Addicts deserve to be in a treatment program with diversity, where the staff is sensitive to their personal issues and where they respect the community that the addict comes from.


Lack of understanding of a specific person or community can generate negative attitudes and make an addict feel less welcomed into recovery. This increases the potential for dropping out, social isolation, returning to social using, and eventually, a return to addictive behaviors.

Sexual Identity and Gender Orientation Issues: The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has unique treatment issues. Negative attitudes toward LGBT individuals can still be detrimental to recovery. If you belong to the LGBT community, find a treatment program where the staff is sensitive and knowledgeable about LGBT challenges. Should staff try to deny your reality, or convert you into a mainstream or a religious reality, seek help elsewhere. The staff needs to be comfortable dealing with your unique emotional, family, and medical issues.

What if you feel you’re not able to openly acknowledge your sexual or gender identity? You must do what it takes to come out, at least to those closest to you, or find peace through healthy diversion, spiritual or therapeutic work, and self-acceptance.

First of all, you should be able to locate desirable treatment services in urban areas. Peer run support groups are an option.  Hence, keep looking until you find what you need.

Other areas of diversity

Race, Culture, or Nationality: A large part of community is based on race, culture, and nationality. A few examples of how these communities play a part in recovery include:

  • Cultures that use a pub as a social center
  • Taboos that disallow leaving a family, gang, or tribe
  • The cultural shame of admitting you have a problem for which you need help.

Furthermore, if you can’t find the support you need within your family or community, go outside of it. The worst likely outcome would be emotional upset or the need to separate from toxic family and friends. This is hard, so ask for support from someone who’s already found outside help. Don’t worry about being accepted by others. Most people will naturally accept you once they get to know you personally.

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Immediate Recovery - Adolescence

Addictions and addictive behaviors are a problem for everyone. The biggest group of addicts is middle-aged Americans, but adolescent addiction is also common. Adults are role models for kids, including how they chose to deal with their addictions.


Youth has been described as a form of insanity. With limited perspective, overridden by arrogance, adolescence can be difficult. This means teens are more prone to adolescent  addiction, especially when they cope with issues like parental addictions, social pressure, poor diet, and availability of substances. Important development occurs during adolescence, but addictions can interfere with the emotional growth of teenagers, including how they mature. They can become emotionally stuck at the age when their addiction started.

Teens develop symptoms of addiction within a few years, quicker than adults, but they struggle with accepting their addictions because they believe they are not old enough or have not used long enough.

Friends, and sometimes even parents, can soften the consequences of adolescents using by enabling them and promoting continued use. Making teens face consequences of their use can be the quickest way to wake them up and encourage them to stop.

Recovering adolescents have unique issues, such as:

  • Lack of major consequences
  • Peer pressure
  • Identity: Lack of, searching for
  • Boundaries: Pushing to understand, experience, and to learn about reality and their place in it
  • The adolescent stage of life:
    • Arrogance, curiosity, no established identity, being easily influenced, and lack of perspective
    • Blocked emotional growth due to addiction
    • They are younger than their age

A teen treatment group needs to include at least one peer who is actively recovering to be a positive role model (better if they have social status) by offering identification, support, and encouragement. Support for recovery must be strong enough to combat the social pressure of peers that use and the desire of the addict self to continue to use.

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Paying for Treatment – Continued

Paying for Treatment - Using Insurance

Unless you’re paying out-of-pocket for your professional treatment, you’ll need to involve a third party – your medical insurance company or explore less expensive treatment options.

Third Party Payments

Managed care companies oversee (hold down the cost of) your addiction treatment and mental health benefits. This means treatment providers receive less money, so many psychotherapists don’t participate in managed care work.

If the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you, it could be very helpful in assisting you with your treatment needs and communicating vital information with management at your place of employment. The EAP is supposed to keep your treatment confidential, but your employer will likely already know you have a problem of some sort.

Client Evaluation: If you are going to use third party medical insurance to help pay for your treatment, they’ll want a professional to diagnose your condition. They’ll use a code from the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Parity diagnoses, such as depression and chemical dependency, fall under the Mental Health Parity Law, which gives you the right for coverage. Some medical insurance providers will pay less or nothing for a non-parity diagnosis. You or the professional you plan to work with should check your benefits and get preauthorization before you agree to treatment.

