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Addiction Treatment in Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest city in the state, with a population of over 400,000. With its Midwestern charm, it seems like an ideal place to live, and in many ways, it is. Like many urban centers, Omaha has its fair share of issues with drug and alcohol abuse. Fortunately, Omaha drug rehabs are here to help.

If you live in Omaha, and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.


About Omaha, Nebraska & Demographics

Omaha, Nebraska has several distinctive neighborhoods, including Miracle Hills, Boys Town, Regency, Gateway, Elmwood Park, Little Italy, and Greek Town. Omaha has a relatively high poverty rate, at 16.8%, which is higher than the state’s average of 12.6%. Omaha has a median income of $51,407, which is also below the state’s median household income of $54,996. Omaha’s population is 73.1% white, 13.7% African American, 13.1% Hispanic or Latino, and 2.4% Asian.

Omaha Drug Use

Perhaps due in part to the high level of poverty, Omaha has a relatively high rate of drug abuse. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program coordinates drug control efforts across agencies, and the Midwest HIDTA includes Omaha, which is one of the Midwest’s four primary drug markets.

Drug use is a major area of concern for Omaha law enforcement. Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels across much of the country, and it’s a concern in Omaha as well. In particular, people are becoming to prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, Percocet, and hydrocodone, then switching over to heroin.

The biggest area of concern, though, is methamphetamine, also known as meth. Meth is an addictive stimulant, and it is the top concern of law enforcement in Omaha. In 2016, there were 668 meth-related arrests in Omaha.

Nebraska Drug Addiction

Omaha’s meth problem is indicative of a larger, statewide problem with meth use. Statewide, meth accounted for 93% of all drug prosecutions. According to a 2009-2010 survey, 7.01% of Nebraskans reported having used illegal drugs in the previous 30 days. In 2011, 35% of all drug treatments were for stimulants, which include meth.

This doesn’t mean that Nebraska has been immune from the opioid crisis. In 2015, 54 people died from an opiate overdose. This has led to a statewide prescription monitoring system, which was put in place to prevent overdosing from prescription medications.

Binge drinking and marijuana use are also statewide areas of concern. With the legalization of recreational marijuana in neighboring Colorado, law enforcement officials are especially worried about driving under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana was tied to half of all the drug-related fatalities from 2011-2014, and there is worry that this number will increase with Colorado’s legalization.

When It’s Time to Get Help

If you feel like your drinking or drug use is taking over your life, it might be time to seek help. Although it’s tempting to go it alone, your chances of making a full recovery are much greater if you work with a treatment program. There are numerous treatment options available to meet your needs and your financial situation. If it’s time to get help, then your first step is to contact a treatment program to find out your options.


Your first contact with a treatment center is called pre-intake. Whether it’s by phone, in person, or online, you’ll be asked some basic information about your situation, along with some personal information like your name and age. If you have any initial questions about treatment, pre-intake is a great time to ask them. They can provide you with basic program information and options so you can determine the best course of action for you.


Intake is the next step in starting your treatment program. It’s your formal “entry” into treatment. During intake, you’ll be filling out forms. These may include questionnaires about your health, personal life, and drug or alcohol abuse history. These forms help your treatment team get to know you and formulate a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

Intake is also when your financial arrangements are made, so you don’t need to worry about them while you’re going through your recovery. Your treatment center can help determine what your insurance will cover and assist with making financial arrangements that meet your needs.

If you’re entering a residential treatment center, you’ll also get a chance to see where you’re going to be staying. The center will provide you with information about your schedule, whether you’ll have a roommate, and when and if you can receive visitors. They may also have items you can and cannot bring with you to the treatment facility.

You may also have your first individual counseling appointment as a part of your intake process. This is to help give your treatment team insight into how best to approach your situation and assist you on the road to recovery.

Throughout intake, it’s vital that you feel comfortable. If you have any questions or concerns about the treatment program, don’t hesitate to let your treatment team know. They are there to help you.

