There are numerous options for addressing concerns related to substance use and addiction and each individual will have their own set of goals when engaging in treatment. Every person’s experience is different, and what has been effective for some people may not be effective for others. For example, some may choose to abstain from their substance of choice completely, where as others may want to work towards managing or reducing their consumption, and others may work towards taking a harm reduction approach to reduce the potential harms associated with substance use. Others may want to work towards addressing the underlying emotional concerns that may be contributing to the addiction or substance use and find alternative coping strategies that do not involve substances. Mental illnesses and addictions are both rooted in a complex and variable combination of biology, psychology and life experience – particularly exposure to stress and trauma, and each person’s treatment needs and goals are different.
There are numerous options for treatment depending on what a person’s needs may be. Some treatment options include:
Community treatment: Services in a community treatment facility can be offered in a variety of settings, such as at someone’s home, in a school or at the facility itself. Typically, community treatment options will provide and assessment, ongoing counselling, developing skills to manage substance use related issues, and developing treatment goals.
Group Therapy: Typically offered within community based treatment facilities. Meetings with individuals who have similar concerns to discuss skills and strategies for managing addiction/substance use issues.
Case Management: A process where a person has a worker who is assigned to them for support. This can include developing a treatment plan, linking them to services and monitoring their progress.
Residential or Inpatient Treatment: Is a more intensive treatment, where a person stays in a treatment facility 24 hours a day. These programs can last from 21 days to several months. Usually residential programs will offer group counselling, individual counselling, case management support, and family counselling if requested. These facilities can be either public or privately funded, and wait times for residential treatment vary.
Day Treatment: Typically offers the same programming as residential treatment, but clients will go home towards the end of the day instead of staying overnight within the facility.
Pharmacological Treatment: For some addictions, medications such as Methadone may assist in the treatment process. For more information on medical interventions, speak with your doctor.
12 step model support/recovery groups: A free, peer based treatment program for people suffering from substance use/addiction. Participants follow a set of steps with the goal of abstaining from their substance of choice. Groups can include: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, etc.
Residential Withdrawal management (Detox): A facility where a person is monitored to ensure that they safely get a substance ‘out of their system.’ These facilities can either be with or without the aid of medical interventions and discharge planning is provided.