Addiction A-Z

Treatment plan

A treatment is any medical intervention used to lessen, manage or cure the symptoms of a diagnosed disease. Some conditions, however, are treatable but not curable. A treatment plan is when more than one intervention is used and can include a variety of approaches including surgery, medications and psychotherapy. Treatment for substance abuse disorders can be very complex and involves a comprehensive and integrated approach that treats the whole patient – physically, psychologically, spiritually and intellectually. This may require an entire team of health care specialists, including doctors, nurses, nutritionists, physical trainers, social workers and therapists specializing in family, group and individual therapy as well as alternative and complementary therapies. The team will devise a treatment plan based on individual factors such as medical history, family history, living situation, legal difficulties and mental health issues. For some patients, detoxification or medically supervised withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is part of treatment. This can be followed by residential, partial hospitalization or outpatient treatment. Follow-up care is a major and important component of treatment for substance abuse. After leaving residential treatment, some people choose to live in “halfway” or sober living houses in order to receive continued 24-hour support. Others will continue with therapists, self-help meetings (like Alcoholics Anonymous) and other means of support once they return to their careers and families.

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