Approaches to Addiction Recovery and Treatment

Drug and alcohol addictions are pervasive in today’s society. There probably isn’t one person out there who can say they haven’t been touched in one way or another by the affects of addiction. One of the most tragic aspects of addiction is the fact that there is help but many people are not aware of it. Addiction recovery isn’t easy, and sometimes it can be costly, but it has saved, and continues to save, thousands of lives every year. Both legal and illegal drugs have the potential to be abused and this abuse leads to addiction. But, as a loved one of somebody going through addiction, how do you know when it has become a problem?

There are stages and symptoms of addiction that you can look for if you fear someone you love has a substance abuse problem. The stages start with use. Not everybody who uses drugs or alcohol has a person with substance use disorderion problem, but you may suspect something is wrong if you notice somebody slide into the second stage of misuse. At this point, one may want to start considering the possibility that the person they love is headed for danger. By the last stage, abuse and dependency, it is time to consider getting your loved one into recovery. You know they’ve reached dependency if you notice they have an inability to stop using drugs or alcohol regardless of the negative impact it has on their life. It is at this point that intervention may be required.


Despite what you may have heard, it is not necessary, or wise to wait for the addict to “hit bottom.” The idea behind intervention is to confront the addict with the reality of what their situation has become. Often times, family and friends are involved. By bringing in the people most impacted by the addict’s behavior, it truly hits home the damage that has been done to both the addict and the people around them.

If the addict is convinced to seek treatment, it is vital to get them to go immediately. For this reason, experts advise that a treatment center is chosen before the intervention takes place. This way the addict can be taken straight from the intervention to the treatment facility before they change their mind. This is the point where the real recovery begins.


There are many approaches to treatment and recovery, the best one is a matter pf preference. What works for some may not work for others. Some of these different options include:

  • Out-patient treatment
  • Residential treatment
  • 12-step programs
  • Alternative treatment methods

The type of treatment that is sought may also depend on how severe of a person with substance use disorderion the person has, and the amount of money they have to spend on their treatment.

Out-Patient Treatment

There are two options when seeking out-patient treatment:
1. Intensive Outpatient (IOP) programs-in this model the addict will attend treatment four to five evenings a week for two to three hours.
2. Partial Hospitalization and Day Treatment-in this model the addict spends all day, every day, in treatment and then returns home overnight.

Residential Treatment

This option is a much more intense program. It deals with treatment on several levels:

  • Withdrawal/Detoxification
  • Aftercare

In aftercare, the addict is still seen by the personnel after they complete the residential portion of their treatment. This helps to ensure a smoother integration into society. It also helps the addict deal with all the temptations they will face once they live the cocoon of the facility.

12-Step Program

This was the model that started them all. It was developed 65 years ago by a group of alcoholics. It worked so well that it was adapted in the treatment of other addictions. The basic principle in a 12-step program is redefining one’s values and principles and relying on other recovering addicts for help and support. In yet another type of treatment, a more spiritual and emotional approach is taken.

Alternative Treatment Methods

Alternative methods include a holistic approach to recovery, however; they work best when accompanied with one of the mainstream treatments. Alternative treatment methods are helpful in dealing with reducing stress and improving mental and physical health. Some holistic approaches that work well are:


  • Aromatherapy
  • Bioelectricity
  • Biofeedback
  • Creative Arts Therapy

Those are just a few of the alternative methods that are having success.

Whatever method of recovery you feel will help you or the one you love isn’t as important as the fact that you go. There is no need to feel shame, and just because one of these methods hasn’t worked for you in the past doesn’t mean you can’t get clean, it just means you may need to try a different method.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.