For most moderate to severe substance use disorder cases, treatment begins with a withdrawal management program or a “medical detox” as it’s often called. This is to ensure that the individual is stable enough to receive further treatment.
After this initial period, the patient goes through a continuum of care. Each step of the process they will have input regarding what type of treatment should occur next. This is critical, as recovering individuals may respond differently to available treatments. Close cooperation with counselors and therapists is needed to figure out what approached may or may not be working.
Most people who finish detox will be advised to continue residential treatment, at least for the short term. When people go to a rehab program, they will learn more about the recovery process and be able to continue progress after the program.
After a short-term program, the recovering individual will have to make a few decisions They can go to a longer-term program to continue their progress, or return home if they feel ready. If they choose to return home, outpatient treatments may be recommended.
It’s worth noting that, in most cases, the more time spent in rehab, the lower the risk of relapse and the better the odds of an individual achieving sustainable long-term success in their recovery. For this reason, individuals recovering from severe substance use disorders are advised to enter a long-term residential program or a sober living community.
No matter what treatment program they are in, recovering individuals should pay attention to the warning signs of a relapse. If the person doesn’t feel that a treatment is working, it’s important to talk things over with a counselor to find a more suitable program.