People usually start using alcohol or drugs by choice, led by a dangerous misconception that “they can stop whenever they want to.” However, what may start as an occasional escape from emotional struggles or hurt, swiftly turns into a severe substance abuse problem that they have no control over. Long-term exposure to drug or alcohol abuse induces an unquenchable craving that forces users to life-altering substance abuse, despite the awareness of its devastating consequences. Drug addiction diminishes brain functions related to motivation and reward, learning, and memory, while simultaneously inhibiting behavior control. Apart from these detrimental effects, drug abuse also increases the risks of developing severe mental illnesses closely related to drug addiction. Also, severe substance abuse can easily ruin a user’s family and social relationships due to their dysfunctional behavior, often leaving these people on the margins of society.

For all these reasons, we need to approach drug and alcohol addiction issues seriously in order to find the most efficient way for people to fight it and find their way to recovery. Efficient programs for addiction recovery address all these problems, combining various components to help patients stop using drugs, rebuild torn family and social relationships, and maintain a healthy and addiction-free lifestyle.

Drug addiction is a severe health and social threat that requires long-lasting treatment. Patients need the support of their loved ones and healthcare professionals to make it in recovery. Therefore, this challenging battle requires a meticulously-devised strategy based on the principles of drug addiction treatment.

Numerous addiction recovery programs rely on these principles to provide successful and sustainable addiction treatment across America and help substance users recover, stay sober, and lead quality lives. This complete program guide will inform you about various successful drug and alcoholism treatment programs, showing you different proven approaches to addiction treatment.

The Principles of Successful Addiction Treatment

The National Institute for Drug Addiction (NIDA) has completed a comprehensive list of principles that addiction treatment experts and facilities need to follow to provide effective drug or alcohol addiction treatment. We will focus here on the essential postulates that lead to creating appropriate, personalized addiction treatment to help patients recover from addiction.

Drug addiction is a complex but treatable illness.

Drug or alcohol abuse may lead to severe addiction, affecting users’ brain function and behavior. These negative mental and behavior changes caused by diminished brain function persist long after people stop using illegal substances and increase the risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence. For this reason, patients need constant encouragement and support in overcoming addiction and staying committed to their recovery.

Substance abuse treatment needs to be adjusted to every patient individually.

There is no universal drug addiction treatment that provides efficient solutions for everyone battling addiction. The success of various addiction programs depends on the type of drug used and the patient’s characteristics. Adjusting interventions, services, and treatment settings to address patients’ issues and meet their needs is critical for the success of addiction recovery programs. It is also essential to select addiction treatment appropriate to the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity, and culture. This will enable recovered patients to re-establish family and social relationships and start leading productive and happy lives.

The importance of readily available treatments cannot be emphasized enough.

People with substance use disorders join recovery programs reluctantly. Therefore, doctors who specialize in alcohol and drug abuse treatment need to recognize when patients are ready to start their journey to recovery and offer available services immediately. Patients’ enthusiasm to start the drug addiction treatment may deflate momentarily if the treatment isn’t readily available or easily accessible. The sooner the appropriate program is offered, the better the chances of positive outcomes. Also, effective rehabilitation programs address various medical, psychological, social, or legal issues related to the patient’s substance abuse.

Adequate time spent in the addiction recovery program is crucial for treatment success.

Once the patient who is struggling with addiction starts an appropriate course of treatment, it is crucial to determine the duration of the program. This depends on the specific patient’s issues and needs. Some research has shown that 3-month addiction treatment significantly reduces or even stops the patient’s urge for drug or alcohol use. Addiction treatment is a demanding and long-lasting process that may require numerous treatment sessions. There may be increased risks of relapse with some patients that require various readjustments of the addiction recovery programs. Drug addiction patients tend to leave the program prematurely; therefore, these substance abuse recovery programs need to include various engaging strategies to keep the patients on track in sobriety.

Behavioral therapy is a commonly used practice in drug abuse treatment.

Behavioral therapy in drug and alcohol abuse treatment focuses on the users’ motivation to beat their addiction. It provides drug abusers with various incentives to encourage them to maintain abstinence and build their skills to resist further drug use. This addiction treatment approach encourages users to replace drug-using activities with other constructive and fulfilling ones. Also, participation in group therapy, following drug or alcohol addiction treatment, may lead to quality interpersonal relationships and improve a patient’s problem-solving skills.

