Which Treatments Are Available For Drug Or Alcohol Addiction?

Watching a loved one deal with drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult – whether they’re a partner, close family member or a friend. One of the things you can do is make sure you’re there for them when they decide it’s the correct point to seek treatment for their addiction.

During this period, there will be a number of treatment options available to them: it might take some time to find the best course of action for them, and it may be that a combination of these could be the best solution. These are just some of the treatments that may be open to someone looking to overcome their drug or alcohol addiction.

Inpatient or residential treatment

This can be effective, especially for those who may have more severe problems – including co-occurring disorders, for example. These licensed facilities will offer 24-hour intensive and structured care, which will include medical attention and safe housing. There could be a range of therapeutic methods that are used, with the aim to help patients to have a life that’s free of drugs after their treatment. Such a setting may include:

  • Therapeutic communities
  • Recovery housing
  • Shorter-term residential treatment

Outpatient behavioral treatment

This includes a range of programs for those who regularly visit a behavioral health counselor. This can involve individual and/or group drug counseling and may involve behavioral therapies such as:

  • Motivational incentives
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Multidimensional family therapy

Intensive treatment may occur at first, with patients going to multiple outpatient meetings every week. They may transfer to regular outpatient treatments with fewer sessions and hours per week, which will support recovery.

Places such as Harris House can offer a number of programs that empower clients to take control of their recovery and treatment. They will be guided by certified counselors to create individual recovery plans to treat their whole body.

Self-help groups

This could help those recovering individuals to meet with others with the same addictive disorder. It could be a place that’s a good source of information, education and community – plus can reduce feelings of isolation and improve motivation.

Places such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are two examples. Those people who have other forms of addiction can look for self-help groups in their area by either speaking with a nurse or doctor, or searching online.


This is usually the first treatment step, and will involve clearing a substance from the body while limiting the reactions of withdrawal. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a treatment clinic will use medications to reduce these withdrawal symptoms in 80% of cases. Medications will be required for the symptoms of each substance if a person is addicted to more than one.

Acknowledging the problem

This initial step to recovery is acknowledging that substance use has become an issue and is affecting their quality of life. Treatment options will be available once they recognize the negative effects – and these treatments may be life-long and often change to meet their needs.