Inexpensive Treatment Options

Most publicly funded programs have a waiting list and limited staff and funding, and yet they are worthwhile. It’s possible to find inexpensive treatment programs or to combine parts of several low-cost programs to fit your needs.

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Paying for Treatment – Costs



The hourly rates of costs for treatment by private professionals vary greatly, partly due to geographic location.

Some professionals offer sliding scale rates, blocks of time, or packaged plans at a lower rate. Many licensed professionals take managed care insurance. The approximate range of costs for treatment hourly services, usually paid in cash (fee for service), is:

  • Addiction Counselor:  Work mostly for programs
  • Board Certified Psychiatrist:  $150 to $350
  • Coach (Uncertified/Certified):  $30 to $250
  • Certified/Licensed Counselors:  $50 to $150
  • Licensed Psychotherapist (Clinical Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor, Marriage & Family Therapist, Clinical Psychologist):  $50 to $200
  • Private Interventionist:  $50 to $150; often free if the intervention is being run by a program’s staff where the client is expected to go into treatment, usually immediately after the intervention.
  • Practitioners (Educator, Hypnotherapist, Behavioral Practitioner, etc.):  $50 to $150.

Paying more may mean you end up working with a more competent professional, but not necessarily. Licensed (board certified) psychiatrists are medical doctors who have had some psychological training and can prescribe medication. Like many psychotherapists, psychiatrists usually broaden their knowledge with additional training. Therefore, they are at the higher end of the cost scale.

Addiction counselors or therapy interns are available at lower fees or sliding scale rates, especially at nonprofit clinics, churches, or graduate schools. Therefore, interns must be supervised by a licensed or certified professional.

There is another group of professionals that, although are often unlicensed and without certification, offer valuable services. They work under titles such as consultant, hypnotherapist, interventionist, practitioner, educator, etc. Their scope of practice is limited to specific disciplines like behavior, education, evaluation, etc.

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Success Rates for Addiction Recovery Depends on You!

Success Rates for Addiction Recovery

Success rates are more of a selling tool than a reality.

Outcome studies on success rates are expensive and often biased.

For instance, the current staff of a program advertising a high success rate may not have been working at the program when the success rates statistics were gathered. It does appear that nutritionally-based programs have a higher success rate (claims of 80%) than other programs. Your success depends on you. When you start your recovery early in your addiction, you’ll suffer less and you’re more likely to be successful, with the exception of young adults. If you choose a quality approach, you’re also likely to be successful.

The most important factors for your success are:

  • Your belief that your approach can be effective for you and you can do it!
  • Your commitment that you will do your best.
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Relapse Prevention Treatment

Relapse Prevention Treatment

Relapse Prevention Treatment

All addicts need relapse prevention education, especially chronic relapsers.

A specific relapse track is needed if you have already gone through a primary treatment program at least once. Chronic relapsers particularly need to have an aspect of their recovery focused on relapse prevention. If you have a history of relapsing, you might want to consider a relapse prevention treatment program. There are a few, most of which are focused on alcohol and drug addiction.

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Codependency Treatment

Codependency Treatment

There are very few inpatient codependency treatment programs.

Even though dependency is a common co-symptom with other addictions, it’s usually covered in those programs. They are run similarly to other treatment programs; yet, they are unique to their own model. They include identifying emotions, harmful patterns, childhood issues, and trauma. Codependency can be difficult to treat because the addiction of helping others appears to be so positive. The reward of codependency treatment is realizing that you are a good person with a misguided motivation, and you learn to focus on you.

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Recovery Homes

Recovery Homes
Recovery homes are valuable for people who don’t have a healthy home environment.

They are also for those who want the additional support and security of a built-in recovery community. As the cost for recovery homes may not be significantly more than normal living expenses, they are a very good option for many people.

Clean & Sober Living (CSL) or a Sober Living Environment (SLE) are homes where you may choose to live on a month-to-month basis, usually in shared bedrooms. The amount of structure and services that are provided and the quality of the facility and its location will vary. Costs are adjusted accordingly.

The requirements of a CSL or SLE program range from none to mandatory daily house meetings or recovery activities outside the program such as self-help meetings. Some are well supervised and some are not. Sober Living is an excellent option for many, especially single people.

