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Rehab Centers in Washington, D.C.

In the last decade, more people than ever sought help at rehab centers in D.C. Treatment centers report that more than 60% of admissions are involved in crack, cocaine, or heroin. According to rehabilitation centers in D.C., the District of Columbia has recovery programs for any struggling individual. Programs range from affordable to private and high-end. 

It is not uncommon for people to seek treatment in surrounding states such as Virginia or Maryland. Since D.C. is mainly a metropolitan area, many people seeking treatment hope to step away from the pressure and pace of the city for their recovery.

Drug Use in Washington, D.C.

Historically, the U.S. capital ranks among the highest rates of substance use in the country. Residents of D.C. are arrested more for cocaine than any other substance each year. Another growing issue in D.C. is synthetic marijuana. The number of people requiring hospitalization for issues involving synthetic marijuana increases each year. 

There was an average of 20 hospitalizations every month from synthetic marijuana between 2012 and 2013. By 2015, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that this number has risen from 20 hospitalizations per month to 20 hospitalizations per day. 

Drug Use and Addiction Statistics in D.C.

  • In 2007, 37% of D.C. residents arrested tested positive for cocaine.
  • In mid-2015, almost 450 people were hospitalized for issues involving synthetic marijuana abuse. 
  • From 2007 to 2015, the rate at which people transmitted HIV through intravenous drug use dropped by 80%

Marijuana Laws in Washington, D.C. 

Since February 2015, recreational marijuana use became legal for the first time in Washington, D.C. The Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014 allows DC residents to:

  • Possess no more than 2 ounces of marijuana
  • Grow no more than six cannabis plants at home; three may be mature plants
  • Sell and use drug paraphernalia for the purpose of processing or growing marijuana
  • Give someone up to one ounce of marijuana without payment (if the person is over 21 years of age)

Drug Programs in DC

Washington, D.C. offers many services and harm reduction programs to addicted people. Some of the programs focus on helping people recover from addiction, while others work to prevent harm to current drug users. These services include:

Syringe Exchanges

Since 2009, D.C. has worked hard to reduce the spread of diseases like HIV. In 2009, the state saw epidemic proportions of HIV rates. Syringe exchanges give intravenous drug users access to clean syringes, which, in turn, has lowered the amount of HIV transmission.

Naloxone Distribution

Naloxone is a substance that blocks the effects of opiates, such as heroin. Both medical and non-medical personnel have access to naloxone in DC. This drug has the ability to prevent fatal overdose situations. Washington, D.C. also offers training on how to administer naloxone. 

911 Good Samaritan Law

This law protects anyone from being arrested after calling emergency services for help during a drug overdose. The Good Samaritan Law accounts for the possession of small amounts of drugs. Therefore, it does not protect someone with the intent to sell or traffic drugs.

Planning an Intervention 

When done with proper preparation, interventions are often successful. A good intervention is uncomfortable but can be life-changing for everyone involved, especially the addicted person themself.

What is an Intervention?

Interventions are planned and thoroughly organized meetings designed to speak with someone about their destructive life patterns and habits. Interventions are often the starting point in which a struggling person becomes aware of the severity of their behavior and addiction. Most interventions involve close friends and family with a well-thought-out plan. The goal of an intervention is to guide someone to make a decision that they should seek treatment for their addiction.

rehab dc

How to Plan an Intervention

The first step in planning an intervention is putting together a team. This core group of organizers, as mentioned, should include close friends and family, and sometimes even coworkers. Do not involve anyone in the process that has current substance use issues. 

It is important to learn about addiction and the recovery process. Therefore, consult your local rehabilitation centers in DC. Another key point is to plan what each participating member will cover during the intervention. Ensure no one involved comes from a place of blame or attack. Remain genuine and let your loved one know they will be supported every step of the way.

Lastly, understand that it is impossible to plan for every single outcome of the intervention. The best thing you can do is be ready for each likely outcome, though. After the intervention, follow up with the struggling person. It can be extremely damaging if the intervention team falls through with their offered support. 

Hiring a Professional Interventionist  

Hiring an interventionist is always recommended for an intervention. Whether it’s a social worker or an intervention specialist, they can help with many aspects of the intervention. To find an interventionist, you can:

  • Get a referral from a therapist
  • Ask family or friends for a recommendation
  • Call a rehab in Washington, D.C., or somewhere local to you

What is Addiction?

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), affects people’s behavior and thought processes. This is why people struggling with addiction have questionable lifestyle choices. People with addiction may feel powerless to stop their habits even if they know it’s dangerous. 

Long-term substance abuse leads to changes in brain structure which may be expressed in intense drug or alcohol cravings. Addiction is especially dangerous because of increased tolerance levels. When people use substances for a long period, their tolerance increases, urging them to use more of the substance to reach their desired high. Though the tolerance is increased, the body is still dealing with an overwhelming amount of the drug or alcohol, sometimes leading to an overdose. 

Understanding the Impact of Addiction

Addiction can look different in any circumstance. Addiction is known as a brain disease, and it may have a unique impact on any individual it affects. The symptoms of addiction are expressed emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you are considering confronting someone about addiction, it is crucial to be understanding and knowledgeable. 

