Photo of addiction peer coach Terri Brown

Ask a coach

Terri helps members successfully navigate the process of getting well, including taking on the tough challenges and providing the support needed to live healthy lives.

Q: Do I really need to go to treatment or rehab?

A: Clinical inpatient treatment is an important option for those who suffer from severe addiction. Additionally, medically-managed detox may be necessary in order for someone to safely start the treatment process. It’s important to see a qualified medical professional to assess whether this is needed.

Residential treatment does present some barriers – most notably cost and spending weeks away from family and work – but it is an effective modality for some people. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone needs such intense support.

There are many other options that are lesser known. Outpatient programs, peer coaching, therapy, support groups – all offer flexibility and allow people to stay connected in their daily lives. There’s a whole range of support systems that can help those struggling with addiction get well and stay well. Loved ones can offer important support when it comes to exploring those options.

These less intensive forms of support, as long as they are high quality, are often very effective for those with mild or moderate substance use problems. In fact, research shows the vast majority of those with substance use issues resolve them without formal clinical treatment. 

Every person is going to approach addiction recovery differently. Some appreciate structure, while others do best in a more relaxed environment. It’s important that everyone makes the decision for themselves and feels supported in their recovery.

That’s one of the reasons why I love being a peer coach – I’m able to be myself, build genuine relationships with members and offer help at whatever level works best for them. As a credentialed counselor or treatment practitioner, sharing personal stories is generally discouraged. I appreciate the freedom of sharing my experiences while guiding members wherever they need to go. 

So much surrounding addiction treatment is misunderstood and rigid. There are many effective, lesser-known options that may be a better fit for an individual. Often, learning more about those options helps recovery seem more manageable and taking that first step less intimidating.

Everyone is worthy of living a better life. Once an individual makes that decision, whatever path it may be, that’s when great things start to happen.

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