Five Questions Frequently Asked by Families of Addicts – Question 2

After having worked in the field of addiction recovery for a decade, I have consistently seen many of the same questions asked by families of those with Addictions. Each week I am addressing one of the five of the most frequently asked questions I have heard regarding addiction and the treatment of addictions.

Families of Addicts Question #2- What Kind of Treatment Do They Need?

You know that your loved one needs treatment. But now what. What do you do? Where do you turn for help?

Treatment Options

There are many different types of treatment available to address addictions. Anything from hospital based inpatient care to outpatient treatments are available in the greater Knoxville area. There is no “one size fits all” treatment.  Some programs are weeks long and others can require a year long commitment. There are even treatment programs where woman can bring their children if needed. For those who need to continue to support their families while seeking care, there are intensive outpatient programs and outpatient therapies. Not all people who struggle with addictions will need inpatient or residential treatment. But most people benefit from some form of therapy to help address the issues that lead to addiction in the first place, gain relapse prevention education, and healthy coping skills.

Safety First

Safety is the first factor that plays a role in the level of care needed. The drugs abused and frequency of use play a vital role in whether or not someone will need to complete a detoxification program. For example, Alcohol and benzodiazepine (Xanax, Klonopin, etc.)  withdrawal can present with a multitude of symptoms including seizures and delirium tremens. Therefore, medically monitored detox is usually needed.

However, withdrawal from most opiates does not present any risk of death, but the withdrawal symptoms mimic flu symptoms and are very uncomfortable and painful. There are different treatments that can help alleviate those symptoms with and without medications. It is vitally important to seek professional help from a facility or a licensed therapist with determining the right treatment for a family member.

Which One to Choose?

Depending on the particular addiction and other factors there may be treatment options more clinically appropriate for certain people. If your loved one struggles with an addiction such as gambling, sexual additions, compulsive overeating, or video gaming, make sure the treatment provider is trained and experienced in working with those as they do have differences from Substance Use Disorders.

Another factor is to determine if your loved one is going to stay local for treatment or travel to another state to get help. I can see the benefit of both, but in my professional opinion having the option of being in treatment near your family and other sober supports is usually best. Quality programs will offer family sessions and/or education to the families as well. It is really hard to take advantage of that help if they are hundreds of miles away. Again, there are times that it is best for someone to seek treatment far away from home, but usually that is when they don’t have any sober supports near home or plan to relocate.

Therefore, do some research and feel free to contact local treatment centers and addiction professionals to ask what they offer, how they accept payments, and see if they are right for you and your family. Next week I will address how to get your loved one to actually go to treatment.



Kara is the owner of Logan Counseling Services, a private practice in Maryville, TN. She treats those who struggle with compulsive overeating, body shame, families of those struggling with addictions, video gaming addictions, and other compulsive disorders. Contact her at