A Consumer’s Guide to Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment

On this page: If typical treatment methods didn’t work | Abstinence | Paying for treatment 

Here’s a checklist of characteristics of good quality treatment programs

check Is the program accredited or licensed?
check Are treatment services delivered by licensed or certified staff?
check Is the method of treatment based on an assessment of the severity of the problem, as well as the individual’s other psychiatric, medical and social needs?
check Is the type of treatment appropriate for the individual’s age, gender, and substance of choice?
check How the individual and family participate in the program also increase the chance of success.
check Was the person in treatment for a long enough period of time?
check Did the person attend all scheduled appointments?
check Did they receive the right medications?
check Did the person complete the program as outlined by the staff?
check Was the person involved in aftercare following the initial treatment experience?
check Were one or more family members willing to participate?
check Did the person receive any pressure or mandates to attend treatment?

If the person didn’t want to stay in treatment

check Was a treatment plan developed for the individual’s specific needs?
check Did it address all of their issues (including medical and social)?
check Was the plan modified as the person changed?
check Is there another problem, such as depression, that needs to be addressed simultaneously?
check Was the facility safe and clean?
check Did the person feel comfortable there?
check Did the person fit with the staff members and other treatment participants?

If typical treatments methods don’t work

Some individuals have found assistance by reaching out to members of their community to find others who have overcome addiction. There is a large and vibrant recovery community in Gallatin County. Members of this community can share their wisdom about what methods were helpful to them.

Other people find help attending bible-study classes, prayer groups, or taking on responsibilities in their local church. Such settings provide drug-free environments and encourage attendees to live by a set of values and ethics that include respecting themselves and others, which is consistent with recovery philosophy.


Most treatment programs in the United States view abstinence, or absolutely no substance use, as the only path to recovery.

Although some individuals, especially some young people, may be treated for “misuse” and return to moderate, non-problem use, research generally supports the need for abstinence as a treatment goal for those who have developed alcoholism or drug dependence.

Whether total abstinence is necessary or not is a decision to be made between the individual and the treatment provider.

Paying for Treatment

There are several options for paying for substance abuse treatment. However, these options do not cover all individuals.

National Healthcare Act: Most private health insurance plans provide coverage for treatment.

If you have private health insurance, call the toll-free number on the back of your card and ask about your treatment benefits, or talk to your employer’s human resources professional. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before making any arrangements. You don’t want to be blindsided by hidden costs.

In the event your insurance denies a claim, refer to your benefits plan for instructions on how to appeal.

Medicaid  is an insurance program for people who lack health insurance and meet certain financial thresholds. Individuals must apply for coverage in their state, and benefits are administered differently in various states. Learn more about Medicaid.

Medicare is an insurance program for people over 65 and people with disabilities. People who receive Medicare benefits can access Medicare benefits enrollment. Learn how to enroll.

Administration benefits are available to veterans and their families. Call 1-877-222-VETS.

Employee Assistance Plans: Some companies have employee assistance professionals available for employed individuals. Services may be provided on-site,or you may receive a list of substance use professionals in your area. Contact your company’s human resources office to learn more about this option.

College Students: Student health services often provide group and individual counseling for individuals with substance use problems. Contact the health or counseling center.

Clinical trials are services provided by researchers studying the effectiveness of a range of treatment methods, including counseling and medications. Often these services are provided free of charge because they are part of large research studies. Visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trial Network to see if there is a clinical trial taking place nearby.

Financial Aid: Many private treatment centers have financial aid that helps defray the expense. Contact treatment facilities directly about the availability of these funds. Family members who need to pay for treatment out of their own resources can work with treatment centers to create payment plans so that the entire sum does not need to be paid at the beginning.

Youth Substance Abuse Indicators| About Treatment | Other Options for Restoring Health
Substance Abuse Programs Offered by ADSGC