Research estimates that the total number of Americans with substance abuse disorders is around 19.7 million people. To put that in context, that’s more people than the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix. With such a huge number of people struggling with addiction, there is a dire need for more addiction treatment services.

It is equally important to understand the different kinds of addiction treatment services and the role they play in the recovery process. If you find yourself struggling with all the apparent options, keep reading for a guide to the different treatments.

Levels of Care in Addiction Treatment Services


Before you can begin the recovery process, you must clear the drugs, alcohol or other built-up toxins from your body. That is where detox comes in.

Detox programs come in several forms. Some are ambulatory programs with minimal monitoring while others are medical detox programs with around-the-clock monitoring from trained medical professionals. The program most appropriate for you depends on several factors, such as:

  • the drug you use
  • how long and how much you use
  • whether or not detox is court-ordered
  • the severity of your withdrawal symptoms
  • the likelihood of dangerous medical complications

For instance, the withdrawal symptoms from severe alcohol abuse can cause potentially fatal heart problems, organ dysfunction, and seizures. Symptoms like these require constant medical supervision for the patient’s safety.

Inpatient Rehab

Most people may recognize inpatient rehab courtesy of film and television. Inpatient rehab is a residential model. Depending on the rehab center, you will either have a room to yourself or you will be sharing with another patient.

As long as you remain enrolled in the program, you typically must remain on the center grounds unless escorted off the premises for a scheduled activity.

During inpatient rehab, you must attend all scheduled treatments unless there’s a medical reason that prevents you from doing so. Some of the more common addiction treatment services offered through inpatient rehab include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Depending on the rehab center, you may also see some alternative therapies, such as music therapy, biofeedback, or exercise therapy. Some rehab programs also integrate holistic treatments like meditation, acupuncture, and Tai Chi.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

IOP or intensive outpatient rehab bears a strong resemblance to inpatient rehab. The main difference is that you get to live at home during treatment. IOP often serves as a bridge between residential care and outpatient services for people in recovery.

Generally, you can enter or transition to IOP if the staff at the rehab center believe that you no longer need the closed system of residential care to stay abstinent and sober. They trust that you can leave and come back the next day without using or drinking during your time off-site. However, at the same time, IOP marks the stage in recovery where you still need substantial support and continued treatment in order to sustain your recovery.

In IOP, you typically go to the treatment center 4 to 5 days every week. You continue attending individual and group therapy on a strict schedule. And, depending on the program, you may spend upwards of 30 hours a week at the rehab center.

Moreover, unlike inpatient rehab, IOP may not have as many alternative or holistic treatments available. As an IOP patient, you may lose access to some or all of those programs. Most rehab programs generally reserve outdoor alternative treatments like equine therapy to residential patients.

Outpatient Rehab

While IOP is less demanding than residential rehab, outpatient rehab is even more flexible than IOP. Outpatient programs strip the offerings down to core essentials, such as individual and group therapy.

A typical outpatient rehab program might require 10 hours per week of mandatory attendance on your part. Generally speaking, the staff at the rehab center will likely agree that you are at low risk of short-term relapse.

During the outpatient stage of rehab, you’ll most likely be able to resume working full-time. In light of this, most outpatient programs run their therapy sessions during the evening hours or over the weekend.

Like with IOP, you may have to discontinue certain alternative or holistic therapies at the rehab center during outpatient care. Fortunately, many of the alternative therapies available to inpatient participants are ones that you can do at home for a relatively low cost.

Additional Addiction Treatment Services

Peer Support Groups

Almost every rehab facility integrates peer support groups at some level. Some even include a 12-step program as a mandatory part of your treatment. Other programs do something called 12-step facilitation.

The 12-step facilitation approach introduces patients to the core concepts of the 12-step model, such as:

  • surrender
  • acceptance
  • involvement

Some peer support rehab programs do this as a form of encouragement for patients to join a 12-step group once they’ve completed inpatient or IOP rehab. The staff will explain the benefits of these programs, such as peer support and a lack of judgment from other group members.

Private Therapy

Following rehab, another continued treatment option is private therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. If you decide that you want this kind of treatment, then make sure to look for someone who specializes in treating those in addiction recovery. An addiction recovery specialist will likely offer better insight and remain well-informed about new research in the field.

The pitfall of private therapy is the cost. While most insurance providers offer some level of coverage for mental health treatment, it’s often nominal coverage except for top-tier policies. You can easily end up paying $100 and or more out-of-pocket per session.

Parting Thoughts on Addiction Treatment Services

Millions of people in the United States struggle with substance use disorders and need adequate addiction treatment services to get and stay sober. Understanding the nature of those services helps people better navigate the recovery process.

Addiction Treatment Services helps connect those struggling with addiction with the right programs. If you’re having trouble finding the right treatment program for you, contact us today.


(n.d.). Retrieved from

Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. (n.d.). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved from

Rettner, R. (2011, July 29). Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal? Retrieved from