Substance use disorders (SUD) have affected millions of Americans for years. Recently, COVID-19 created a national surge of stress and anxiety, leading to a higher volume of substance abuse. 

While COVID-19 was in full swing, the opioid epidemic still ravaged. Perhaps hit hardest was Massachusetts. The state experienced a rise in drug abuse in the years 2019 and 2020. 

Programs such as inpatient rehabs, outpatient programs, and detox in Massachusetts can help someone recover from a substance use disorder. 

Different Treatment Options in Massachusetts 

In 2019, it was reported that among the 21.6 million people who needed substance abuse treatment, only 2.6 million received it in a treatment center. This leaves close to 20 million people untreated for a serious mental health disorder. 

The problem is the same in Massachusetts; amongst state residents, about 10% meet the criteria for an SUD. However, many don’t receive treatment. Substance abuse also affects its youth, with 20.1% of people aged 12 to 20 engaging in binge drinking

Addiction treatment is available to recover from the psychological, physical, and emotional abuse substances inflict. There are a variety of options that treat different levels of addiction. 

These include:

  • inpatient rehab
  • outpatient rehab
  • medical detoxification 
  • aftercare services 

Below we’ll take a deeper look into each option. 

Inpatient Rehabilitation 

Out of all the types of treatment programs, inpatient programs are the most intensive. This option provides patients with an all-encompassing experience and has the best chance of leading someone to a successful recovery. 

The big difference between inpatient and other options is that patients live on-site for a set amount of time. This can be anywhere from three months to a year. There are private residential treatment programs and inpatient programs run by hospitals. Both typically offer medical care provided by trained professionals. 

Patients can expect a well-rounded experience, which includes: 

  • medication-assisted treatment 
  • group counseling and therapy 
  • individual therapy and counseling 
  • sober activities
  • dual diagnosis treatment 

People with a long history of drug abuse usually attend inpatient programs, since they need a full reconstruction of mind, body, and spirit to fully recover. Inpatient programs allow patients to step away from life’s stressors and fully commit to a new way of life in sobriety. 

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient programs are a step down from the inpatient option. In all of the outpatient options, patients do not live on site. These are used by those who may have a less severe addiction history, but still have felt the consequences of a substance use disorder and need help. Others may step down to an outpatient program after inpatient or residential care.

There are a few different options for outpatient programs. These include:

  • Standard outpatient program: Patients attend hour-long group and individual therapy one to three times a week. 
  • Intensive outpatient programs: Patients attend sessions three to five times a week.  
  • Partial hospitalization programs: This is the most intensive type of outpatient program. Patients attend all-day treatment five to seven times weekly, which may include medical care. 


For those who are currently in an active addiction and experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms, medical detoxification is the safest way to recover.  

In a detox center, patients will receive medical care and monitoring. This includes:

  • medicine to curb withdrawal symptoms 
  • vitamins and fluids to rebuild body strength
  • 24/7 supervision 

Some decide to go “cold turkey,” which means to quit substances altogether and detox at home without any medical help. However, the symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol and certain drugs can cause serious health complications and may be dangerous. This is why it’s always best to detox under the supervision of medical professionals. 

Aftercare Services 

Aftercare services are usually offered once inpatient or outpatient treatment in Massachussetts has been completed. The point of these services is to assist a newly sober person as they transition back into regular life. 

After care may include:

  • sober living and transitional homes: housing under the expectation that residents will attend 12-step meetings, in-house meetings, and remain sober during their stay. 
  • 12-step group meetings: AA and NA meetings are free to attend and provide fellowship, a spiritual system, and practical advice on how to maintain life-long sobriety. 

Finding Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts 

If you or a loved one have a substance use disorder, you can enroll in any of the above-mentioned treatment options today. With the right help, you can find healing in sobriety.