The Minimum You Need to Know about Substance Abuse Treatments

By Eugene Isyanov, PhD

I receive a number of calls from people who are seeking information about various court-mandated and non-court mandated treatments for substance abuse. This article summarizes and clarifies basic information that you may need to know before your treatment.

Substance Abuse Treatment (Alcoholism and Drug Treatments)
Individuals who struggle with substance abuse need to remember the following. First, the condition associated with substance dependence is very serious. It is a medical condition, just like other conditions such as cardiovascular problems or diabetes, for example. Second, problems with drugs or/alcohol affect not only one person but also the entire family. Therefore, the treatment should include the individual but also close family member(s), such spouse, parent, etc. Third, this medical condition is very difficult treat. Simply stated, if you are looking for a quick solution – you will never find it. Treatment is a life-long journey. Fourth, the use of a combination of various treatment modalities provides the best management for the behavioral patterns associated with substance abuse/dependence. These modalities are based on a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacological interventions a number of the pharmacological cocktail therapies can be used to decrease cravings/use of substances for emotion-regulation purposes. However, you must be aware that they do not work alone. Various forms of psychotherapy including individual, group, or biofeedback sessions are required to achieve the best possible results. Fifth, as the patient you need to set realistic goals. You need to be clear what you want and either seek total abstinence or consumption of the substance in moderation. These decisions should be clear in your mind from the outset, as it is not possible to slide from one path to the other and back again and maintain any level of success.

Before treatment is started, the individual MUST be motivated to modify his/her behaviors. Without motivation to make the required lifestyle changes, the treatment is very difficult to administer and maintain. If a person is motivated, a number of options are available to proceed with treatment. My recommendation is to contact clinical centers that specialize in treatment of substance related disorders to make the first step. You can locate substance abuse treatment centers through your insurance providers or the web. If you have medical insurance, I strongly recommend you to use it because the treatment is costly and long-term. Your insurance company should cover at least a part of the chemical dependency treatment. Make sure that you understand all aspects of the treatment and know exactly what you are committing to.

Court-Mandated Treatments
If you have to undergo a court-mandated substance abuse, including DUI, or domestic battery treatment program, remember that you have options of selecting the center where you can complete them. Things to look for when you are looking for the center include :

  • Hours of services – you want to make sure to be able to complete the treatment within the time frame allocated by the court with a minimum inconvenience to your personal schedule.
  • Location – you want to complete the treatment conveniently in a center located close or relatively close to your place of work or residence
  • Cost of services. Every center offers the services for its own unique cost. Some center accept insurance policies and others not. Keep in mind that when you undergo psychological interventions such as anger management, DUI Substance Abuse Treatment, or any other court-mandated treatments, your insurance provider might cover these services.
  • Find out the modality thru which the services are being delivered. Determine whether the services are delivered in-group or individually. If they are delivered in the group, find out how large the group is to ensure that you feel comfortable with the group size.

Finally, we emphasize once again that you have options where to search for treatment or services and we hope that you will utilize the resources of our center available to you.


Behavioral Services Center Staff
Phone numbers 847-673-8577 or 847-680-2200