Medications, when combined with behavioral therapy, play a role in addiction recovery.

Medications like methadone and naltrexone may help people who are addicted to opioids to refrain from using illicit substances and prevent them from relapsing during drug recovery treatment. Naltrexone, accompanied by disulfiram and acamprosate, is also often prescribed in treating alcohol addiction. These medications can play a significant role in recovery when appropriately incorporated in the behavioral treatment program.

Medication-assisted treatment is only a phase in the addiction recovery program.

Medication-assisted detoxification is the first step on the long-lasting journey towards complete drug addiction recovery. MAT helps patients battle with acute physical symptoms of withdrawal, paving the way for the following stages of the recovery. Detoxification will clear your body from the harmful effects of drugs. Furthermore, the following stages of an effective addiction recovery program will clear your mind, showing you how to live an improved and drug-free life. Thus, patients need to be continuously encouraged and motivated to complete their entire recovery program to ensure long-term sobriety.

An individual addiction recovery plan needs to be assessed and modified regularly.

As we have already stated, every patient should receive treatment adjusted to their specific needs, depending on the substance they use and their characteristics. Furthermore, each patient requires various services and treatment components to meet their needs in the different stages of their addiction recovery programs. For example, some patients may need vocational or social and legal services, while others may seek medical services, family therapy, or parenting instructions. Providing a variety of treatments and services to meet patients’ changing needs results in completed recovery programs.

Substance abusers often suffer from other co-occurring disorders.

Various mental conditions, like depression and anxiety, may often accompany substance abuse and addiction. For this reason, patients need to be assessed for any co-occurring mental conditions so that appropriate medical treatment can be included in their addiction treatment plan. Patients with a dual diagnosis require a specific addiction recovery and healing program that will tackle both issues.

Regular drug use monitoring is a necessity during addiction treatment.

Addiction patients may slip into relapse while participating in a rehabilitation program. Therefore, regular monitoring of potential drug use is a must. Knowing that they are closely watched may prevent addiction patients from giving in to their urges. Monitoring also enables early discovery of relapse, allowing the treatment plan to be adjusted to better meet patients’ needs.

Addiction treatment programs need to test patients for infectious diseases.

Providing reliable testing for the presence of HIV, tuberculosis, or various types of hepatitis that often affects drug users should become a regular practice. Also, targeted counseling regarding drug-related behaviors that increase the risk of contracting some of these diseases can help patients understand these risks and avoid specific behavioral patterns. Furthermore, addiction treatment facilities should provide swift on-site HIV testing, ensuring that all patients get tested and receive their results. This option is more favorable than referring patients to off-site testing.

Now that we’ve looked at several significant principles that every effective addiction treatment facility should follow, let’s see what different addiction recovery programs are available in the United States.

Different Types of Addiction Recovery Programs

Studies on addiction treatment have traditionally classified addiction recovery programs into several modalities. However, various treatment approaches and individual recovery programs have evolved, and they continue to develop, stepping out of this traditional classification framework.

1. Detoxification

The first step in most addiction recovery treatment is medication-assisted detoxification. During this process, patients clear their bodies from harmful substances while medication-assisted therapy helps them overcome acute and potentially dangerous effects of withdrawal.

We have to point out once more that medical detox is a starting point in the long-lasting addiction recovery process. Thus, it needs to be followed by a formal assessment and personalized addiction recovery program. These steps will address psychological, social, and behavioral issues and lead to changes necessary for a patient’s successful reintegration into society.

2. Long-Term Residential Treatment

This addiction recovery and healing program provides patients with 24-hour care. The therapeutic community is the most common residential treatment model, offering planned and well-structured stays of six to twelve months. The focal point of these addiction recovery communities is allowing patients to resocialize. This process actively involves the entire community, including staff and other residents, providing appropriate social context. This type of addiction recovery treatment observes addiction as the cause of patients’ social and psychological issues. Developing a sense of responsibility for their actions that will ultimately lead to a socially productive life is the essential goal of therapeutic community treatment.

This highly-structured recovery treatment may be confrontational at times, containing activities to help residents question their harmful beliefs and self-concepts. It also motivates them to replace self-destructive behavioral patterns with new constructive ways of accepting themselves and interacting with others in a broader social concept.

