Understanding Residential Addiction Treatment

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Overcoming an addiction often necessitates more intensive treatment. While inpatient care or other, more short-term, services prove beneficial for some individuals, there are those who require more focused and long-term treatment in order to reclaim their lives from the insidious cycle of substance abuse. When this is the case, residential treatment can be the key to breaking free from an addiction or chemical dependency problem once and for all

Residential treatment, which can include an average length of stay of 30 to 60 days, enables those who need it to step away from their everyday lives to focus on healing and recovering without being distracted by daily stressors and temptations to use. Additionally, this life-saving and transformative level of care features dedicated staff members who are expertly trained to help men, women, and young people alike in defeating substance use disorders. Among these staff members, the following are a few examples of the types of professionals who often provide support and facilitate the interventions included in residential treatment:

  • Addiction specialists
  • Art therapists
  • Counselors with training in mental health and/or addiction-related concerns
  • Medical doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Psychiatrists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Social workers

Within residential care, many of the above professionals are on-hand 24 hours per day, seven days per week, so that the individuals receiving this type of treatment can receive support, guidance, and encouragement for the duration of their stay within the treatment center they have chosen. Furthermore, these same staff members are those who facilitate the invaluable interventions that are incorporated into each individual’s treatment plan.

The following are the treatment methods that a person can expect to receive when embarking on the road to recovery via a residential treatment program:

Detoxification services: Many residential programs either facilitate or offer detoxification services on-site. Also known as detox, this method of care is supervised by medical doctors, nurses, and other medical staff and allows those who receive it to have their bodies cleared of harmful substances of abuse. Typically recommended to those who are chemically dependent on drugs and/or alcohol, this type of care can jumpstart a person’s recovery and enable an individual to focus on the other aspects of treatment with a clear mind.

Medication management: Because it is common for individuals who are grappling with addictions to also suffer from co-occurring mental health concerns, residential treatment centers often include medication management services in their programming. This service allows individuals to meet with a psychiatrist, who will assess the need for any one or more medications, which can be prescribed to alleviate any distressing mental health symptoms. It is important to know that this service is not appropriate for all individuals in residential treatment and that the need for such services will be determined at that start of treatment. When medications are prescribed, however, staff monitor the effectiveness and safety of medications for the duration of an individual’s time in treatment.

In addition to methods of care that are supplied by medical personnel and psychiatrists, the following interventions are among those offered within residential treatment that are conducted by staff who are trained in alleviating the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction:

Group therapy: Cornerstone to many residential programs is group therapy. This method of care is often guided by the 12-Step philosophy for treating addiction, can feature several addiction and recovery-related topics, and allows individuals to come together to offer support, guidance, and encouragement to and from one another. Group therapy sessions may be offered multiple times per day, several days per week, and can play an integral role in the recovery journeys of those who participate in these sessions.

Individual therapy: So as to provide individuals the opportunity to discuss and process their feelings, emotions, and experiences in a private setting, residential treatment programs often include individual therapy sessions in their programming. These sessions are conducted by a qualified professionals and enable individuals to speak one-on-one with a staff member to establish goals for the present and future and work through issues or concerns that may not be appropriate to talk about in a group setting.

Experiential therapy: The abuse of any substance can wreak havoc on a person’s physical wellbeing and cause a certain level of detachment between an individual and his or her body. For this reason, experiential therapies, including recreational therapy, art therapy, yoga, and meditation, are featured in residential care so individuals can reestablish the mind-body connection and become well on a whole other level. Depending on the program, this treatment method may be offered more or less frequently than other interventions.

Family therapy and family education opportunities: Given the fact that addiction has the capacity to impact those closest to a person who is abusing substances, many residential treatment centers offer family therapy sessions that include the loved ones of those receiving treatment. Additionally, and as a means of providing support and education to the friends and family members of individuals in treatment, several centers supply education and support group opportunities so that loved ones can come to understand addiction and receive the resources they need to help the person they care about.

These interventions add up to make a truly unique treatment experience that can help people of all ages win the war against addiction. While participating in residential treatment, men, women, and young people are able to process their past experiences and plan for a future that is substance-free. Additionally, many residential treatment programs offer vital continuing care options that can set the stage for a truly recovered future.

Residential treatment centers frequently provide individuals with thorough discharge plans that detail the staff’s recommendations for individuals’ continued recovery success. These plans can suggest partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient programming (IOP) as follow-up services to residential care, or can include resources and referrals to other types of treatment that can enable individuals to maintain and build upon what they have learned in residential care. Additionally, and depending on the center, a program may offer ongoing support for a few months or even years after treatment is complete.

If you or someone you care about could benefit from more intensive treatment than lower levels of care can offer, it is a good idea to consider residential treatment. Conduct a search, consider your or your loved one’s needs, and collaborate with treatment center staff to begin the process of admissions. In choosing to overcome an addiction in residential treatment, a brighter, healthier, and substance-free future awaits.

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