A Guide to the Levels of Addiction Treatment Care

With all of the different forms of addiction treatment available today, finding the right one for you can be a daunting task. A basic Internet search for what sort of help is available results in hundreds of thousands of options. There are IOPs and OPs and PHPs and to a person who is unacquainted, these acronyms can be useless and disparaging.

Sifting through all of this information is what this post is about and hopefully by reading about the different levels of care available for addiction treatment, you will be able to make an informed decision as to what type of treatment is best for you.

What is Addiction Treatment?

There is a lot of misunderstanding around drug addiction and as such, there is also a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to treatment of the illness. Going away to a rehabilitation center does not mean that you will be cured from your addiction, as there is no known cure, but what it does mean is that you will be offered the tools necessary in order to live a sober life.

That is the goal of any addiction treatment center, to successfully get their clients off of drugs and give them the tools necessary to navigate life in a sober and healthy manner. Depending on which form of treatment you participate in, the services available will differ, but overall the goal is the same—abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

What are the Different Levels of Care?

The treatment of alcoholism and addiction can be broken down into three different categories: Detox, Inpatient Treatment, and Outpatient Treatment.


Detox is short for detoxification and it is many times the first step in the process of treatment. A detox is a place where people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol can go and safely withdrawal from their substance of choice. Simply getting off of drugs or alcohol is often the hardest part of starting recovery and so having a safe place to do so can often be the difference between success and failure.

Detoxes are important in the recovery process as well because the withdrawal symptoms from certain substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, can be lethal if the proper medical supervision is not in place. Not to mention that many withdrawal symptoms are extremely uncomfortable so having the ability to be in an environment with support, away from your daily life, can really help people get over this initial hurdle.

Inpatient Treatment

After a person goes to detox, they often times then attend an inpatient treatment center. Inpatient basically means that the person lives at the facility for the duration of their stay. The length of time that a person stays at an inpatient treatment facility can vary, but many are a minimum of 30 days.

Many people find inpatient treatment helpful because it removes them from their daily lives and allows them to focus solely on their recovery. During their time in treatment, they will have a break from the pressures of their normal life and they will be removed from the environment that they used to drink or use drugs in. It also allows them to start to distance themselves from the people that they used with and create new and healthier relationships.

Inpatient treatment usually consists of individual and group therapy and it also acts as an introduction to 12 Step programs. Many inpatient treatment facilities bring their clients to outside Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and doing so gives their clients the ability to create a support group, find a sponsor, and start to work the Steps, all while in the safety of a treatment facility.

Outpatient Treatment

A person who attends outpatient treatment can expect to receive a similar level of care as a person who attends inpatient treatment, but the main differences are that they sleep at their home during treatment and outpatient is often only a couple of times a week.

For some people who do not have the luxury of being able to go away for a month or so, outpatient is a great way to still get a high level of care without completely uprooting their life. Attending outpatient means that the person may still be able to go to work and if they have familial responsibilities, such as children, they can still tend to these things.

They will be offered individual and group therapies and they will also get the same introduction to 12 Step programs as people who attend inpatient, but the main drawback is that they do not have the additional support of being away from their daily life. People who attend outpatient are still living in the same environment that they drank or used in, and for some, this can be overwhelming. This is not to say that outpatient treatment is not successful, but it does mean that a person only attending outpatient treatment will have to contend with more stressors earlier on in their recovery.

Finding the Right Treatment

Hopefully seeing the breakdown of different levels of care has helped inform your decision about which type of treatment is best for you. If you have found that it is almost impossible for you to break the physical hold that drugs and alcohol have on your life or if you are abusing substances that have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, then detox is probably where you need to start. If you have the ability to go away for a month or so and you think you need the added level of support, then inpatient is probably your best bet after detox. If you cannot get away from your daily life and need to still participate in certain responsibilities, don’t fret because outpatient can help you overcome your addiction.

Making the decision to stop drinking or abusing drugs is never easy and the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center are aware of this. We are here to help you in any way we possibly can, so don’t delay and call us today at 1-800-795-8527. Start your road to recovery the right way, with Evolutions Treatment Center.