When it is time to select a treatment program for substance use disorder, many people wonder about the advantages and disadvantages of different levels of care. They are not sure what option will be the best fit for them or their loved one, and they recognize the importance of making the right choice.

What Different Levels Offer

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for treating substance use disorder. This is why, at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, we offer a variety of treatment options, including:

  • Residential – this is a great option for people who need a safe, structured environment with 24/7 care. Residential treatment takes a person out of their usual environment, where they might be surrounded by people, distractions, and triggers that aren’t helpful to their sobriety, and gives them a supportive space to begin their recovery journey.  
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP)  – in some cases, the patient does not require 24/7 support or they have obligations at home, work, or school that do not make residential treatment a suitable option. Our PHP program is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 am-3:30 pm for people who have already completed residential treatment or who don’t need as much support.
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP) – this is the lowest level of care we offer at Safe Harbor. IOP is open from 5-8 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings and focuses on building skills needed for long-term recovery. 

We also offer continuing care and alumni support for people who complete our programs, to help them maintain long-term sobriety. 

Picking the Best Option

Because each person’s recovery journey is different, no single treatment option is inherently better than the rest. It really just depends on what each person needs. Some factors that might impact this decision include:

  • The severity of the person’s substance use disorder
  • Any co-occurring mental health diagnoses the person may have
  • The person’s support system
  • Payment options for treatment
  • Work and living situation

People Who Should Consider Inpatient Treatment

You might find that you are a better candidate for inpatient/residential treatment if the following statements are true for you:

  • You already tried outpatient treatment and it didn’t work.
  • You have physical or mental health conditions.
  • Continuing to be at home will put you in contact with people you used with or triggers that could make you relapse.
  • You don’t live close enough to an outpatient clinic to drive back and forth for treatment.
  • You need more groups, more therapy, and more skills to build a strong recovery plan.

People Who Should Consider Outpatient Treatment

If you don’t feel like the statements above ring true for you, you might be a better fit for outpatient treatment:

  • You aren’t able to take a leave of absence from work or school.
  • Being close to your family and friends seems like it will be helpful to your recovery.
  • You have the ability to stay away from drugs and alcohol if you aren’t being supervised 24/7.
  • A less intense level of support will meet your needs.
  • You cannot afford inpatient treatment.
  • You can get yourself to your counseling sessions and 12-step groups if you live off-site from your treatment program.

Paying for Treatment

In a perfect world, everyone would be able to afford exactly the treatment that suits them. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not the case. At Safe Harbor Recovery Center, we accept most types of insurance, and we try to make recovery as affordable as possible.

After Treatment Ends

Before you conclude treatment, you should have a plan in place for your next steps. This could include some of the following ongoing professional support:

  • A step down to a lower level of care to continue treatment
  • Sober living
  • 12-step groups like AA or NA or alternatives like SMART Recovery
  • Mental health services
  • Chronic pain management strategies
  • Suggestions for ongoing family counseling
  • Relapse prevention strategies

Your plan may also include suggestions for lifestyle choices that can support your recovery, such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Appropriate amounts of sleep
  • Spirituality
  • Career and educational goals

It’s understandable if you’re still not sure what option would be the best fit for you or your loved one. The caring team of substance addiction professionals at Safe Harbor Recovery Center can answer questions you might have and perform an assessment to help you decide which option is likely to be best for your unique scenario.