Is Your Substance Abuse Treatment Program Right For You?

Is Your Substance Abuse Treatment Program Right For You?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) there are several things that need to be taken into consideration when seeking a recovery program for substance abuse and addiction. Everyone's needs are different during their recovery from substance abuse and you want to make sure the program you choose provides the best possible treatment that's able to meet your specific needs.

A substance abuse program that provides important effective services to help understand your addiction, address personal problems, avoid relapse, learn ways to cope with challenges and maintain abstinence will greatly improve your long-term recovery success.

To make it a little easier on people seeking treatment for substance abuse and addiction, NIDA provides 5 questions to ask when looking for a program to help you or a loved one recover. You need to make sure that whatever recovery program you choose is able to meet your own unique needs and provides effective programs and services that will benefit your own personal recovery.

substance abuse recovery

Are the Substance Abuse Treatment Programs They Use Backed by Scientific Evidence?

Behavioral Therapy and Medications: There are many things we need to recognize about ourselves in order to change habits, destructive thinking and behaviors when recovering from substance abuse. We have to be motivated to change, improve our problem solving and coping skills and learn how to successfully resist drug use.


Learning to recognize situations in our life that leads to substance use is very important and through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we can learn how to recognize these situations, avoid them and how to cope.

Medications that help people stop using drugs, continue with treatment and avoid relapse are also beneficial and important for a lot of people during treatment for substance abuse. The combination of counseling and behavioral therapies along with medications is an important part of treatment for many people according to NIDA.

There are various forms of behavioral therapies and they focus on addressing areas that are important to a person's successful long term recovery. Behavioral Therapy examples include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Incentives, Motivational Interviewing and Group Therapy. The focus varies depending on the type of behavioral therapy used.

Do Thier Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Tailor to The Individual Needs of Each Patient?

Individualized Treatment: There is much more to address during treatment than drug abuse, everyone is different and has issues and needs that need to be addressed. There are many different things to take into consideration during treatment for substance abuse like how old the person is, are they male or female, their culture and ethnicity according to NIDA. Other things to consider are the addiction itself, how severe the addiction is for that person and have they tried to stop using in the past.

During treatment, some people may need family therapy, job training or medical services just to name a few. Treatment programs that provide their clients with services and therapies that address all areas of concern for each person are the best and can lead to a successful recovery and productive future.

Co-occurring Disorders: It's very common for a person who has an addictive disorder to also suffer from a mental disorder at the same time (co-occurring disorder). A treatment program that assesses their clients for both addiction and mental health issues and treats all conditions at the same time is also very important.

Medications can be beneficial during treatment for addiction and mental health disorders. Depending on the client's needs, programs that provide medications when appropriate are also beneficial during treatment.

substance abuse free

Do Thier Substance Abuse Programs Adapt Treatment as the Patient's Needs Change?

Substance abuse programs that are the best continue to assess their patients during their treatment and are able to modify their client's individualized treatment plans according to their needs as they change.


Programs that provide their patients with ongoing assessments, various effective services to meet their patient's changing needs, and that modify their client's treatment during their recovery program are the best.

According to NIDA programs that include drug monitoring and adjusted treatment plans for their client's should relapse occur are important. Treatment needs to be able to be modified in order to meet the patients' needs as they change during their substance abuse program. Comprehensive Drug Abuse Treatment programs provide a wide range of therapies and services so that problems and issues can be addressed and all needs of their clients can be met.

Comprehensive Drug Abuse Treatment Components include Assessments, Behavioral Therapy, Pharmacotherapy, Substance Use Monitoring, Clinical and Case Management, Self-Help, and Continuing care.

Is the Duration of Substance Abuse Treatment Sufficient?

Again everyone's treatment needs are different when it comes to treating substance abuse. It's important that a person stays in treatment long enough and that depends on their own unique situation, problems, and what their needs are. According to NIDA "at least three months of treatment" is what most people addicted need in order to stop or decrease their drug use "and that longer treatment times result in better outcomes".

Treatment programs that measure their client's progress and recommend plans for maintaining their recovery are the best. Recovering from drug addiction doesn't happen overnight, it takes time and many times requires "several episodes of treatment" and continued support.

Don't measure your substance abuse recovery time by comparing your treatment progress to someone else's. Everyone recovers at their own pace and some people may need additional support and time in treatment before they're able to successfully maintain abstinence and learn to manage their recovery.


How Do 12 Step or Similar Recovery Programs Fit Into Thier Drug Addiction Treatment?

12 Step self-help groups are very beneficial during recovery from alcohol or drug abuse because they provide support and promote a drug free lifestyle. 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous are very well-known and effectively enhance professional treatment.


According to NIDA, most treatment programs for drug addiction encourage their client's to "participate in group therapy during and after formal treatment". Self-help groups can help strengthen a person's recovery from substance abuse, help them remain abstinent and reach their recovery goals and drug free lifestyle.

Seeking help for substance abuse or drug addiction can be extremely difficult and most people don't even know where to start. It's important to find the best program you can that will base your treatment on your specific needs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has 5 questions for you to ask that will help you decide if the treatment program you choose can provide the effective help you need to reach your recovery goals.

Recovering from substance abuse and addiction takes time, dedication, knowledge and healthy support. There are many effective treatment programs available today for people who want to stop their substance use and learn how to live life without the need to drink or use drugs. Taking the above 5 questions that the NIDA has prepared for people seeking treatment for drug abuse into consideration and that will help you find an effective program that fits your own personal needs so that you can reach your recovery goals.


Topic Discussion

  1. There are no comments for this post yet. Use the form below to be the first!

Leave a comment


To protect the integrity of our site all comments are reviewed prior to being shown, we apologize for the small delay, but this brings a better experience for our readers. SPAM & rude comments are not tolerated. Using the 'Connect with Facebook' option will get your comment up faster!

Contact A Substance Abuse Counselor

We help people take the first steps toward getting help for their drug and alcohol usage and having drug-free lifestyles. To contact an alcohol/drug abuse counselor, please call 1-800-591-6474(Info iconWho Answers?).

Socialize with us
Close Icon

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on

All calls are private and confidential.