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Substance Use Treatment Options

What is a Substance Use Disorder (SUD)?

Substance use disorder (formerly referred to as substance abuse), drug use disorder, chemical dependency, and addiction), is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior. SUD results in an inability to control the use of drugs and/or alcohol leading to health problems or interfering with the ability to work, go to school, and maintain good relationships. Common substance use disorders include Alcohol Use Disorder, Tobacco Use Disorder, Opioid Use Disorder, Cannabis Use Disorder, Stimulant Use Disorder, or Hallucinogen Use Disorder.

When to Seek Help for Substance Use?

It can sometimes be difficult to recognize when substance use becomes a disorder (abuse and/or addiction). Signs of may include:

  • Reliance on the substance to get through the day
  • Needing more of substance to experience the same effect (without doctor’s guidance)
  • Needing to continually use to avoid symptoms of withdrawal (without doctor’s guidance)
  • Continuing to use even when it’s causing problems in your life
  • Spending more than you can afford to maintain a supply of substances

What are the Treatment Options for SUD?

Effective treatment for SUD will vary from person-to-person. Treatment options include medical and behavioral health services which are often used in combination.

  • Detoxification – is the process of eliminating opioids from the body.  It usually consists of three steps – evaluation, stabilization, and transition into treatment.  Offered in a wide variety of settings and at varying intensity levels.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids and is also sometimes used for alcohol use disorders. MAT combines behavioral therapy and medications to ease the symptoms of withdrawal, reduce cravings, and block the brain’s ability to experience substance’s effects.
  • Individual and Group Counseling – assessment, treatment planning, and counseling services offered by trained professionals, focused on reducing or stopping substance use, may take place in a private practice, outpatient facility, or inpatient/residential facility
  • Inpatient and Residential Treatment – address more severe dependency and addiction requiring round-the-clock attention, residents are placed in 24-hour care and may receive both medical and behavioral health services
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation – typically addresses less severe substance use issues, treatment may include counseling, therapy and drug education
  • Support Groups and 12-Step Programs – non-clinical services often provided by peers or others in recovery, (including organization like Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, Face It Together, etc) typically used in combination with treatment. 
  • Specialized Living – provides safe and supportive living environments for those recovering from SUD who want to maintain abstinence from substances (i.e. halfway houses, recovery homes, sober living homes)

I Want Treatment. Where Do I Start?

Treatment typically begins with a general assessment in which the nature and extent of your dependency/addiction will be evaluated. This will determine which treatment options are best for you. To find a facility offering general assessments call the South Dakota Resource Hotline 1-800-920-4343 or text ‘OPIOID’ to 898211 or visit, enter your zip code and click on “A” for assessment locations. 

 How Can I Pay for Treatment?

Insurance companies are required to cover behavioral and mental health conditions in the way that they cover medical conditions. If you have insurance, check with your provider to see what they cover.

Many people may avoid treatment for their substance use disorder due to costs. Individuals who meet programmatic and financial eligibility guidelines or who have considerable personal circumstances, may qualify for state funded services. A trained clinician recommends treatment services based on the assessment which may include the treatment options listed above.

 For more information, call the Resource Hotline at 1-800-920-4343 or search the 211 resources online database:

    • Use the following keyword search terms:
      • Detoxification
      • General Assessment for Substance Use Disorder
      • Drug Use Disorder Support Groups
      • Integrated Care for Opioid Use Disorders
      • Medication Disposal
      • Medication Assisted Maintenance Treatment for Substance Use Disorders
      • Substance Use Disorder Counseling
      • Comprehensive Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment
      • Dual Diagnosis Support Groups
      • Inpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities
      • Recovery Homes/Halfway Houses
      • Residential Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities
      • Drug Use Disorder Education/Prevention
      • Substance Use Disorder Treatment Expense Assistance


 Disclaimer: This HelpSheet is developed by the Helpline Center. HelpSheets provide a brief overview of the designated topic. For more information, call 211 or text your zip code to 898211.

Updated: July 2019

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