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  • CSSL Mental Health & Addiction Treatment Services

What Addiction Treatment Centers Are Like

So, you have finally hit your bottom and are ready to ask for help. Congratulations! This is the first step towards recovery from substance abuse- admitting that you have a problem. Although entering treatment for the first time can be challenging, if you survived through years of active addiction, you have what it takes to endure the recovery process provided you put the same level of effort into your recovery. While treatment centers may vary in their methods and policies, there’s some common practices that you can expect during your treatment experience.


While this portion of treatment depends upon your drug of choice and the severity of your physical dependence, this is usually the initial step in the treatment process. Being honest here, detoxing isn’t easy, but the medical staff at your detox unit will provide medications that will ease the impact of your withdrawals.

Residential Treatment

After you finish detoxing, you’ll be assessed to determine your level of continued care. Many addicts and alcoholics begin treatment in a residential program that involves participating in group and individual therapies while you reside at the facility with other recovering addicts of the same gender. There will be rules and structure, but these policies are in place to help you to become responsible and accountable.

Intensive Outpatient

If you are still in the early stages of addiction or are continuing your care after graduating from residential, then you will likely be recommended for intensive outpatient treatment. While in outpatient care, you can continue to live at home or in a halfway house while you attend groups a few times per week and meet with your individual therapist.

Halfway Houses

These are apartments that you may choose to live in while in early recovery. You would share the home with a few other recovering addicts, attend 12-step meetings, complete chores, and find a job. This is often a recommended step for addicts to successfully transition back into the community following treatment.


Recovery is a lifelong process that doesn’t end on the day that you are discharged from treatment. It’s strongly suggested from those who have successfully recovered before you to attend 12-step meetings such as AA or NA on a regular basis, preferably 90 meetings within 90 days.

You will also need to find a person at those meetings who has at least one year clean and ask them to be your sponsor. A sponsor will guide you through working the 12 steps of recovery which are a proven method to obtain long-term sobriety. When you find a meeting that you really like, make that your home group. A home group is a meeting that you commit to attending and become involved in through service work.

This may sound like a lot in the beginning, but it’s achieved one day at a time. If you make it through one day clean, that’s a successful day, and you are on the right track towards recovery.

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