Once you’ve completed intake, then you’ll either begin treatment or start detox.


Assessment typically takes place during your intake. During assessment, your treatment team members get to know you and your situation. They find out your personal history, your history with drug or alcohol abuse, and your present needs in order to formulate a plan that will be effective in helping you recover from your addiction.

One of the team members you’ll meet with is a doctor or other medical professional. Your doctor will ask you questions and may have you fill out standardized forms regarding your health history. They will also take blood and urine samples and do an overall physical. This is done to determine whether you still have drugs or alcohol in your system and to check and see if you have any other health issues that might effect your treatment.

A therapist or other mental health professional will also assess you. They will ask you to fill out standardized questionnaires, and will also meet with you to ask further questions. This is to get to know your mental health history and to determine if you have other underlying issues that also need to be addressed in treatment, such as anxiety or depression.

During assessment, your treatment team will determine whether you need to start with detox or if you can directly enter into your treatment program.


Detox, short for detoxification, is the first step of treatment for many. Detox is the process of getting rid of the drugs or alcohol present in your system. This causes withdrawal, which can be severe. Due to the potential side effects of withdrawal, it’s often recommended that detox take place in a medically supervised setting, such as a hospital or residential treatment center. This allows the staff to assist you with withdrawal symptoms.


Withdrawal is one of the most intimidating aspects of detox. It can be managed, though, with assistance from medical professionals. To help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms, medical staff will monitor you and prescribe appropriate medications to help you deal with your symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the type of substance you’re withdrawing from. Withdrawal can last from several hours up to a few days or more. The length of time depends on the type of substance, the amount of the substance you were taking, and how long the substance typically lasts in your system.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

Alcohol withdrawal can be especially severe for heavy, long-term users. Symptoms may include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Trembling
  • Anxiety

Depending on the substance, there are some symptoms that can be dangerous. These include:

  • Long-term drug abuse can lead to hallucinations and paranoia. This can be compounded if you have underlying psychiatric issues as well.
  • Medical illness. Chronic pain is the reason many become addicted to opiates in the first place. Withdrawing from opiates may lead to feeling the underlying pain. These symptoms can be alleviated with other pain relievers.
  • Self-harm. Withdrawal can lead to feelings of depression. This can lead to thought of self-harm. These feelings are temporary, and your detox staff is there to help you through.

Going through withdrawal can sound scary, but you can make it through with support from loved ones and your detox staff members.

Medications Used During Detox

To alleviate your withdrawal symptoms, your detox staff members may utilize prescription medications. These are to be used as directed, and you may continue taking these while you’re going through treatment. Some of the most common medications used in detox are:

  • Those going through opiate withdrawal can use methadone. It helps to alleviate cravings and lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Many take it long-term to help them through their recovery from opiate use.
  • This is also prescribed for those going through opiate withdrawal. It helps lower cravings and eases withdrawal symptoms.
  • This can be used to treat alcohol and opiate withdrawal symptoms. It can be given once per month by injection, so it’s easy to remember.
  • These are sedatives, so they can reduce the anxiety associated with withdrawal.
  • These help alleviate the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • This is used for those withdrawing from alcohol and helps return brain function to normal levels.

Once you’ve completed detox, it’s time to begin the next phase of your treatment. Depending on your needs and the recommendations of your treatment team, your treatment may be at an inpatient center or through an outpatient treatment center.

Omaha, Nebraska Rehab - Inpatient Treatment Centers

If your addiction is severe, or you simply need to focus on your recovery without the distractions of day-to-day life, then inpatient treatment might be the best option for you. Inpatient treatment means that you live at the treatment center full-time. Your room and board are taken care of, and you can focus exclusively on your recovery.

Inpatient treatment centers offer a wide variety of services. Stays at an inpatient treatment center can last for a week or two, or up to one month or more. The length of stay depends on your needs.

