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What to Look for in a Substance Abuse Program

If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll quickly realize that there is a dizzying array of substance abuse program options available to you. Two major categories are 12-Step and Non 12-Step. Then you have to choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Then you have to choose from the various treatment centers offering the various treatments. It’s enough to make anyone go mad and deter any addict from actually seeking treatment.

But that is something that can’t happen. Getting yourself to the point of seeking treatment is a huge step for an addict. It would be awful if the overwhelming options of treatment were the cause of not following through. So, we’ve prepared a guide to help you navigate the different treatment options to find the most suitable option for you.

Start with 12-Step vs. Non 12-Step

Holistic Care Tretament


Let’s start at the top. Substance abuse centers are split between 12-Step and Non 12-Step philosophies. It’s important to understand the different between these two, as this will have a big impact on your recovery success.

The 12-Step treatment option is a self-help group. It’s a more popular and well-known treatment program, mostly due to pop culture references. Alcoholics Anonymous is a famous 12-Step program. Founded in 1935, its primary purpose is “to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.” Individuals who participate in a 12-Step treatment program such as this must follow the 12 steps in order. Their programs are lead through a community of recovering addicts, helping one another through their addictions.

Non 12-Step treatment programs are different than 12-Step programs for three major reasons. One, they offer more flexibility to their clients. Second, Non 12-Step programs look find the underlying cause of the addiction.

The third major reason is that Non 12-Step Rehab programs use highly trained professionals to help treat clients. There is a community of recovering addicts, but all treatments are led by highly educated and accredited therapists. This way, plans are much more individualized to each addict’s needs. Coupled with the individual care is the goal to find the underlying cause of your addiction. Discovering this helps long-term recovery and is a separating factor for Non 12-Step programs.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient

If you choose the Non 12-Step treatment option then you’re presented with inpatient and outpatient treatment options. We blogged about this months ago, but here are the basic concepts:

Inpatient rehab is the immersive option, where individuals remove themselves from daily life and check into a remote facility. There, they are given all-day treatment and supervised around the clock. Each day is fully scheduled.

Outpatient rehab allows an individual to receive treatment, with a minimal amount of disruption to daily life. Individuals have group therapy sessions and appointments, but are still able to live at home and go to work daily.

Specific Treatment Center Amenities

If you are to choose the inpatient treatment option, you’ve narrowed your choices dramatically. But, there are still many different options to choose from. This decision will be based on your specific desires.

Some treatment options offer things like tennis courts, pools, spas, and fitness centers. Others have ocean views, boats, and meditation gardens. What do you think you need to recover properly? Ocean views are definitely relaxing, or are they distracting? Do you play tennis or swim? The bottom line is, you will have a plethora of luxury amenities to choose from. Choose a program that best fits your needs.  Luxury amenities aren’t valuable if you’re not going to use them.


The final piece of the puzzle is cost. This can be a deal-breaker for many. Though 12-Step programs are free, they’re not lead by a trained professional—rather, a community of recovering addicts helps you through treatment. If you’ve decided that the Non 12-Step option is your best bet, then you must determine what you can and cannot afford. Some centers offering financing, and some accept insurance. Sometimes insurance options are limited. The starting cost of each center is variable from place to place. But please do not let cost deter you if you really need treatment.

Choosing the proper treatment is an important step to your recovery. The wrong fit will hurt your recovery process. If you are serious about getting sober, take a step back and relax. Go over these options and narrow down your choices. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you have questions about any of this, please call one of our reps who can help you make the correct decision.

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