It's easy to get lost in the world of addiction, substance use disorders, treatment options ... Here's a quick tutorial.
A simple glossary of treatment terms
Detox - Before beginning any course of detoxification, consult with a medical professional. In many cases, undergoing detox should be supervised by a physician to ensure health and safety throughout the process. Fatalities can occur if a person quits "cold turkey" after long-time abuse of: alcohol, benzodiazepine or high amounts of methadone. Immediately discontinuing the use of drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines or nicotine can produce severe difficulties but rarely fatalities. Remember: Detox is necessary but not sustainable for long-term recovery. Other steps should be taken to ensure successful recovery from inpatient to group support - depending on the severity of addiction.
Inpatient - High intensity treatment/intervention. Sometimes referred to as acute hospital setting. Treatment may be provided in specialty units of hospitals or medical clinics. Inpatient treatment is generally 3 days to a week and intended to stabilize the patient before his or her next step which could be PHP, IOP or residential.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) - For individuals with a physical dependency on certain drugs, primarily heroin or other opioids, medication is provided in a specialized outpatient setting in combination with counseling and other treatment services. Learn more at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Short-term Residential - Length of stay varies, but is typically 30 days or less. Clients remain at the facility during the treatment period. (Modalities include Evidenced Based, Faith Based, Refuge Recovery, 12 Step, Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT) Long-term Residential - Length of stay varies from weeks to months to a year. Typically residents complete phases as they progress through the program. (Modalities include Evidenced Based, Faith Based, Refuge Recovery, 12 Step, Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT)
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) - Clients attend four to eight hours of treatment a day (20 or more a week) while continuing to live at home. Most families use these types of programs when their child needs an intensive and structured experience. Day treatment can be appropriate for individuals with co-occurring mental illness.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) - Clients attend 10 - 20 hours of treatment a week (slightly less for teens) at a specialty facility while continuing to live at home. Many programs make services available in the evenings and on weekends so individuals can continue to work or stay in school. A better option for individuals who need multiple services, have accompanying medical or psychological illnesses or have not been successful in outpatient treatment.
Outpatient - Treatment is typically at a treatment facility and can vary from a few hours a week to several hours a week. Many facilities offer programs at night and on weekends to accommodate work and school schedules so that the individual can continue to live at home.
Individual Counseling - One-on-one counseling to explore personal problems that an individual may not be comfortable discussing in a group setting.
Group Counseling - Usually consists of several people with similar issues and goals. One or more counselors facilitate discussions which may include struggles, experiences and common issues impeding sobriety.
Recovery or Sober Living Homes - Transitional residences for adults who have completed a more intense level of treatment (inpatient, short or long-term residential program). Homes usually have a small number of residents that are supervised by staff who are typically in long-term recovery. Structure and rules should be clear and enforced to ensure the safety of all residents.
Support Groups (AA, NA, CA, Refuge Recovery, etc.) - Very effective in building a sober community of friends with similar goals. Different styles and formats are available including 12-Step and non 12-Step groups. People come together to share experiences with addiction and provide support to one another.