What Should A Person Consider When Choosing A Drug Treatment Program?


If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, alcoholism, or drug addiction they will likely need to enter a drug and alcohol treatment program at some point in time. Once the decision is made that an individual needs treatment there are a few questions that typically immediately follow. What type of treatment is best? How long should the individual be in treatment for? Is medication assisted treatment right for me or my loved one? We have written this article to be used as a guide for those who are seeking drug and alcohol treatment, potentially for the first time, and are unsure where to turn.



What Type Of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Is Best For Me Or My Loved One?


While “what type of drug and alcohol treatment is best?” may seem like a fairly simple question, the answer is anything but simple. Every individual has unique needs and thus the best treatment for each individual can vary. For the purposes of this article, we will provide a checklist of sorts containing what we consider to be important things to consider when choosing a drug or alcohol treatment program for you or someone you love


  • Uses evidence based practices
  • Clinicians appropriately licensed/credentialed
  • Offers Family Program
  • Location
  • Length of Stay
  • Specialties
  • Doctor Access
  • Relevant to the individuals needs
  • MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment)


How Long Should Drug and Alcohol Treatment Be?


One of the first questions many individuals will ask before attending treatment, and understandably so, is “How long will drug and alcohol treatment last?”. There are various levels of care including Detox which averages 5-10 days, Inpatient which averages 2-4 weeks, Partial Care (PHP) which averages 4 weeks, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) which averages 8-12 weeks, and General Outpatient (OP) which is fairly open ended. Research points to the fact that, for most individuals, the longer they are in treatment the higher their chance at attaining long term recovery. With that in mind, every individual will have different needs and varying responsibilities outside their drug and alcohol treatment. For some clients, the best decision is to go through the entire continuum of care from Detox all the way through to the Outpatient level of care. For others who have a lot of family or business obligations and cannot go away for a month, they may attend detox for 5-10 days followed by PHP, IOP, and OP. If you would like to discuss level of care options for you or a loved one please call our treatment specialists directly at 201-663-2914.



Is Medication Assisted Treatment Right For Me or My Loved One?


This is a hotly debated issue within the field of addiction treatment with very very strong opinions on both sides. For the purposes of this article, we will be avoiding opinion entirely and stick to the facts. It is also extremely important to note for the purposes of this article we are considering MAT in conjunction with psychotherapy and more traditional treatment modalities, not as a stand alone solution. So, what is medication assisted treatment or MAT? Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT is the use of specific medications, in conjunction with psychotherapy, that are designed to assist individuals in gaining and maintaining abstinence. Primarily MAT is used for two classes of substance users, those with AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) and those with OUD (Opioid Use Disorder). There are 3 primary MAT medications designed for OUD, they are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. For AUD there are also 3 primary MAT medications, they are disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. The data on Medication Assisted Therapy is very clear, statistically Medication Assisted Treatment produces more positive outcomes and more often than drug and alcohol treatment alone. We recognize MAT may not be right for every individual, but we do believe that every individual should at least have access to these therapies if needed.


We hope this guide has been both informative and useful. If you need further guidance in your search for drug and alcohol treatment, please feel free to reach out to us for a no obligation consultation. We can be reached at 855-698-3554 or directly at 201-663-2914. If you prefer to communicate via email please click HERE or email us directly at outreach@harborwellnesscenter.org