We find that many families don’t really know the different types of rehab programs and what would be right for their loved one. Searching out rehab is difficult all by itself, as it seems everyone wants you to come to their center or program. But the first thing a person needs to know is that there are three kinds of programs and they each accomplish different things. Once you know the differences and goals of each program, you can make the right choice. The best choice is to do each program in the order below.

Residential Treatment Program

Residential treatment is where the addict goes into a treatment center to get intensive help in coming off drugs or alcohol permanently. He or she checks into a facility that has treatment for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or even longer. Not all drug treatment centers are alike and it is important to know even the differences in residential programs. (You can also call us and we will be happy to give you this information.)

Residential programs have different types of treatment they use while the person stays for the required length of time. Some have detoxes, some don’t. Most work with local detox centers which is the first step, getting over the withdrawal symptoms. Then the person gets into the “meat” of the program, whether that is 12-step or non 12-step or a combination. Counseling is often part and parcel of recovery and is really needed, so the person learns how to live without drugs or alcohol.

A residential program is the first choice when someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The person will get a detox – but this is not sufficient by itself. He or she has to do the whole program for the support they need in getting off drugs. Many programs have a wide variety of therapy, such as art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy and many more. Lasting recovery is what it’s all about.

Sober Living Environment

Sober living environments are also known as halfway houses or halfway homes. A sober living home is an intermediate step before the person goes back home after a residential program is complete. It is structured living with peer support and less supervision than in a residential facility. It gives the recovering addict the gradual approach to getting back to his or her life and gives a greater chance at lasting recovery. The chances of relapse can be higher without some sober living after a residential program.

Sober living homes exist all over the country. Some will provide transport to meetings or groups for the recovering addict. Many will help the recovering person find employment if necessary. The cost of these homes varies greatly depending on the services available and quality of the home itself. CAARR (California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources) has a long list of sober living environments throughout California as well as other Sacramento drug rehabs.

Outpatient Program

Outpatient programs have counselors that meet with a client or recovering addict for a set time each day or on a weekly basis. The recovering addict lives at home and travels to meet with his or her counselor for each scheduled meeting.

The problem with choosing an outpatient program as the first step an addict does, is that there is no control put in on the person staying away from drugs or alcohol. The person most often continues to drink or do drugs while they get counseling, even if they have gone through a detox. It is too easy to continue to let the cravings drive them. Just talking is not going to provide the person with enough support to stay away from these substances he has come to need.

The best time for an outpatient program is after a residential treatment program and once sober living is complete. Outpatient counseling can help the person deal with any stresses that come up as they get back to their normal lives. This can help prevent relapse.

So many people we have talked to have felt a detox and outpatient program is the best for their loved one. Sometimes the addict insists that that is all he or she needs. However, usually the person is scared about heading into a residential program. It takes a commitment. But it is so important to make that commitment; because that person can be the best he can be once leaving substance abuse behind forever.