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Best Kentucky Rehabs

We plan on giving you all the information you need to choose the best alcohol and drug rehab in Kentucky. Kentucky is rather competitive for drug and alcohol rehabs. Being so competitive, it provides good options for those struggling with addiction. Choosing to kickstart your recovery in one of the best Kentucky rehabs could mean the difference between sustained recovery and relapse.

This guide explores what to expect from Kentucky and outlines the various treatment options for those ready to commit to recovery.

Background of Kentucky

Kentucky, a state of the Upper South, is located in the southeast of the United States.

Nicknamed the Bluegrass State, you can find vibrant cities, meandering trails, waterfalls, pastures, and the longest cave system in the world in Kentucky. The state is also the birthplace to the world famous Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The globally renowned Kentucky Derby takes place each year in Louisville, Kentucky. Horse racing is hugely popular throughout the state. Residents also have a passion for bluegrass music.

For those who choose to engage with addiction treatment in Kentucky, there is ample opportunity for reflecting and relaxing in the great outdoors. There is an abundance of rivers and lakes statewide. Beyond easy access to nature, you will also find hundreds of drug and alcohol rehabs in Kentucky.

Kentucky Substance Abuse Statistics

Kentucky has drug overdose death rates among the highest in the United States. In 2017, there were 1,160 fatal overdoses in Kentucky. Although this overdose rate fell to 989 deadly drug overdoses in 2018, this is still one of the highest rates of all states.

By 2020, the number of lethal overdoses in Kentucky again increased as lockdown measures and social distancing restrictions imposed during the pandemic led to a national increase in drug abuse and drug overdoses.

Historically, marijuana was the most abused illicit drug in Kentucky. Since the late 1990s when the opioid epidemic ignited, Kentucky has been hit especially hard. Fortunately, there has been a significant improvement since then. NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) reports the following statistics for Kentucky for the period from 2017 to 2018:

  • Decrease in deaths associated with prescription opioids from 433 to 315.
  • Almost a 50% reduction in fatal heroin overdoses.
  • No increase in fatal overdoses associated with synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Despite these improvements, prescription opioids and synthetic opioids remain the most significant cause of deadly overdoses in the state of Kentucky.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorder, also known as dual diagnosis, is when you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs and a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Data from NSDUH 2020 shows that 17 million U.S. adults had co-occurring disorders involving AMI (any mental illness) and substance use disorder), a dramatic increase from 9.7 million reporting the same dual diagnosis in 2019.

According to the same data, 5.7 million U.S. adults had co-occurring disorders involving an SMI (serious mental illness) and substance use disorder in the same year.

With co-occurring disorder, the addiction may involve any of these substances:

  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Crack
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Meth
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sleep aids and other prescription medications

The most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders among those with dual diagnosis are:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

When co-occurring disorders present, either the mental health condition or the addiction may develop first. No two cases of dual diagnosis are alike.

Integrated dual diagnosis treatment provides the smoothest path to recovery, enabling you to address both conditions simultaneously through personalized and coordinated therapies – more on these therapies directly below.

Treatment Options

Treatment for most addictions in Kentucky draws from the same evidence-based therapies. These pharmacological and behavioral interventions include:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Behavioral Therapies
  • Motivational Therapies

Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is a research-backed pharmacological intervention used for the treatment of alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder (whether prescription opioid, heroin, or fentanyl).

The FDA approves disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone for treating alcoholism. Buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone are indicated by the FDA for treating opioid addiction.

Medication-assisted treatment is always most effective when delivered as one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and psychotherapy.

These medications can reduce the severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms during detox. MAT can also help improve treatment retention and encourage ongoing abstinence throughout drug or alcohol rehab in Kentucky.

MAT programs also offer access to medications such as:

  • Sleep aids
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Anti-nausea medications

The primary goal of MAT is to help you maintain a full recovery from addiction without relapse.

Behavioral Therapies

SAMHSA data shows that treatment centers in Kentucky and throughout the United States use behavioral therapies as a core component of addiction treatment.

The most common behavioral interventions used in drug and alcohol rehabs are:

  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
  • DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

CBT sessions help you to reduce the problematic behaviors associated with substance abuse.

This evidence-based form of psychotherapy or talk therapy can be administered one-to-one or in group settings.

A cognitive behavioral therapist will guide you to identify your personal triggers for unhealthy behaviors like substance use. The therapist will then help you to create superior coping mechanisms.

The suite of skills you can acquire by engaging with CBT will be invaluable in your ongoing recovery.

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

DBT is a variant of CBT first developed to treat the symptoms of BPD (borderline personality disorder) and now used for the treatment of other mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and co-occurring disorders.

Sessions of dialectical behavior therapy can help you to accept uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, and behaviors more freely. As well as helping you to better tolerate emotional distress, you will also learn relaxation techniques in DBT sessions to help you become more aware of your emotions and your thoughts.

