Which Addiction Treatment is Best for Me?

Megan Bandy
September 9, 2021

Note: While this piece may use terms like “substance abuse” to connect the content with those who need it, at Eleanor Health, we have a firm stance on the language surrounding addiction care and believe that referring to substance use disorder in this way can vilify those with it.

Seeking treatment

For those who struggle with addiction, recovery can seem like a lofty goal. Many people try to overcome their addiction alone, but find it feels impossible. Though it may seem intimidating to reach out and ask for help, working with professionals to address each aspect of addiction, including the root mental health causes that have likely led to the substance use, can make recovery easier and more sustainable for the long term. 

If you’re dealing with addiction or know someone who is, it’s important to consider treatment options for sustainable recovery. Addiction recovery isn’t something you have to do alone – in fact, it’s often much more effective to do alongside a professional.

What is rehab?

Traditionally, when people think of substance abuse treatment, they automatically assume effective treatment requires living in the facility and putting the rest of life on hold while recovering.

The good news is that there are many options available for substance abuse treatment, beyond the traditional idea of “rehab centers” often depicted in media. In reality, drug and alcohol addiction treatment should always be catered to a person’s unique needs. While live-in or “inpatient” facilities may be the best option for one person’s recovery, another person may find that meeting every couple of weeks with providers in a nearby program allows them to fit recovery into their daily lives more easily and, thus, works better for them.

When seeking help, it’s important to understand the differences between the types of addiction treatment programs so you can make the best choice for your personal recovery.

A young man on his addiction recovery journey shakes hands with a clinician

Hospital addiction treatment

For emergency situations or those with more urgent or severe medical needs, hospital treatment may be the best initial option. In general, addiction treatment in hospitals is short-term, with some people staying just a few days and others for a couple of months, depending on their health severities. 

Most hospital treatment also focuses solely on meeting a benchmark of medical needs and doesn’t address relevant mental health needs. For this reason, hospitals may be a reasonable option for dealing with things like withdrawal management while detoxing or 24-hour care in emergency situations, like heart attacks, overdose, and more, but they are often not the best for approaching long-term recovery. In many cases, your hospital can refer you to a local addiction treatment specialist, as well, in an effort to better coordinate your care.

In rare cases, though, some hospitals do offer more extensive addiction treatment options. To learn more about your local hospital’s options, call or check out their website.

Residential or “inpatient” addiction treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment is what generally comes to mind when someone pictures “rehab” in their head. These live-in treatment facilities may provide recovery care for just a few days or up to a year or more, depending on an individual’s unique circumstances. 

Unlike hospital programs, inpatient treatment centers often offer more comprehensive care, which utilizes a medical team, support groups, and individual therapy to treat someone’s mental health needs in addition to their medical needs in order to promote more effective, lasting recovery. 

Inpatient addiction treatment is a great option for those who are in need of more supervision, are dealing with trauma (especially when it’s associated with their day-to-day environment), lack a healthy support system, or are currently in poor physical health. In these cases, inpatient treatment can be a great opportunity for them to get out of their usual patterns and environment, detox in a safe space, relearn healthier coping mechanisms, receive more comprehensive medical and mental health care, and establish confidence in their recovery before returning back to their own communities.

If inpatient treatment sounds like the best option for you or your loved one, you can use SAMHSA’s treatment locator to find a program near you. 

Outpatient addiction treatment

For someone who prefers staying at home and continuing much of their routine as normal while in recovery, outpatient treatment centers are likely a great fit. Most outpatient drug rehab programs take place in a clinic setting and involve routine doctor’s visits in which the doctor works with the person to create an appropriate treatment plan for their goals. This type of treatment allows someone to easily incorporate their treatment and recovery into their normal routine. In some cases, though, there are more intensive outpatient rehab options available for those who need or would prefer it.

While some outpatient rehabilitation centers focus only on someone’s medical needs and achieving a certain benchmark of abstinence, many are now working to incorporate more comprehensive care, since evidence demonstrates that caring for all of a person’s needs, including mental, physical, social, and more, is a much more effective treatment model.

Eleanor Health is an example of an outpatient addiction treatment center that uses an evidence-backed, whole person model to help people with substance use disorders achieve a sustainable recovery. To find your nearest Eleanor Health clinic, check out our locations or contact us to schedule an appointment.

Eleanor Health Clinicians and Community Recovery Partners meet with community members

How much will rehab cost me?

Unfortunately, most people’s first concern when considering treatment is cost of care. While substance abuse treatment can be life-changing in the most positive way, it isn’t always covered completely by insurance and can become a financial stressor for those with or without insurance. 

The good news is that for most treatment programs, you can get a good idea of your out-of-pocket cost before starting. This isn’t typically the case with hospitalizations, though, since they’re often for life-threatening scenarios. However, because of this, much of the cost is usually covered for those with insurance.

Inpatient rehab vs Outpatient rehab

The specific costs associated with inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab options depends on the individual program itself and your type of insurance or level of coverage, though typically, outpatient options are less expensive, since inpatient options include the cost of your stay, your food, and more, in addition to the medical-specific expenses. While most rehabilitation centers will work with you to make sure your care is affordable by suggesting financial assistance or other related options, you should always have clear discussions with your insurance provider and the treatment facility beforehand, when possible. 

To call your insurance provider directly and find out what coverage they provide . Look on the back of your insurance card for a “Member Services” phone number and take note of their answers to some of the following questions so you know exactly what your treatment may cost you.

  • Is Eleanor Health in-network with my policy?
  • Is Eleanor Health in-network for behavioral health, as well?
  • What is my out-of-pocket responsibility? What is my deductible and copay?
  • Is prior authorization required for substance abuse treatment? Do I need a recommendation from a doctor in order to receive treatment coverage?
  • Does my policy cover inpatient or outpatient treatment?
  • How many days of inpatient rehab are covered?
  • How many therapist visits are covered or what % of the visits are covered?
  • Are prescriptions related to substance use treatment covered at pharmacies?

By asking your provider these questions, you can ensure that you understand exactly what portion of your treatment will be covered by insurance and what the cost to you would be.

You can also have these candid conversations with rehab centers up front to make sure your care is covered to the fullest extent possible. Addiction treatment specialists are ready at each facility to answer these questions honestly to help ensure your recovery plan works best for you. 

What addiction treatment type is right for me?

Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all option﹣just as people take many different paths into addiction, they also need to follow many different paths in recovery. The most important thing to do while entering into treatment and recovery is to do what works best for you with the guidance of medical and mental health professionals. You may need help getting to your goal, but you are in charge of your journey, so it’s important to find an option that fits in with your life and needs. 

To get started with your recovery journey today, reach out and learn more about how Eleanor Health can help.

We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Florida, LouisianaMassachusettsNew JerseyNorth CarolinaOhio, Texas, and Washington.

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Megan Bandy

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