What Options Do I Have in Choosing a Rehab?

Choosing to get treatment help can be one of the most difficult and important decisions you’ll make in your life. Once addiction starts to turn your life into something you can no longer recognize, making the decision to enter rehab is the smartest move you can make. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of rehab options. However, the trick when choosing a rehab is knowing which programs can best meet your treatment needs.

How Does Drug Rehab Help?

Drug and alcohol addictions have both a physical and a psychological component, so doctors can’t do the fast and easy “take a pill and call me in the morning” routine. While detox programs do follow set timelines for treating the physical effects, treating the psychological aspects of addiction isn’t nearly so clean cut. Drug rehab programs have the ardent task of treating both aspects of addiction.

Treating addiction entails helping you confront the patterns of thinking and behavior that drive drug cravings. Helping you replace these destructive patterns becomes the overall goal of treatment. Ultimately, options for rehab help you develop the mindset and coping skills you’ll need to live a sober lifestyle.

Rehab Options

Inpatient Programs

Inpatient programs treat the most severe cases of drug (and alcohol) abuse. Typically located in a hospital setting, these facilities offer comprehensive medical and psychological care. If you’ve developed a serious medical problem that was caused by drug abuse, such as diabetes or a heart condition, inpatient rehab programs will treat and stabilize the problem.

Since they’re already located in a hospital, inpatient programs can also provide detox treatment, especially in cases of severe detox withdrawal where symptoms can be life-threatening. Patients receive medical care and addiction treatment throughout the length of their stay. As far as program duration goes, lengths can vary, ranging from seven days to one year depending on the severity of your condition.

Residential Programs

Residential rehab options provide ongoing support for people who’ve completed detox but still require help abstaining from drug or alcohol use. These programs operate as live-in treatment facilities where patients engage in behavior-based interventions throughout the day. Interventions offered may include:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Support group meetings
  • Drug education and counseling

A residential setting gives patients the time and space to focus on their recovery without the pressures and distractions of life at home. These programs also vary in duration, ranging from 30 to 90 days. Keep in mind that when you’re choosing a rehab program, some form of residential treatment should be considered if you’re recovering from a full-blown addiction problem.

Sober Living Programs

Sober living programs also operate as live-in facilities but they differ from residential treatment in many ways. Sober living homes act as a bridge between the drug treatment program environment and your home environment. These programs become a real-world training ground where residents are required to hold down a job, perform household chores, and pay rent.

During their time in the program, recovering addicts learn to be accountable within a structured living environment. Treatment supports are also provided in the form of sponsorship and required attendance at support group meetings. After six months to a year in a sober living environment, it’s likely the structure, habits, and routines learned will carry over once you return home.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment programs offer a long-term solution in terms of ongoing support and continued engagement in the treatment process. Treatment on an outpatient-basis entails you living at home while attending scheduled treatment sessions throughout the week. Sessions can be scheduled around your daily routine, which works well if you have a job or other responsibilities to meet.

Outpatient program interventions vary depending on your treatment needs, such as individual psychotherapy, counseling, or attending support group meetings. This is the least intensive of all the rehab options so program duration can run anywhere from three months to several years. In turn, you should only consider this option if you feel fairly secure in your recovery and have already established a stable, structured lifestyle.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Rehab

Addiction Severity

As hard as chronic substance abuse can on the body, a full-blown addiction may pose the biggest danger of all. Addiction roots inside the mind and once a person believes or she needs drugs to cope with life, drug-using behavior will take over at all costs. For these reasons, the severity of your addiction should guide your decision when choosing a rehab program. The more severe your addiction problem the greater the need for intensive, long-term treatment.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues and addiction are a recipe for a perfect storm. Conditions like depression and anxiety disorders aggravate drug cravings, making it more difficult to abstain from drug and alcohol use. When choosing a rehab, be sure they have experience in treating co-occurring addiction and mental health problems, or else your recovery path will be wrought with frustration and setbacks. More often than not, the more intensive rehab options, such as inpatient and residential facilities, are best equipped to support these treatment needs.

Medical Problems

Anything that weakens your body’s ability to recover from the effects of substance abuse will work against your recovery efforts. Serious medical problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease should be treated so you can get the most out of drug treatment. Conditions like these can also make the detox stage more difficult, which only increases the risk of relapse. Medical care may need to be administered during detox or throughout your time in treatment depending on the seriousness of the medical condition.

Time Is of the Essence

When it comes to getting help for a substance abuse problem, it’s never too soon to take that first step. The longer addiction goes untreated the harder the recovery process will be. If you suspect a drug habit has gotten out of control or you’re starting to see the destructive effects of addiction in your life, it’s time to consider getting treatment help.


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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