Time can heal all wounds, the saying goes, and that wisdom certainly applies to addiction recovery as well. For people who address their addiction with the help of professional drug rehabilitation, there are plenty of options to choose from, and selecting one may seem like a never-ending challenge. But it doesn’t need to be if you think about what you really need to heal from substance abuse.
The residential treatment model is popular among people who need more time to address their illness and develop the skills needed to live without addictive substances.
Think of residential rehab as the place where you get the time and space you need to address the psychological effects of an alcohol or drug addiction and learn new skills that can help you make the changes you need. You also have time to figure out how to rebuild your life from there.
What Is Residential Rehab Treatment?
Residential rehabilitation, or residential rehab for short, offers clients services and activities in a residential setting that are all designed to support their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Clients live on-site at a facility that offers 24-hour monitoring and a setting that is free from outside distractions. Such a climate can help guide a client into earn to maintain a sober lifestyle. Addiction care and medical professionals are available 24 hours a day to help clients with their needs.
Who Is Residential Treatment For?
People who have had a detox and must now choose which treatment program to enter may want to consider a residential rehab, especially if their addiction is severe. This option may also appeal to people who:
- Are far along in their substance addiction or dependence to drugs and/or alcohol and feel they need additional support
- Have tried other treatment programs but did not get the results they wanted
- People who have relapsed at least one or more times and need a longer stay
Clients typically voluntarily enter a residential rehabilitation program; other clients may have to enter after a court order is issued. Programs of this kind are also offered for specific populations, such as adolescents, women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, homeless individuals, people with severe mental health disorders, and people in the criminal justice system.
Residential programs also are ideal for people who do not have a stable place to live, a job, or limited to no family support.
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How Long Does Residential Rehab Last?
How long someone stays in residential treatment just depends on the person. How long clients stay in treatment depends on several factors, including:
- What kind of addiction/addictions they have
- How long they have had the addiction and how often they have used addictive substances
- If they have any co-occurring disorders (when a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder are present at the same time)
Before it is determined that a residential setting is appropriate, an assessment, which takes place after the detoxification process, will review these factors and others such as medical history. The minimum required stay at a residential rehab is 30 days. Clients can stay even longer than a year, depending on the needs of the person who needs addiction care.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). But, as the government agency notes, addiction is treatable.
A long-term residential treatment model is recommended for people who have severe addictions to opiates/opioids (OxyContin, heroin), cocaine, methamphetamines, and alcohol among other drugs. People who have engaged in polysubstance use, when two more drugs are used at the same time, also may spend more time in residential rehab.
Research shows that at least 90 days or more are needed to treat a substance addiction. Long-term residential treatment increases the chances of achieving sobriety.
The Therapeutic Treatment Model
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the most widely known long-term residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC), where clients can plan to stay between six and 12 months. In this arrangement, according to NIDA:
- Addiction is viewed in the context of the person’s social and psychological deficits
- Treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility and socially productive lives
This kind of community also has a strong focus on helping to “resocialize” the individual and draws upon everyone, including the staff and other residents, to enhance the treatment experience.
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What Happens In Residential Treatment?
You can expect a range of inpatient services in an environment that promote long-term recovery.
Treatment services offered at a residential treatment center often include:
This is typically the place people in recovery start the process of overcoming addiction. Medical detox is the first step to any successful addiction recovery. In many cases, withdrawal symptoms are often too difficult to handle without professional detox treatment.
Education helps clients understand what substance abuse and addiction are. It also raises awareness of the warning signs of addiction and information on how different addictive drugs and substances affect the mind and body, helping to prevent relapse in the future. Clients also learn about the effects addiction can have on one’s physical and mental health as well as their personal and professional relationships.
People in active addiction and alcoholism often neglect their health and well-being. Nutrition is important to helping people regain physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Much of addressing addiction and substance abuse involves changing one’s thoughts and behaviors. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), helps clients address their negative thoughts and actions associated with addiction. With CBT, clients learn practical strategies and skills to change old habits or replace them altogether.
Addiction affects more than just the person who is going through it. Rehab for couples helps relationships maintain stability through recovery from substance abuse, and it is effective when either one or both partners are recovering.
Recovery from substance abuse often starts with personal accountability. Personalized treatment for clients can help them address emotional and social issues that contribute to their desire to use drugs and alcohol. This includes helping them see the problems they have and motivating them to change course.
