Your Questions

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What is substance use
disorder (SUD)?

A substance use disorder (SUD) is defined as the persistent use of drugs, including alcohol, in ways that cause negative consequences. Unfortunately, 80% of those with a substance use disorder don’t get the care they need — and many people abandon their search for treatment altogether.

Navigator helps those with substance use disorders to locate effective and appropriate alcohol and drug rehab centers offering treatment such as intensive outpatient programs, residential, detox, and many more. Here are a few of the many types available:

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)

Outpatient treatment allows you the flexibility to continue to work or go to school and return to your home after treatment sessions. An intensive outpatient program (IOP) may include a period of detox when needed, both individual and group counseling — including family counseling — and aftercare services.

Residential programs

Residential programs require you to stay at the facility overnight in a 24/7 supervised and structured setting. Services are provided by a multidisciplinary team that may include medical, nursing, addiction, and behavioral health professionals. Programs may vary in intensity based on the service level offered by the facility. Residential services range from supportive to professionally or medically directed care and may include medication, individual and group counseling as well as other therapies.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

MAT combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapy. The medication is used to reduce the strength of cravings and symptoms associated with withdrawal. The course of medication prescribed to you will depend on your specific needs.


Detoxification involves stopping the use of drugs and alcohol and safely managing the withdrawal symptoms with medication and medical support. It can involve spending several hours and sometimes 1-4 days depending on the type of addiction and your medical condition. An evaluation with a substance use specialist will help identify whether you need to complete detox at a treatment center in the care of nurses and psychiatrists trained in detox or if you can be supported in an outpatient office. In some cases, virtual detox services are available that allow you to manage withdrawal symptoms in the comfort of your own home.

Dual diagnosis treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment is for those who have both a substance use disorder and mental health challenge, such as depression, anxiety or panic attacks, or paranoia. This treatment takes an integrated approach to work through both challenges.

Telehealth/online care

Telehealth or online care enables you to talk to a therapist from your own home. This kind of service has been particularly important during the COVID-19 crisis — helping people receive treatment such as detox, online recovery meetings, and important aftercare via HIPAA-compliant video-conferencing services such as Zoom.

Sober living

Sober living, known as halfway houses or sober living communities, supports those with substance use disorder by providing a place to live in a supportive sober community while attending outpatient or day treatment programs. There may be therapy sessions available, and you are able to come and go as you please during the day. The idea is to provide a safe place for residents to adjust back to everyday life following treatment — with the benefit of professional support close-by if you need it.


Inpatient care is a more intense type of treatment, with 24-hour nursing care and daily physician visits — like a hospital stay. Inpatient care occurs when there is an acute medical need for intensive oversight to assure your safety or more intensive medical support. If you meet the requirements for inpatient care, you may be hospitalized for several days and then referred to another service to continue your recovery.

A group of 4 individuals outside locking arms, representing a start to a new life with the help of substance use disorder treatment