Treatment at Rehabilitation Centers in D.C.

Professional treatment is by far the best way to fight addiction. Drug programs in DC offer people a variety of treatment options that cover the entire spectrum of addiction. Some programs offered at rehab centers in DC include:


There are many dangers and risks associated with drug detoxification. Because of this, most programs involve the guidance of clinical professionals to ensure proper care is given so that safety can be maintained throughout the process. A foundation for a long-lasting recovery is established through detox as it helps rid any toxins leftover in an individual’s system following substance use. Detox programs are a great tool used prior to intensive treatment.

Residential Treatment 

Inpatient drug rehab centers in DC provide people with a live-in facility to help them heal from their addiction and recover. Residential treatment is life-changing for many patients, depending on each individual’s needs. The approximate length of time of inpatient treatment is one to three months, though some individuals stay much longer. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs offer most of the same resources as inpatient. However, patients are not required to live at a facility while enrolled, allowing them to return home after completing their daily treatment. Some outpatient programs require 10 or so hours each week and allow patients time to continue with everyday life obligations such as work and school.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

IOPs are a level of care that falls in between outpatient and traditional residential treatment programs. IOPs require slightly more time, typically 12 to 15 hours per week. Still, they provide proven treatments for addiction recovery with options like individual therapy, group therapy sessions, or family-focused therapies.

Therapy in Treatmentrehab dc

Rehab centers in Washington, D.C., use proven therapeutic treatments alongside traditional programs to best help their clients. Studies consistently express the correlation between mental health issues and addiction. Therefore, mental health treatment is a high priority within addiction recovery programs.

Individual Therapy 

In individual therapy, a therapist and their patient discuss any triggers and challenges that may be affecting the person’s addiction and recovery. In these sessions, they’ll find out how these behaviors affect them as well as learning ways to cope with their feelings. The setting of individual therapy will allow for personal growth while also providing security, so there is no fear or hesitation when it comes to expressing one’s emotions about treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is one of the most common forms of psychotherapy used in addiction treatment. CBT helps patients understand their behavior and thought patterns. This form of therapy focuses on changing bad cognitive and behavioral habits while replacing them with healthier ones. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Unlike CBT, DBT focuses on acceptance instead of change. Dialectical behavior therapy works well for patients with challenging issues to treat. Therapists that use DBT are focusing on developing these skills in their patients:

  • Mindfulness
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotional regulation

Group Therapy 

Group therapy is used to develop interpersonal skills in its participants. Patients take turns expressing and evaluating their struggles, emotions, experiences, and goals during a session. The group environment represents real-life scenarios where patients can utilize new healthy coping habits they learn from the sessions. 

Studies consistently show proven benefits of supportive environments offered by both individual or group therapy for mental health issues like depression or anxiety disorders.

Family Therapy

Family therapy helps mend broken family bonds and relationships. Addiction affects the entire family, not just one individual.  Family therapy allows family members to get a chance to express themselves about their struggling loved one during treatment. These sessions may include different therapeutic techniques, including communication exercises between each member of the household.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic treatments help patients with complex conditions like depression, addiction, and anxiety. Most treatment centers combine traditional methods with holistic therapies to give their patients the best resources for recovery. Holistic therapy does not focus on symptoms. Instead, it focuses on finding a person’s roots of issues from where they originated from.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

As mentioned, addiction and mental health often go hand in hand. Finding a rehab in DC is essential if you or your loved one are struggling with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues. Dual diagnosis programs treat each mental health issue together while developing the best strategy for recovery.

Paying For Treatment

Ultimately, the cost of treatment should not be a deterring factor when considering rehabilitation. Addiction treatment is known to save lives. Rehab centers in Washington, D.C., accept many insurance coverages and also offer payment plans and other reasonable methods for those who can’t afford treatment.

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a useful tool many Americans use to receive treatment. The act was initially designed to extend insurance coverage to uninsured citizens of the US. The act also requires insurance plans to cover more essential health benefits, including mental health care.

Family Medical Leave Act

The FMLA lets people take unpaid leave with job security for various circumstances. This allows people to enroll in addiction treatment and take leave from their job while ensuring they can return upon recovery.


Each state has resources for people dealing with addiction. Here are a few options that may help during any stage of the treatment and recovery process.

Alcoholics Anonymous

AA programs include open and closed meetings. Open meetings are open to the public and family members. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous have access to closed meetings, which generally consist of the same members.

Narcotics Anonymous 

NA meetings are similar to AA. The main difference is that Narcotics Anonymous deals mainly with substances, not only limited to alcohol. 

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery uses the 12-Step process without including religion. If you are looking for a non-religious-based, 12-Step program, SMART Recovery is an excellent resource.

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a 12-Step program based on recovery through religion and the gospel of Jesus. 

Get Connected With Rehab Centers in Washington, D.C.

At Addiction Intervention, we can help you make the right choice for your substance use treatment. We have many connections that can get you or your loved one started on the journey to recovery today. If you are looking for more information or have any questions, please call us today.