The aim of specialist drug and alcohol treatment is to reduce the harm cause by drug use, support abstinence, prevent relapse and develop life and coping skills. There are different types of treatment programmes to cater for those at different stages in addressing substance misuse, for example stabilisation, detoxification, rehabilitation, step down and aftercare. These programmes can be provided by services on a residential/inpatient basis or on a non-residential/outpatient basis. Outpatient services are also sometimes called day services.
Residential/in-patient treatments are based in hospitals or other treatment facilities. The level of medical support can vary depending on the residential facility and the treatment provided. The duration of stay for residential services can be up to one month, from 1 to 3 months, or 3 months or longer. Some rehabilitation and step down services offer stays of over 6 months to 1 year.
Non residential, outpatient (or day services) are provided though health care or addiction treatment facilities over regular sessions where support from doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, key-workers, counsellors etc. may be available. Treatment in these services does not require an overnight stay.