Treatment Cost - Elements of Treatment

Effective treatment of all substance abuse is expensive as there is no single method that is effective or quick. For example the AA program is well established worldwide. Professionals view it as “one of the tools” of recovery, not a recovery method.  As a recovery method on its own, independent studies have confirmed failure rates ranging from 95% to 97%.  Conversely most therapists would agree that it is an extremely effective support mechanism during and after professional treatment. 
Many people with addiction require medical detoxification to even attempt recovery.  The shock of withdrawal can cause severe seizures, strokes and heart attacks. Many people with prescription and non-prescription drug addiction require detoxification. Detoxification is very serious; some medical journals estimate that a male alcoholic over age 50 has a 75% probability of a heart attack or stroke if they cease alcohol consumption without medical detoxification.  
  • (1) Each person’s cause(s) of addiction are different physiologically, psychiatrically and psychologically.  In order to determine effective treatment each person requires individual assessment and diagnosis.  Without these, treatment cannot be focused on the individual’s needs.
  • (2) After proper assessment and diagnosis a personal treatment program is created and followed.  Relevant group sessions are supplemented by individual therapy.
  • (3) Therapy requires significant amounts of professional time.  Most programs maximize the effective use of professional time by providing homework, activities outside of therapy that benefit recovery etc., however, therapy time is essential to reinforce proper lifestyle habits, eliminate negative activities and prevent relapse .
  • (4) The recovery process takes time to become a way of life.  Often a person entering the recovery process has practiced their substance abuse(s) as a focus in their life, for years.  This behavior takes time to eliminate and be replaced by appropriate behavior.
  • (5) Residential treatment is required when the person’s life has become unmanageable.  Residential treatment times vary but are most commonly 45- 120 days.
  • (6) Intensive Outpatient treatment involves the significant focus of an individual who can get to regular therapy (at least 3 times per week), perform homework assignments and attend other recovery oriented activities (at least 7 per week).  Minimum treatment periods for Intensive Outpatient treatment is usually two months.   
  • (7) Aftercare is essential to effective recovery.  Aftercare consists of monitoring that appropriate activities continue, relapse prevention is effective and periodic therapy continues (both personal and family).  Some people need to live in a sober living facility for a period of time during their aftercare.   A person’s aftercare plan is modified over time to suit their recovery and needs. Aftercare is usually monitored for at least one year after Intensive Outpatient treatment.