Know Who to Call

Assessment? Detox? Inpatient or outpatient? It can be hard to navigate the various services and treatment options available to those who struggle with addiction. Here’s how to make sense of the services and resources available in Snohomish County.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment Professionals

Many different kinds of professionals provide treatment for substance use disorders (addiction). In most treatment programs, the primary caregivers are specially trained, certified, and/or licensed as substance abuse treatment counselors. Most treatment programs assign patients to a treatment team of professionals. Depending on the type of treatment, teams can be made up of social workers, counselors, doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, or other professionals.

Clinical Assessment

A complete assessment of an individual is needed to help treatment professionals find the right type of treatment. The assessment also helps counselors work with the person to design an effective treatment plan. Although clinical assessment continues throughout a person’s treatment, it starts at or just before a person’s admission to a treatment program.

Detox Services or Withdrawal Management

Acute medical detox is often the first stage of care. Detox facilities provide services for those suffering from the effects of opioid abuse and other chemical intoxication. Withdrawing from opioids without medical assistance is not only uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. Most detox programs provide 24-hour monitoring by professionals who are trained to identify and treat the signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal.

Inpatient Treatment

Provided in special units of hospitals or medical clinics, inpatient treatment offers both detoxification and rehabilitation services. Because of changes in insurance coverage, inpatient treatment is no longer as common as it used to be.

Residential Programs

These provide a living environment with treatment services. Several models of residential treatment (such as the therapeutic community) exist, and treatment in these programs lasts from a month to a year or more. Residential programs are best for people who do not have stable living or employment situations and/or have limited or no family support.

Partial Hospitalization or Day Treatment Programs

Provided in hospitals or free-standing clinics, these programs provide treatment for 4 to 8 hours per day for people who usually live at home. These programs usually last at least 3 months and work best for people who have a stable, supportive home environment.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs provide treatment at a program site, but the person lives elsewhere (usually at home). Outpatient treatment is offered in a variety of places: health clinics, community mental health clinics, counselors’ offices, hospital clinics, local health department offices, or residential programs with outpatient clinics. Many meet in the evenings and on weekends so participants can go to school or work, and the programs last from about 2 months to 1 year.

Treatment Programs or Opioid Substitution Treatment

Many primary care providers in Snohomish County have completed special training to offer medication assisted treatment (MAT). These providers and clinics use medication such as suboxone, Vivitrol or methadone to help with cravings, as well as provide counseling and other services to complement the medication treatment.

DUI Assessment

A DUI assessment is a set of procedures set out in Washington State Administrative Code that involves a diagnostic assessment and interviewing with a Chemical Dependency Professional to gather information on alcohol/drug use history, as well as biological, psychological, and social histories. They also evaluate blood alcohol levels and prior arrest history, all with the goal to determine the needed level of intervention. This could include a class from an Alcohol/Drug Information School or differing levels of treatment, depending on the level of dependency and the probability of re-offending without intervention.

Alcohol & Drug Information School (ADIS)

If you have gotten a DUI and if your drinking/drug use does not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of addiction to alcohol/drugs, you will still need to educate yourself on the effects of alcohol and drugs on the body and mind. To meet state requirements, it will be necessary to attend an eight hour class that covers information you need to make rational choices about alcohol and drug use.

Some of this information is from “What is Substance Abuse Treatment? A booklet for Families” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), Northwest Resources II, and Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers.