What Exactly is Residential Treatment for Addiction?

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When you or a loved one needs help overcoming drug or alcohol addiction, you just want help that works. You may or may not have previous experience or knowledge of drug treatment, but either way, the whole process may seem overwhelming when you are in the midst of a crisis. There are a surprising amount of options available when it comes to treatment. How do you know what’s best?

Types Of Treatment For Addiction

Some people try to battle addiction on their own, often with little success. There are 12 step meetings available to all, and many people have had success with meetings alone. For others, though, extra support is needed. Getting clean and sober and building a foundation of recovery is often best done with professional help. That help comes in the form of treatment.

There are basically two main types of treatment: Inpatient, or residential treatment, and outpatient treatment. Both offer similar services, and both can help you or your loved one overcome addiction and begin the process of recovery. How do you know which one to choose, though?

Inpatient Versus Outpatient

The primary difference between residential and outpatient is that in residential treatment you stay at the facility for the duration of treatment. You sleep there at night and basically live there. Residential treatment programs typically last between 30 to 90 days, with some treatment programs lasting longer. Long-term treatment programs can last 6 to 9 months or even longer.

Outpatient treatment often consists of “sessions” which may be anywhere from a couple hours to several hours per day, and may be daily or less often. Outpatient programs are often used as a form of aftercare following residential treatment.

Why Residential Treatment May Be Best

While there are many quality outpatient programs, and they can be successful, residential treatment is frequently the recommended course of action. This is because residential treatment provides the greatest level of support, and is a safe, secure environment away from drugs and alcohol.

It isn’t easy to break the habit of using. At home, you may be exposed to alcohol or drugs, or they may be nearby. Your daily routine may trigger urges to use, and your current relationships may be primarily made up of using buddies.

Getting clean and sober under these circumstances is difficult, and often downright impossible. You may simply not be able to resist the temptation to use on your own.

Residential treatment puts you in a new environment, free of drugs and alcohol, and free of distractions. It allows you an opportunity to work on yourself, to heal from addiction and to recover. It puts you in an environment with lots of support and encouragement.

Some people balk at the idea of residential treatment. They feel like it will be too difficult, to restricting and have concerns about being away from home for so long. The reality is that treatment goes by fast, and people often look back at their time in treatment fondly. There’s more to treatment than just staying away from substances and learning about addiction. Treatment gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself better.

What To Expect At Residential Treatment

It’s common and normal to be nervous about treatment — it’s a big step! But, you’ll soon realize it’s not as scary as you think. Residential treatment centers are generally set in homelike environments, with either private or shared rooms, common kitchen and living areas, and often outdoor recreational areas.

Generally, your first stop is to complete an intake process. This will take 1 – 2 hours and involves filling out paperwork, such as consent forms. The intake counselor will give you necessary information about the treatment center, including information about visitors, phone calls, schedules, rules and services.

The intake counselor will also ask you for information about your history, including your drug and alcohol use, pertinent health information and other details.

You will then be shown around the facility, and then to your room, where you will get settled in.

happy people in group therapy

Services Generally Provided By Residential Treatment Centers

Although services can vary widely from one treatment center to the next, there are some that are generally consistent in most.

Individual counseling

You will be paired with an addiction counselor that will work with you to create a treatment plan. He or she will meet with you, usually weekly. You will have the opportunity to check-in with your counselor and discuss concerns, questions and get feedback on your progress. You may also have the opportunity to meet with a therapist for individual psychotherapy.

Group Counseling

Group counseling is a big part of most treatment programs. Peer interaction in groups has proven to be quite useful and therapeutic in addiction treatment. Groups are often topical.

12 Step Meetings

Not all treatment centers are based on 12 step philosophy, but a good many are. If your treatment center is 12 step based, then you will have the opportunity to attend both in-house and outside meetings as part of your treatment.

Other services

Many treatment centers also offer various holistic therapies and treatments, such as yoga classes, art therapy, animal assisted therapy and more. Life skills training, parenting classes and other services are also commonly offered.

Typical Rules And Guidelines

Residential treatment is generally quite structured, with set times for eating, hygiene, groups and free time.

Rules are generally common sense and are designed to promote respect and accountability.

It is common to have a “blackout period” when you first get to treatment, where you don’t have phone or visitation privileges. This is usually short — no more than two weeks, and is designed to allow you the opportunity to get settled in without distractions.

Finding A Residential Treatment Center

If you or someone you love is considering treatment, Addiction Information can make the process of locating the right program easier for you. Save yourself time wading through information and call Recovery Hub at 888-220-4352 to get connected with the right residential treatment program for you.

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