Types of Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

Different types of treatments and services are effective in helping people recover from alcohol and substance use disorders

An evaluation needs to be done by a behavioral health specialist to recommend which level of care listed below would be most appropriate.

Case management programs

Your therapist or healthcare provider may be able to refer you to other organizations such as your health plan, a social service agency or medical group that can provide you with additional assistance to identify other community supports and resources.

Inpatient treatment

Primarily used to safely manage withdrawal symptoms in a medical setting while detoxing from alcohol and/or drugs


Anxiety and depression may accompany alcohol and substance use disorders. There are psychiatric medications that can help with this.

Medication assisted treatment

Addictive substances can change the way the brain works and the use of proper medications such as methadone, suboxone or Vivitrol can help with this. Medication may be used to reduce cravings and other symptoms that may be experienced during recovery from alcohol and substance use. Medication used for this purpose is not simply “replacing one addiction for another.” It is recognized medical care.

Outpatient individual, family and/or group counseling

These are ongoing regular treatments sessions that provide support and assistance to people who are maintaining their recovery, functioning in their community and managing their daily life activities.

Partial hospital and intensive outpatient programs

These are community based day or evening treatment programs that provide counseling and meet multiple times a week to help people continue to learn important skills to sustain their recovery. While attending these programs most participants are able to live at home and maintain their daily responsibilities.

Recovery support services

Mutual support groups including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, Al-Anon and other programs provide ongoing peer support. They are not considered formal treatment but can play an important role in one’s recovery.

Residential treatment

May be used to help someone who is in need of 24 hour supervision. Provides intensive individual and group counseling to support continued abstinence from alcohol and other substances while learning new behaviors and coping strategies in preparation for returning home.