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drug and alcohol detox treatment

Detox Treatment

Medical detoxification, or detox, is an important first step in the treatment process. The detox process clears the body of drugs or alcohol while safely and comfortably managing withdrawal symptoms.1 Before starting detox, your treatment care team will assess your treatment needs and create a tailored treatment plan, including the right setting and level of care, to fit your unique needs.1,2

Detox Settings

Detox programs differ based on the care setting and intensity of medical care offered.

  • Inpatient detox
  • Outpatient detox
  • Medical detox
Inpatient detox

This is the most intensive level of detox care because it involves 24/7 care where treatment staff are onsite to ensure your progress and safety.1 Inpatient detox setting options include mental health hospitals, residential drug treatment programs, urgent care clinics, freestanding emergency departments, mental health centers, and general hospitals.1

drug and alcohol rehab treatment


Rehab, otherwise known as rehabilitation or drug treatment, helps people with substance use disorders (SUDs) stop their compulsive need to seek out and use drugs.3 You may learn new ways to cope with cravings and triggers (the people, places, and situations that lead you to using drugs or alcohol) through many different types of behavioral therapy.3 Treatment may also include prescription medicines in combination with behavioral therapy to help control cravings.3

Rehab Settings

Rehab settings and programs can differ based upon the length of stay and environment and therefore can come in many different forms.3

  • Traditional outpatient rehab
  • Intensive outpatient rehab
  • Partial hospitalization rehab
  • Inpatient rehab
Traditional outpatient rehab

Traditional outpatient treatment tends to be useful if you have strong support networks.4 You can continue to be active in your day-to-day life while making treatment a part of your daily or weekly schedule. Many outpatient programs offer group counseling, individual therapy, or both.5

addiction treatment aftercare


Aftercare, also called "continuing care" or "alumni services," is an after-treatment plan to support patients in the early stage of the recovery process. Once you complete detox and rehab, it is important to join an alumni network where you can keep in touch with treatment professionals and fellow alumni who can help you work toward your treatment goals and help prevent relapse.7 The risk of relapse can be high immediately after completing formal rehab and entering back into everyday life. So an aftercare program can help you maintain a sober recovery by offering valuable support and coping tools.

Aftercare Settings

Aftercare settings vary because they're based on each patient's unique treatment and recovery needs.

  • Support groups
  • Sober living homes
  • Counseling and therapy
Support groups

Support groups are regular meetings with people who are also in recovery. It can include online support groups, SMART recovery and 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a treatment center?
Often, the first step is figuring out your treatment needs. Your doctor can help you learn what these needs are, which may include length of treatment, level of care, location, price, and what your insurance will cover.
What is substance use disorder treatment?
Substance use disorder treatment helps people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol stop compulsive substance use.3 Treatment differs based on patient needs and the types of substances used.3
Does substance use treatment work?
Yes, substance use treatment works, but it’s not that simple. Because substance use disorder is a chronic disease that often involves relapse, treatment is often a long-term process for many people.3 Relapse rates vary depending on all kinds of factors, but relapse is part of the reality of treatment and recovery. Finding the right treatment program to suit your unique needs can help prevent relapse. It is important to keep in mind that relapse doesn’t mean you failed. But it is a clue that you most likely need to shift your goals, recovery plan and coping skills in order to reset.14
How much does treatment cost?
The cost of treatment depends on a number of factors. This can include the severity of your substance use disorder, which drugs you use, your medical history, the treatment center you choose, amenities, how long you stay in treatment, and what type of insurance you have.
How long does treatment last?
Treatment length varies based on a number of factors unique to each person. This includes which substances you use, how long you’ve used them, your medical history, and what kinds of treatment you've had in the past.
How many treatment addiction centers are there in the United States?
There are thousands of treatment centers across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia.10 This makes it easy to find a treatment center near you and start your recovery today.
  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015).   Tip 45: Detoxification and substance abuse treatment.
  2. Hayashida, M. (1998). An overview of outpatient and inpatient detoxification. Alcohol Health & Research World, 22(1), 44–46.  
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020).   What is drug addiction treatment?
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020).   Types of treatment programs.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019).   Treatment approaches for drug addiction DrugFacts.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse (2020).   Treatment settings.
  7. Patton, D. & McDowell, T. (n.d.). Substance abuse aftercare treatment. Arizona State University, Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy.  
  8. Sinha, R. (2011). New findings on biological factors predicting addiction relapse vulnerability. Current Psychiatry Reports, 13(5), 398–405.  
  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).   Preface.
  10. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2021).   National directory of drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities.
  11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General. (2016).   Facing addiction in America: The surgeon general’s report on alcohol, drugs, and health.
  12. ASAM Continuum. (2015).   What are the ASAM levels of care?
  13. Polcin, D. and Henderson, D. (2008). A clean and sober place to live: Philosophy, structure, and purported therapeutic factors in sober living houses. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(2), 153–159.  
  14. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020).   Can addiction be treated successfully?