Motivational Therapies

Motivational therapy is another common intervention in Kentucky rehabs. This form of treatment incentivizes healthy behaviors to encourage abstinence during recovery. Motivational therapies are typically delivered in combination with behavioral therapies. Common examples include:

  • MI (Motivational Interviewing)
  • CRA (Community Reinforcement)
  • CM (Contingency Management)

MI (Motivational Interviewing)

Motivational interviewing involves an ongoing and collaborative dialogue between a qualified therapist and a client. The therapist does not approach the conversation from the standpoint of an expert. Instead, the therapist guides the client to make changes autonomously.

MI can strengthen your motivation for change and can also facilitate your ability to make those changes.

A therapist will help you to determine why you want to change based on your personal values and interests.

Motivational interviewing is a short-term treatment involving up to four sessions with a therapist.


CRA (Community Reinforcement)

CRA (community reinforcement approach) is most frequently used in outpatient rehab – more on this below.

CRA usually lasts for around six months of twice-weekly individual counseling sessions. These sessions help you to:

  • Learn strategies to prevent substance abuse.
  • Build a social support network.
  • Develop new hobbies and interests.
  • Engage with vocational counseling.

This intervention involves twice-weekly drug screens. Negative tests are rewarded with incentives like:

  • Vouchers
  • Social rewards
  • Recreational awards
  • Family awards

CRA is especially effective for the treatment of addictions to:

  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol

CM (Contingency Management)

Contingency management is a supplementary therapy that incentivizes positive behaviors with small rewards like vouchers for movies, retail goods, or groceries.

CM can be effective for the treatment of addictions to:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol
  • Meth
  • Prescription stimulants

Levels of Care

There are five levels of addiction treatment according to American Society of Addiction Medicine’s continuum of care as follows:

  1. Early intervention (level 0.5)
  2. Outpatient rehab (level 1)
  3. Intensive outpatient program (level 2.1) and partial hospitalization program (level 2.5)
  4. Inpatient/residential rehab (level 3)
  5. Intensive inpatient treatment (level 4)

Inpatient treatment, otherwise known as residential rehab, is the most intensive form of treatment commonly offered by Kentucky rehabs.

Most treatment centers in the Bluegrass State offer three types of inpatient program:

  • 30-day programs
  • 60-day programs
  • 90-day programs

Inpatient rehab in Kentucky is typically recommended for:

  • Moderate and severe substance use disorders or alcohol use disorders.
  • Co-occurring disorders.
  • Those with unstable home environments.

You will remain at the Kentucky inpatient rehab from detox to discharge.

Both inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer access to the same interventions outlined above.

Studies show that many mild addictions respond equally favorably to treatment in an outpatient setting. The core difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab is that you attend scheduled outpatient sessions and then return home rather than remaining at a residential rehab facility in Kentucky.

Most of the best Kentucky rehabs deliver three types of outpatient program in line with ASAM’s continuum of care:

  1. OP: traditional outpatient program (up to 3 hours of weekly therapy sessions).
  2. IOP: intensive outpatient program (up to 15 hours of weekly therapy sessions).
  3. PHP: partial hospitalization program (up to 35 hours of weekly therapy sessions).

Outpatient rehab in Kentucky is typically recommended for:

  • Mild substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders.
  • Stepping down from residential rehab.
  • Those looking for a more flexible and affordable approach to Kentucky rehab.
  • People with a strong commitment to sobriety.


The first phase of recovery at a Kentucky rehab involves detox and evidence-based treatment.

In addition to the interventions highlighted above, you will also attend both individual and group counseling sessions. One-to-one sessions provide the opportunity to probe the specifics of your addiction as you work closely with a qualified counselor. In group sessions, you will connect with peers on their own recovery journeys and benefit from exposure to a wide range of input and viewpoints.

Most of the best Kentucky rehabs also provide holistic therapies. These interventions are delivered as part of an overarching treatment plan.

Some of the most common approaches used for holistic treatment include:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • EMDR therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Biochemical restoration
  • Surfing
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • Massage
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Sports and exercise

Engaging with these kinds of activities at rehab in Kentucky will help you to build a healthier and more varied routine, beneficial as you start rebuilding your life after addressing addiction to drink or drugs.

Drug Rehab FAQ

Does Kentucky accept Medicaid?

Kentucky Medicaid is a combined state and federal program designed to provide healthcare for low-income families, children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with disabilities. Many factors including income, family size, and the FPL (federal poverty level) determine eligibility for Medicaid in Kentucky.

Are there outpatient options in Kentucky?

According to National Rehabs Directory, 270 treatment centers in Kentucky offer outpatient treatment options for drug addiction and alcoholism. 14 treatment centers provide medically supervised detox services in an outpatient setting.

What areas have the most treatment centers in Kentucky?

You will find a high concentration of addiction treatment centers in Louisville and Lexington in Kentucky.

What can you do in Kentucky?

Mammoth Cave is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Mammoth Cave National Park, the primary attraction in Kentucky. This southern state has a rich history showcased in many museums. There is much more to the Bluegrass State than bourbon. Listen to the music for which the state is nicknamed, watch some horse racing, or explore the incredible local trails.