There are so many different treatment options available that finding the right fit can seem like a daunting task. By breaking different treatment methods down and looking at their components, however, the process of choosing a treatment option becomes much easier.

Important factors to consider when looking for treatment include:

Residential or Outpatient

The best way to jump-start your recovery is to start with a residential program. Residential programs occur in a live-in facility with 24-hour supervision. The safety and structure of residential rehab allows you to focus on your recovery and break away from your old environment. Although more expensive than outpatient programs, the counseling, learning and aftercare benefits equip you with the tools and skills to live out lasting sobriety.

Outpatient programs provide sessions that meet several times a week in a clinic or facility. Intensive outpatient offers classes that meet for hours at a time and may last for months. Many people choose outpatient because it enables them to maintain home or work responsibilities. Yet staying in their own environment may make sobriety more challenging.

 Program Length

Most facilities offer both short-term programs (28 to 30 days) and longer programs (60 to 90 days). Each has their own benefits. A shorter stay is cheaper and less disruptive to your life, but 90 day programs give you more time to master the skills of recovery. They are also considered the gold standard of addiction treatment and are highly recommended for those who have injected drugs, a long history of addiction or a history of treatment and relapse.

Program Philosophy

Choosing the community that helps you maintain your recovery is also important. The Twelve Step Fellowship provides a strong and engaging network of support, but alternative approaches exist in both inpatient and outpatient programs.

The greatest factor in treatment success

Is it the length of treatment? The philosophy? The environment? All of these certainly play a role in the final outcome, but they do not guarantee success. What makes or doesn’t make treatment work is not just the “right mix” of curriculum and activities, but your willingness to take personal responsibility for your recovery and a commitment to work at it every day. The people at rehab will do all they can to help, but you must meet them halfway. After all, programs are programs. It’s what you do with them that will make it successful.

A more complete discussion and helpful comparison charts on aspects of treatment programs and decision-making factors can be found in “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Treatment Center” here.

Stephen Booth is affiliated with Duffy’s Napa Valley (founded in 1967,) a 12-Step based residential drug and alcohol rehab center in Northern California. You can find them at @duffysrehab on Twitter and on Facebook.

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