Besides an effective rehabilitation program, therapeutic communities provide a wide range of support services like employment training to help patients reintegrate into society. These addiction recovery programs can be easily modified to fit different patient profiles, like adolescents, women, homeless people, and patients with severe mental disorders.

3. Short-Term Residential Treatment

As the name states, short-term residential treatment provides brief but intensive drug addiction therapy similar to a 12-steps approach. Initially devised to battle alcohol abuse, these programs soon started addressing serious drug addiction issues caused by the cocaine “epidemic” during the ‘80s. These recovery programs include 3-6 weeks of hospital in-patient treatment followed by extended participation in group therapy sessions provided by Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Engaging yourself in these group therapy sessions after a residential treatment program is essential for maintaining abstinence.

4. Outpatient Treatment Programs

You can find a wide variety of outpatient addiction treatment programs across the

United States, depending on different services types and intensity. This addiction treatment is more affordable than a residential recovery program and more suitable for people who work. On the other hand, low-intensity OTPs cannot offer the same comprehensive addiction recovery and healing that patients experience in residential treatments.

5. Individualized Drug Counseling

Besides focusing on reducing or stopping drugs and alcohol abuse, individualized counseling also tackles various addiction-related issues, like employment status or family relationships. It also checks whether the addiction recovery program’s content and structure suit the patient’s personality and needs. This drug counseling provides patients with various coping strategies and useful tools to help them remain sober. For example, your addiction counselor may encourage you to take part in a 12-step program or recommend additional resources for medical, psychological, or employment services, depending on your needs.

6. Group Counselling

Group counseling offers people who are struggling with alcoholism or drug abuse the social reinforcement needed to keep following the path to sobriety. As opposed to individualized counseling, here, patients share their addiction experiences seeking different healthy behavior patterns to lead them towards a healthier life. Mentors play an essential role in these group therapy sessions. Since they have won their battles with addiction, mentors (or sponsors) can offer invaluable guidance and encouragement to the new members.

Numerous group therapies follow reliable 12-step programs to offer people the help they need to overcome addiction. One of the specific group therapies organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offers a 12-step program based on Christian religious beliefs. SMART Recovery is a not-for-profit organization meant for people who are battling addiction. They implement a “4 Point Program” in their support group meetings, focusing on motivation, fighting the urge to relapse, handling emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in a constructive way, and living a healthy life.

If you are in an active search for a rehab center to help you or your loved one overcome substance abuse addiction, you should visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) website. Apart from an array of valuable resources and information related to drug abuse and mental health issues, you will find a behavioral health treatment locator – a tool devised to help people find addiction treatment centers.

Will Health Insurance Cover Addiction Recovery Treatment Costs?

Now that you have become familiar with different addiction recovery programs, you need to select the best addiction treatment option for you or your loved one. Here, you also need to choose a program your health insurance plan will cover. It is no secret that these addiction treatments may be costly, and numerous drug or alcohol addicts who want to try addiction recovery treatment simply cannot afford it.

Things have changed with the passing of the Affordable Care Act that made drug rehabilitation programs more accessible to numerous Americans. Now, most state and private health insurance providers cover drug addiction recovery treatments, including in-patient and out-patient addiction treatment options, medical detox, and co-occurring mental health conditions. Also, your health insurance may cover follow-up counseling and maintenance medication.

Drug and alcohol addiction has been recognized as a severe public health threat that devastates users physically, psychologically, and emotionally, diminishing their lives to satisfying the urge for drug use. For this reason, you should not be ashamed to use your health insurance to cover the full cost of a drug rehab program. This will enable you to release yourself from the terrifying clutch of drug addiction and live a meaningful and healthy life. Before you verify your insurance, it may be a good idea to ask your health insurance provider for additional advice.


Deciding to enter an addiction recovery program may be a turning point for someone struggling with drugs or alcohol addiction. We have provided you with an extensive description of various successful addiction treatments principles. Also, we offered you a variety of different addiction programs that your health insurance may cover. You need to choose the treatment program that best suits your needs and make the first steps towards an improved addiction-free life. We can help you overcome various obstacles on your path to recovery, so do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be here for you.