If you have a loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you may have spent many sleepless nights worrying about their health and safety. Over time, alcohol abuse and drug addiction can have serious consequences, both physically and mentally. Alcohol and drug addiction also interfere with personal relationships by increasing conflict and making it difficult for family members and romantic partners to communicate effectively. Keep reading to learn more about substance abuse and find out why it’s so important for your loved one to get professional substance abuse treatment.


Substance abuse is defined as a pattern of alcohol or drug use that causes significant distress. Some people who engage in alcohol or drug abuse go on to develop a substance dependence, which is characterized by the inability to stop using even when it’s causing substantial problems. Your loved one may be dependent on alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription medications if they display any of the following:

  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Spending a lot of time using substances or trying to get substances
  • Continued drug or alcohol use even when substance use is interfering with personal relationships or causing serious health consequences
  • Using larger amounts of a substance to get the same effects they used to get with smaller amounts
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop using or reduce the amount of alcohol or drugs they’re taking
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Treatments for Substance Use Disorder

Outpatient vs Residential Addiction Treatment

Several types of addiction treatment are available to help people with substance use disorders stop using drugs and alcohol. Outpatient treatment programs typically provide access to support groups and individual counseling to help people understand why they misuse substances and learn how to cope with problems without drinking or using drugs. An outpatient treatment program is typically structured to ensure patients receive the support they need without having to commit to a stay in a residential treatment center. For example, some treatment facilities offer outpatient services several days per week, reducing the risk of relapse.

Residential treatment is appropriate for people who have severe addictions, co-occurring disorders or living situations that would make it difficult for them to stop using substances. In a residential treatment facility, patients stay in a welcoming environment that has many of the comforts of home. Each patient follows a custom treatment plan that may include individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy or medications.

A good treatment center has experienced professionals on hand to provide counseling and clinical medical professionals available to make sure patients withdraw from drugs and alcohol safely. A medical provider can also prescribe medications to help patients manage the symptoms of depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and other mental health conditions.

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy is one of the most common treatment options for substance abuse problems and other types of mental illness. Behavioral therapies can help patients change negative behaviors and incentivize them to abstain from substances, making them an effective form of substance addiction treatment. Many treatment centers offer cognitive behavioral therapy, family behavior therapy and other therapeutic approaches. If you’re approved to visit, you may even be able to participate in therapy with your family member.


Whether your loved one needs drug or alcohol rehab, experienced treatment providers may recommend medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent substance abuse or treat co-occurring disorders. For example, an addicted person may also have major depressive disorder, prompting a physician to prescribe antidepressants.

Brain Stimulation

Many people with active addiction also have treatment-resistant depression, or depression that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments. Even after taking medications and going to regular therapy sessions, someone with treatment-resistant depression may continue experiencing persistent sadness, a lack of interest in their normal activities and other depression symptoms. Some treatment centers offer a treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation, which helps people with depression by sending magnetic pulses to the brain. Each TMS session is overseen by experienced treatment providers, ensuring the patient’s safety and well-being.

How to Find a Treatment Facility

If you’re worried about a loved one’s addiction, you may be able to help by locating a treatment center that can address their unique needs. Addiction recovery isn’t a linear process that works the same way for everyone, so it’s important to look for alcohol and drug rehab programs that are a good fit based on your loved one’s medical history and current history of substance use. Here are some factors that may influence your choice of treatment facility:

  • Do you need to use a specific treatment center or specific treatment provider due to insurance restrictions?
  • Does your loved one have any other mental health conditions that could make their treatment more complex?
  • Does your loved one need outpatient or residential treatment?
  • Will your loved one need supervised medical detox before entering a residential rehab program?
  • Are you looking for a specific type of treatment?
  • How much can your loved one afford to pay for treatment?
  • Does the rehab center need to offer certain amenities?

Insurance for Addiction Treatment

Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all traditional health insurance plans must now provide coverage for therapy, medications and other treatment options for problem substance use. That doesn’t mean private insurance will cover 100% of your loved one’s treatment costs, but using insurance can defray the cost of treatment significantly.

Before committing to a treatment facility, make sure you understand the terms of your loved one’s insurance plan. For the treatment to be covered, it may have to be administered at an in-network facility, or a facility that has agreed to treat plan members at a discounted price. This is especially important if your loved one plans to use veterans’ benefits to cover the cost of treatment for a substance abuse problem.

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If you’re concerned about your loved one’s substance use and need to know what treatment options are available, contact Virtue Recovery Center at (877) 244-3250 to speak with an admissions coordinator about our personalized recovery programs. Your loved one can also call us to schedule a free assessment with a certified addiction professional.

CALL 866-461-3339