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What are the Different Levels of Addiction Treatment?

Levels of care for substance abuse treatment are a system established to provide tailored programs for the different stages of addiction. Thus, they are able to meet addicts at whatever stage of the addiction they might find themselves in and fulfill their own unique needs.

Let’s have a deep dive into all levels of care for treatment of substance abuse disorders and which one might be best suited for you or those you love.

What Are The Substance Abuse Levels of Care

Level 0.5 – Early Intervention Treatment

The first of all levels of care for treatment of substance abuse disorder is also the one that’s best suited for patients with the least severe addiction symptoms.

Patients that qualify for this level are usually less problematic and only have mild symptoms or a mild substance abuse obsession.

A primary goal of this level of substance abuse treatment is to minimize the potential harms that are associated with substance abuse and to minimize the possibility of severe addiction.

Services that offer early intervention can be administered primarily in places such as schools and hospitals in the form of prevention education, therapy, or counseling.

Level I – Outpatient Treatment

The second level of substance abuse levels of care is outpatient services. Outpatient care is provided to patients in a non-residential setting. As a result, recovering addicts can return home each day after receiving treatment or therapy.

Patients who have less severe symptoms and do not pose an immediate health risk might benefit from this type of recovery service. 

It may also be a good option for more severe patients who need to continue their treatment after completing an inpatient program.

Level II – Partial Hospitalization/Intensive Outpatient Treatment

An intensive outpatient program and partial hospitalization are the next steps on the severity scale. The intensive outpatient program (IOP) is similar to regular outpatient treatment, except that patients must attend more hours. The patient may have been stabilized in a hospital before attending an IOP in many cases.

Typically, most IOPs require patients to attend treatment for a minimum of 9 hours per week, but some programs suggest as many as 30 hours.

Intensive outpatient treatment is better suited to patients with co-occurring disorders. It’s also a better fit for those with more complicated symptoms that don’t require inpatient treatment.

A partial hospitalization program (PHP) is best suited to severe cases that do not require 24/7 care. In most cases, these programs last at least 20 hours a week.

Level III – Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Residential treatment offers addicts a safe, 24/7 environment where they can live during their recovery. Inpatient treatment is what most people imagine when they think of rehab. Of all of the substance abuse levels of care, this is one of the most commonly employed.

Typically, an inpatient program lasts 30-90 days and includes detoxification, therapy, 12-step programs, and other holistic treatments.

A patient who is best suited to inpatient care is one who:

  • Has a high risk of relapse
  • Suffers from severe co-occurring disorders
  • Has tried and failed at an outpatient or other forms of treatment before
  • Has severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Requires around-the-clock attention due to delicate medical conditions
  • Suffers from severe addiction

The cost of inpatient services is usually higher due to the fact that they include housing, food, and round-the-clock professional services. Contrary to popular belief, evidence shows that inpatient treatment for substance abuse disorders is actually more cost-effective than no treatment at all.

In addition to causing financial hardship for addicts and their families, substance abuse also hinders them from finding employment. Consequently, they cannot reach their full earnings potential.

Level 3.7WM – Withdrawal Management in a Residential Setting

Medically withdrawal management is commonly known as detox. Detoxification involves supplying addicts with medications to help stabilize them as substances are withdrawn from their bodies.

An addict experiences withdrawal symptoms when their body becomes used to functioning with their substance of choice. When the user withdraws or detoxifies from a substance, the body could experience adverse effects.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, these adverse reactions, or withdrawals, could be life-threatening. Detox medications can reduce withdrawal symptoms, making the process less challenging, painful, and risky for addicts.

A pharmacological approach could also help addicts taper off their addiction.

The Level 3.7WM is administered in a residential inpatient setting with medical staff and equipment on site.

Level IV – Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient (Withdrawal Management in a Hospital)

When it comes to levels of care for substance abuse treatment, this level is usually reserved for severe cases of addiction with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and delicate medical conditions. This is the most critical of all levels of care for treatment of substance abuse disorders.

Determining Your Level of Addiction Treatment

Now that you know more about all levels of care for treatment of substance abuse disorders, you might have a better idea of which one is best suited for you or those you love. 

But, it might still be difficult to judge exactly which is the right path to take. That’s why it’s best to contact a team of professionals that can guide you every step of the way.

At Outpatient LA our team of recovery experts is ready to help determine the levels of care for substance abuse treatment that are right for you.

Contact us today to get an assessment of addiction treatment levels of care

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