A Consumer’s Guide to Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment

On this page: Detoxification | In & Outpatient Treatment

Any effective treatment program should address an individual’s physical, psychological, emotional, and social problems. Services that are appropriate for people’s age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy status, and parenting status increases their chances of success.

Five Signs of Quality Treatment*

  1. Accreditation: Has the program been licensed or certified by the state? Is the program currently in good standing in the state? Are the staff qualified?
  2. Medication: Does the program offer FDA approved medication for recovery from alcohol and opioid use disorders? At this point in time, there are no FDA approved medications to help prevent relapse from other problem substances.
  3. Evidence-Based Practices: Does the program offer treatments that have been proven to be effective in treating substance use disorders including medication management therapies, such as motivational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, drug and alcohol counseling, education and peer support?
  4. Families: Does the program include family members in the treatment process?
  5. Supports: Does the program provide ongoing treatment and support beyond just treating the substance issues?

*Information taken from SAMHSA


A process that lasts for several days, detoxification allows the body to rid itself of a large amount of alcohol or other drugs. It requires medical supervision, either at a hospital or treatment facility.

Detoxification may be the best option

check If someone cannot stop drinking or using drugs even for a few days.
check If a person shows signs of withdrawal (for example, shaking, sweating, irritability, agitation).
check If a person has other medical problems that would need monitoring when all substance use had stopped.

If addicts detox on their own by stopping their drinking or drug use, the process can be medically dangerous and even fatal.  Detoxification is most effective when followed by referral to additional drug treatment.

Detoxification options in Gallatin County are limited. Contact us at 406-586-5493 to learn more.

Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment

Both outpatient and inpatient treatment usually include individual and group therapy, couples or family therapy, education about the nature of addiction, medications when indicated, and 12-step programs.

Long-term treatment yields the best results with drug addiction.

Outpatient Treatment takes place at a hospital or a treatment facility. The person remains living at home and attends the program during the day. Most provide about 2-6 hours per week of care.

People in outpatient treatment need to be prepared to face the “real world” during each
day of treatment. Although people in treatment still face challenges, the day-to-day
“tests” of their recovery may actually strengthen their resolve and coping methods.

Outpatient treatment may be the best option if the person

check Wants or needs to continue going to work everyday, since there is no job interruption with outpatient treatment.
check Does not have the means to pay for it – outpatient treatment is considerably less expensive.
check Wants to be with their family.
check The situation at home involves support and assistance for attending the program and will be free of exposure to drinking and drug use.

A partial hospitalization program is a more intense form of outpatient treatment. People live at home and attend treatment during the day for 3 to 12 hours per day for 3 to 7 days a week.

Inpatient Treatment requires staying for a period of time at a treatment facility. The first phase of recovery can be intense, so being away from home gives people the time and space they need to start their recovery.

Inpatient treatment may make the most sense if the person has

check Already tried outpatient treatment and it didn’t seem to work.
check Medical problems such as heart problems, liver problems, digestive problems, infections, intense depression, or anxiety that require more than the usual attention.
check A chaotic home or social situations that undermine recovery.
check A home so far away from an outpatient treatment program that regular attendance isn’t practical.

Inpatient care has its drawbacks. People who travel far from their communities to receive treatment have to work harder to connect to aftercare services and self-help group support once they return home. Their treatment program should help them make those connections before they leave.

checkAlcohol and Drug Services of Gallatin County can make referrals for inpatient care.

Other Useful Consumer Guide Pages: Youth Substance Abuse Indicators| Stages of Substance Abuse | Other Considerations
 Other Programs Offered by ADSGC | Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient services are available with Alcohol and Drug Services