As it’s often said, addiction is a family disease. Clients and their families can both work on recovery from substance abuse together. Family therapy can be the starting point to figuring out how to move forward and obtain healing that can benefit everyone in the family unit.
Clients who have a similar journey and experiences in common can provide invaluable support to each other. Group therapy sessions can ensure clients they don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone. They also provide opportunities for growth and support, including connecting with others and building friendships with people who abstain from drugs and alcohol.
This training can involve teaching clients job skills, social skills, communication skills, anger management, stress management, goal setting, and money management among others needed as clients learn or relearn how to be a part of society.
Clients who must take medications as directed by a physician or other medical professional can rest assured that they will receive what they need while they are in residential care. In many cases, medications are issued to help manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal or help clients abstain from substance use.
Clients can be reassured that centers, such as Pathway to Hope in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, continue to support clients after they leave their facilities. In residential treatment, there are alumni programs in place that are designed to help prevent relapse and ensure post-addiction treatment success.
The 12-step fellowships allow participants to reflect on their past experiences openly and honestly with growth being the goal.
NIDA advises that long-term residential treatment can feel confrontational at times, possibly because of the intense focus on the client. As it notes, activities in the therapeutic community “Are designed to help residents examine damaging beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive patterns of behavior and adopt new, more harmonious and constructive ways to interact with others.”
Other comprehensive support services, such as employment training, are offered on-site.
Pros, Cons of a Residential Treatment Program
Residential treatment is just one model for addiction recovery. There are others including intensive outpatient treatment and partial hospitalization. Residential treatment may be ideal in many situations, but some considerations must be made before committing to a program of this kind.
One is the cost. A longer stay in treatment means the costs will be higher. Costs can be affected by the severity of a person’s addiction, the goals they want to achieve, and the person’s response to treatment, among other things. Consider whether your insurance plan will cover these, and if so, which costs will be paid for.
As you review all that’s involved, consider:
- How long you will need to stay in a residential treatment program. This, of course, will make a difference in how much you will need to spend. Inpatient and residential programs cost more because of the 24-hour care given to clients as well as any amenities that are offered as part of the treatment experience.
- What kinds of therapy you will receive during your stay. Do you want holistic therapy that offers acupuncture, yoga, and other services of this nature? Will you need Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy? These are the kinds of questions that should be considered as they do affect the bottom line.
- The facility where you receive your treatment. The size of the facility can make a difference in how much treatment costs. Larger facilities, as well as private facilities, are often more expensive.
There are reports that the basic level of residential treatment can run between $2,000 and $20,000. If it runs longer, such as during a two- or three-month span, costs could double, so keep that in mind when considering how much you can spend or cover with an insurance plan or another payment plan.
Are Residential Treatment Programs Effective?
There is a strong correlation between the kind of treatment one receives and how long they receive it. Research suggests that residential treatment is the most effective form of addiction treatment.
When considering residential treatment, think about the long-term and what goals you or your loved one wants to achieve while in a facility. Time spent in drug rehab or alcohol rehab is your special time to get focused on recovery and putting addiction behind you, so make the most of it and put effort into it. NIDA informs that along with stopping drug abuse, the main goal of treatment is to return individuals to productive functioning in the family unit, the workplace, and the community in which they live.
The outcome of substance abuse treatment; however, largely depends on the person. NIDA writes on the issue, “… Individual treatment outcomes depend on the extent and nature of the patient’s problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems, and the quality of interaction between the patient and his or her treatment providers.”
Start Addiction Treatment Today at Pathway to Hope
Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility, specializes in helping people who are battling with substance addiction. We don’t just treat the substance addiction; we also treat the thought patterns and behaviors that can prompt individuals to abuse substances with effective treatments that focus on the roots of your addiction and mental health condition.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance addiction or mental illness, call Pathway to Hope at 844-557-8575 or contact us online today, so we can help you find the right treatment program for you or someone you know. We also can walk you through the process to help determine if you need intensive outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization services, or another recovery arrangement that better fits your needs.
For detox and residential treatment, we will connect you with our sister facility, Arete Recovery. After that, you’ll come to Pathway to Hope for outpatient services. Don’t delay. If you need addiction treatment, now is a good time to seek it.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved March 2018 from
National Institute on Drug Abuse, (July 2015).What Are Therapeutic Communities?. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved January 2017 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/therapeutic-communities/what-are-therapeutic-communities