Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options

What To Look For

Everyone struggles. For some, substance abuse and addiction affect the ability to function and enjoy life. Fortunately, the knowledge and research around drug use, addiction, and recovery has never been stronger. Support is available. Recovery is possible.

If you or your loved one thinks there might be a problem, what should you look for when finding help?

Treatment Options Available

  • The Right Program: a detailed interview and assessment process with a clinical professional so you can be sure you or your loved one is getting the best possible care. Look for an organization that assesses physical and mental health, as well as qualifications for your loved one’s specific issues. If they are struggling with a specific substance, make sure the organization you’re considering has skilled experience with that substance. If the organization isn’t right for your substance abuse treatment, ask if they have referrals for a more appropriate fit.
  • Professional Team: a group of licensed, experienced individuals who have spent years serving individuals and families struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Look for an organization that focuses on a team-oriented approach, working together to support each client. Find a team that includes individual and family therapists, substance abuse counselors, psychiatrists, and dietitians.  A highly credentialed team taking a holistic approach to care is critical to achieving successful outcomes from substance abused and addiction treatments.
  • Safety: an organization that focuses on participant safety, both physical and emotional. Many people will discover through the treatment process that abstinence from all substances is the best choice for them. Through this journey it is important to support participants in staying safe and reducing harm. Find a support system you trust to aid your substance abuse and addiction treatment.
  • Mental Health and Trauma Training: drug abuse and addiction generally co-occur with mental health or trauma experience. It is important that a treatment program have the ability to treat not only substance abuse but also underlying mental health concerns and trauma. Ideally, a program would have a psychiatrist on staff, and staff trained in trauma-informed care. A good support system believes recovery and healing are two sides of the same coin, and both are necessary for long-lasting success.
  • An Individualized Program: an organization that tailors the experience to the individual and their unique needs. Find a team that sees you or your loved one as a person and creates a support program based on what is needed. True change from substance abuse and addiction treatment comes from authentic connection and genuine investment.
  • Strengths Based: An approach that focuses on what is working and nurtures those activities, patterns, and behaviors to encourage health and vibrancy.
  • Evidence-Based Care: an organization that draws on research and time-tested practices for the best possible outcome. Research or ask about the therapy methods they use in addition treatment.
  • Family Oriented: Any large life challenge always affects and is impacted by the surrounding system. Find an organization that supports and integrates the whole family. No one walks the road to recovery alone.

No One Has To Recover Alone

Once you’ve found an organization that encompasses a majority of the above program elements, there are a few commonly asked follow-up questions that can help you narrow your search for just the right fit.

Q: How much programming and clinical time is there per week?

Many programs advertise a variety of services. Ask to see a schedule or specific hours in individual therapy, family therapy, drug counseling, life skills training, etc.

Q: How does the organization address trauma?

Trauma-informed care is important with substance abuse and addictions treatment, especially amongst adolescents and young adults.  It’s important to understand how trauma is screened and treated before and during treatment. Some programs use harsh and confrontational approaches that can re-traumatize people who have experienced trauma.

Q: Are all clinicians and counselors masters level or licensed?

A well-trained and qualified staff is a key ingredient of a quality treatment program. Ascertaining that the people actually delivering care are master’s level and/or licensed is one way you can ensure that your loved one is receiving care from a well-trained and competent professional.

Q: I’m looking for a local option, like a teen rehab center in the Denver or Boulder area of Colorado. Do you have recommendations?

A quality organization is one that works within a large network and has many professional contacts.  If they aren’t the right fit due to location or level of care, they should be able to make recommendations for a program that is a better fit for you or your loved one.


More questions? Find out if Sandstone Care is right for you.

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