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Professional Inpatient Treatment

Professional Inpatient Treatment
Although there are exceptions, like outpatient programs, most professional inpatient treatment programs are also centered around alcohol and drug addiction.

Some programs treat other addictions at the same time. A handful of professional inpatient treatment programs are available for other primary additions, like codependency food, sex, or gambling.

Inpatient programs are good for people who need to get away from their environment, who want or need an intense introduction to recovery, or who want to build a close recovery community. Inpatient programs are mostly group-oriented, offering education, treatment structure, and a treatment process. They also include at least some individual or family counseling. The style used commonly involves a multidisciplinary team evaluation with an extensive medical-psycho-social history, and may also include a nutritional approach.

When treatment is finished, many inpatient programs also provide support for re-entry into the community for at least one year. The intense inpatient treatment approach is only a good first step. Begin planning and using your own structure before you leave the program.

The inpatient experience can be intense, working towards your recovery for eight to twelve hours daily, six days each week, with a partial day on Sunday. Breaks are taken throughout the day for relaxation and exercise. Some programs are completely 12-Step based, while others hold 12-Step or other self-help meetings as part of their program. Visitors are usually allowed after the first week or so.

Out Of Your Area/Rural Residential Programs can be expensive. Luxury ones can cost over $70,000 per month. You’re separated from negative influences, and the physical distance encourages residents to stay. Yet, rural residential programs can be difficult for your family to participate in.

Inpatient hospital programs are the most intensive and the most restrictive programs, but they are only moderately expensive.

They are ideal for people who have physical and medical issues. A multidisciplinary medical team of several professionals together is usually employed – a counselor, psychiatrist, nurse, social worker, recreational therapist, etc. Along with the medical model, some will also use non-medical approaches. The basic cost for a 30-day hospital-based program is typically $15,000 and up. It’s common for an inpatient to only stay through the toughest part of the detoxification period (three to 21 days), and then move on to an outpatient program.

Social Model programs have a homelike setting. They rely mostly on recovering staff and peer leadership, not professional staff. They are non-medical and often 12-Step oriented. The cost is usually the least expensive. They offer structure through their rules, activities, and mutual support.

Therapeutic Communities (TCs) require participation within a group-based recovery approach. In general, they are for individuals who have had a long history of addiction and need in-depth, long-term intense treatment. They can be excellent for people who need a family setting where the total person can be helped. In some TCs, members work within and for the community.

TCs had a history of using attack therapy to attempt to breakdown new members’ defenses, and “games” to help them grow, rebuild, and re-socialize. This process can take years and is growing obsolete. Successful TCs have become more user-friendly and offer a lifelong community.

The TC’s democratic, family orientation and intense, long-term treatment plan have proven moderately successful for people who need such a level of work. These include those with a long and severe history of drug abuse, severe personality disorders, and other mental health issues.

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Professional Outpatient Treatment Programs

Professional Outpatient Treatment Programs

Professional Outpatient Treatment Programs (OPTs) are a good choice for people with a primary or secondary addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Professional outpatient treatment programs are good choices — this is especially true if you have no medical complications, it’s your first treatment, you must stay working, or if you want to stay close to home because of certain obligations.

Though most OPTs are centered around alcohol and drug addiction, with a bit of research, hopefully you can find a local OPT program that focuses on your addiction.

Professionally run outpatient programs, such as those that are 12-Step or self-help based, offer a treatment system and are educational and personal-growth oriented, giving you a chance to deal with the issues behind your addiction. Limited individual and family counseling is often included in these programs, offering you a basic foundation for recovery. Added counseling is often needed.

Intense Day Treatment: Sessions start in the morning and go through late afternoon, usually five to six days a week. They offer basically the same program that inpatient programs offer but for fewer hours a week and at a much lower cost, which varies widely.

Outpatient Treatment: Sessions last two to three hours each day, three to six times per week, for six months to a year. They usually include brief to long-term continuing support of up to several years and are primarily held in the evening. They provide much of the same program structure that inpatient programs offer, but over a longer period of time. Therefore, they are less intense and cost much less. Again, the cost ranges widely.

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Wake Up and Thrive – Move beyond your addiction and become who and what you really want to be!