Residential Treatment Centers

Residential treatment centers are facilities where you live during your treatment and recovery. They offer different services to help enhance your recovery. During a typical day, you’ll participate in individual and group therapy as well as educational classes. These help you develop the tools that you’ll need once you re-enter the “real world.”

Some treatment centers offer amenities like spa services, horseback riding, or even golf. You can find out exactly what your treatment program offers during your intake. Depending on the facility, you may have your own room, or you may share a room with one or more other participants in treatment.

Residential treatment centers offer a respite from the pressures of your day-to-day life. You can focus exclusively on recovery without worrying about meals, friends, and work. It’s intensive, but you have support around the clock for whatever you might need.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs combine the intensity of inpatient programs with the flexibility of outpatient programs. In a partial hospitalization program, you go to the treatment center three to five days per week for six to eight hours per day. During your treatment day, you have a structured schedule of therapy and educational programs.

Partial hospitalization programs can be a good option if you have a supportive place to stay while you’re going through recovery, or if you have real-world obligations such as children or other family members to care for. These programs also give you the chance to apply what you’re learning during treatment to your life in real time.

Omaha, Nebraska Rehab - Outpatient Treatment Centers

Outpatient treatment centers provide intensive treatment without requiring you to stay on-site. Programs vary, but most give you the flexibility to take care of family obligations or even work while you’re going through treatment. If you have family to support, outpatient programs can help you recover while still meeting the needs of your family.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs provide you with structure and treatment, but on a flexible schedule. Programming may take place during the day or even in the evening to accommodate your work schedule or child care needs. Intensive outpatient programs include group and individual counseling as well as educational programs. You typically would attend treatment 10-12 hours per week or more to start, and then would attend less often as you progress through your recovery.


Regardless of the type of treatment program you choose, therapy is a central part of helping you recover. There are a number of therapy approaches available, and your treatment program may use one or several in order to help you develop the tools you need to stay healthy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, focuses on your thinking. It teaches you to recognize unhealthy or irrational thought patterns and then challenge those thoughts. Irrational, negative thinking can lead to unwanted feelings and behaviors. In CBT, you learn to reframe and challenge those thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive thoughts and behaviors. CBT is typically a part of individual therapy.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, combines group and individual therapy. It gives you tools to manage uncomfortable or unwanted thoughts and feelings so you can better cope with life without using drugs or alcohol. DBT teaches specific skills, including mindfulness, which is observing your thoughts without judgment, interpersonal skills, to help you better understand your relationships, distress management, which helps you experience distress without turning to alcohol or drugs, and emotional regulation, which helps you understand your triggers and how to effectively deal with them. 

Contingency Management

Contingency management provides you with a physical reward for staying clean. You might receive vouchers or drawing tickets for a larger prize. Typically, the longer you stay clean and sober, the larger the incentive. Staying clean can be difficult, and it can be a boost to receive a tangible gift for the hard work you’re doing.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is used to process trauma. Many individuals who experience addiction have had one or more traumatic events in their lives. These events may include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, witnessing violence, or abandonment by a loved one. EMDR helps you process and work through traumatic events. During EMDR, you recall thoughts and feelings associated with the event while following an object that moves back and forth through your field of vision, or while the therapist taps on your hands. This helps your brain fully reprocess the events and lessen their impact.

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is often used with young adults or adolescents. In MDFT, the therapist meets with the young person and parents separately as well as together. When meeting with the young person, the therapist helps them learn skills to better be able to solve problems, deal with peers, and make healthier choices. When meeting with the parents, the therapist helps them learn how to have a happier and healthier relationship with their child. When the family meets together, the therapist helps them integrate everything they’ve learned individually.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational interviewing, or MI, helps you determine the reasons you want to make changes in your life. Understanding the “whys” behind your addiction can help you make positive changes from within, rather than responding to outside pressure. If you know your motivations, it can help you make lasting changes. In MI, your therapist helps you uncover your thoughts and feelings around change so you can make positive choices and changes.

