Finding help for a loved one who is suffering with addiction can feel overwhelming. Not only are you worried about the health of the person you love, but you’re also trying to navigate the appropriate help: is a peer-supported pathway right, or do they need clinical intervention from a professional addiction treatment center?

In our recent blog, we focused on peer-supported pathways of recovery. Often referred to as mutual-aid groups, these groups are led by people in recovery from substance use disorders. They are free and organized by non-professional organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery Dharma, LifeRing Non-Secular Recovery, and SMART Recovery. Despite common misconceptions, they all vary in religious, spiritual, and secular beliefs and use a variety of means to achieve recovery. Read our blog for more information.

Clinical or professional addiction treatment options, on the other hand, involve professional intervention from a clinician, health care provider, or other credentialed professional. There is a range of options available to suit the individual needs of those seeking treatment.

Professional Addiction Treatment Options

There are four main categories of professional addiction treatment that range in levels of addiction care: clinical treatments, behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic therapies.

Clinical substance use disorder treatment

The Recovery Research Institute identifies four key levels of clinical addiction treatment options:

  • Level 4: Medically managed inpatient treatment, providing 24-hour medical care with daily counseling, for people suffering with severe instability and imminent danger.
  • Level 3: Clinically managed low- to high-intensity residential services, providing 24-hour support and structure from trained professionals and clinicians. Can also provide stabilization. 
  • Level 2: Intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization, requiring daily to weekly attendance at a clinic or facility for approximately 9 to 20 hours per week. The patient can return home or to another living environment out of treatment hours.
  • Level 1: Outpatient services, requiring daily or weekly attendance at a clinic or facility for approximately 9 hours a week, allowing the patient to return home each day.

We can help to determine which level of care your loved one might need. Please contact us for assistance.

Behavioral therapies 

There are a range of talk therapies and behavioral interventions available from licensed counselors, therapists, and clinicians who have experience in treating substance use disorder, including:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  3. Motivational Interviewing
  4. Family Therapy
  5. Behavioral Couples Therapy
  6. Contingency Management
  7. Community Reinforcement Approach

Medication-assisted treatment 

Pharmacotherapy is an approved pathway of recovery for the treatment of substance use disorder and alcohol use disorders. Medications like buprenorphine, methadone, naloxone, naltrexone, and acamprosate are used. These medications help to reduce symptoms of withdrawal, block the effects of illicit substances, help to reduce cravings, prevent return to use, and help to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

For additional information about how these medications work, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration page on medication-assisted treatment.

Holistic therapies

There is a range of holistic therapies that can be used to support pathways of recovery. Some people use them as an entire pathway of recovery, but many use them in addition to other clinical and non-clinical pathways. These therapies include: acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, yoga, reflexology, hypnosis, meditation, reiki, equine therapy, canine therapy, wilderness therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, and dance and movement therapies.

If you would like further information, or if you’re looking for guidance in finding the right treatment solution for you or a loved one, please contact us today. 


*Please note that this article is not intended to act as medical advice or substitute your need — or the needs of a loved one — to see a doctor. If you have health concerns, please consult a physician or medical provider, or contact Connections in Recovery for assistance.