The Matrix Model

The Matrix Model combines different therapy approaches into an organized, intensive treatment plan. Treatment with the Matrix Model is designed to last 16 weeks, but treatment can be extended if needed. In the Matrix Model, the therapist acts as a coach and facilitator. The therapist is expected to build a respectful relationship with the client, as well as provide educational programming and encouragement.

When you begin treatment under the Matrix Model, you start with an Early Recovery Skills (ERS) group. This group teaches you essential skills to help you in your first month of sobriety. From there, you also attend a relapse prevention group, which helps you learn to recognize difficult situations and work your way through them so you stay sober.

Family typically participates in a family education group. This teaches your family members how to support you as you recover. You also attend a social support group. This helps you relearn positive social skills so you can have better relationships with the people in your life, including friends, family, and coworkers.

Periodic, random drug testing is also a part of the Matrix Model. If you have a positive result, you aren’t punished. Instead, you discuss your situation and continue to recover from your addiction.

You’re also encouraged to participate in community-based support groups like 12-step programs. These programs can help you stay clean and sober once you leave treatment.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an essential component of recovery for many. Group therapy consists of a group leader, who is usually a social worker, substance abuse counselor, or psychologist, and group members. Group members include others who are in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Groups may also have an additional focus, such as groups for women, groups for teens, or groups for LGBTQ individuals.

In group therapy, you may participate in educational programming, learn skills to help with your recovery, or share your challenges and experiences. You can learn from the challenges and experiences of others, and you can provide help to other group members by sharing your own challenges and how you’ve overcome them. Participating in group therapy can help you feel less isolated and boost your confidence.


Recovery is an ongoing process, and it continues after you’ve completed your initial treatment program. This process of continuing care is called aftercare. For aftercare to be effective and help prevent relapses, it should address your needs. These include your needs for:

  • Addiction damages the body. After you complete your treatment program, you should continue to see a doctor regularly and take any medications you’ve been prescribed on a consistent basis.
  • If you’re leaving an inpatient treatment program, you need a place to stay that’s safe, secure, and supports your continued recovery.
  • When you’re struggling with an addiction, getting your drug of choice can become the sole purpose in your life. As you leave treatment, it’s important to find new ways to find purpose and meaning in your life.
  • It’s very difficult to recover in isolation. It’s vital to have people in your life who care about and support you as you continue your recovery.

Sober Living

If you’re leaving an inpatient treatment program, so simply need a bit more structure and support as you continue your recovery, sober living can be an excellent option. Sober living homes provide a safe place for you to live while you recover.

Sober living homes vary in terms of their structure and rules. Most have a curfew, or a time you’re required to be home in the evening. You may have to contribute to the household by doing chores or by paying rent and utilities. You may also be required to have a job or be actively seeking employment. Your sober living home may also have group meetings that you’re required to attend.

Sober living homes provide structure and community while you learn to live back in the “real world.” If you’re experiencing challenges, you have roommates you can turn to for support. Being a part of the home can give you a sense of purpose as you get back on your feet.

Support Groups

Support groups are a powerful tool for continuing your recovery. You can find support groups through your treatment center, local non-profit organization, and churches. Many support groups are 12-step programs. 12-step programs have steps you work through as you recover from addiction. These steps include making amends to people you may have harmed and contributing to the support group. 12-step groups include Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Other support groups have different structures and focuses. You can find support groups for women or for LGBTQ individuals, among others. During support groups, you can share your experiences, help advise and mentor others in recovery, and learn new skills and tools for recovery. You may make new friends and gain a sense of belonging.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling can provide vital support as you continue your recovery. During individual counseling, you can focus on the challenges and needs of your life, and gain tools for dealing with those challenges. You may be able to continue with a counselor you saw in your treatment program, or you may need to seek out a new therapist.

If you need to find a new therapist, you can ask your doctor, treatment center, or local non-profit organizations for recommendations. You may want to meet with two or three counselors in order to find someone you’re comfortable with long-term.

What happens after discharge?