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What Is Residential Addiction Treatment?
Residential addiction treatment is a form of substance abuse treatment where individuals receive comprehensive therapeutic care and reside in a facility 24 hours per day, seven days per week, for an extended period.
Residential treatment programs benefit individuals who need a more intense level of care than outpatient services can provide but do not require hospitalization. In residential treatment, individuals receive around-the-clock supervision and access to medical care, including medication management and access to therapists. They also receive peer support and are given aftercare plans when they are ready to transition from residential care to a less intensive level of care.
Residential treatment typically lasts anywhere from 30 days to 90 days, but an individual’s time spent at the residential level of care can vary depending on multiple factors. The cost of residential treatment also varies depending on the length of stay, the person’s insurance coverage, and the specific facility.
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Differences Between Residential And Inpatient Hospitalization Treatment
“Residential” and “inpatient hospitalization” treatment are terms often used to describe different levels of care provided in treatment facilities. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have significant differences.
Residential treatment programs are for people who require intensive therapeutic interventions and support but do not necessarily need hospitalization. Residential treatment programs are often intended for individuals with mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and behavioral challenges. Although residential treatment is intensive, it is considered a step below inpatient treatment.
A residential treatment program is usually longer than inpatient care, typically lasting from a few weeks to a few months. In residential facilities, individuals can learn coping skills, address the effects of unresolved trauma, and engage in various therapeutic activities.
Inpatient hospitalization involves a person being admitted to a hospital or medical facility for acute medical care, in-depth monitoring, and stabilization by medical professionals, including doctors and nurses.
Inpatient hospitalization focuses primarily on individuals suffering from severe medical or psychiatric crises that require immediate medical attention. This focus typically includes people at risk of harming themselves or others, experiencing severe psychosis, or undergoing medical detoxification. Inpatient treatment is usually shorter than residential treatment, ranging from a few days to a week.
Who Is Residential Treatment For?
Residential addiction treatment is appropriate for individuals who require intensive treatment and structured care where they can address any underlying issues and challenges.
Residential treatment can benefit a range of individuals, including individuals with:
- Mental health conditions such as bipolar, depression, or anxiety disorders
- A substance use disorder
- Unresolved past trauma
- Behavioral challenges
- Mood disorders
- Dual diagnoses
- A low to moderate risk of suicide
Do I Need Residential Treatment?
Determining whether you need residential treatment is a decision that should be made through consulting with a licensed treatment professional who can assess your individual needs, challenges, and level of care required.
A few factors to consider when evaluating whether residential treatment might be appropriate are the severity of symptoms, potential lack of progress at a lower level of care, safety concerns such as thoughts of suicide or self-harm, an inability to refrain from substance use, or a lack of a support system.
For example, if you are free of severe withdrawal symptoms but still experience intense cravings and possible post-acute withdrawal symptoms, then residential treatment may be appropriate for you. Regardless of the level of care you seek, the goal is to find the correct level of support to help address your specific issues and work towards recovery.
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Residential Treatment Timeline
Overall, residential treatment programs typically last several weeks to a few months, but the length can vary greatly. An individual’s length of stay can depend on several factors, including the individual’s needs, progress, the severity of their symptoms, the program’s structure, insurance coverage, and the individual’s treatment plan goals.
Individuals with more severe mental health or substance abuse symptoms may require an extended stay in a residential program to stabilize, learn coping skills, and make sufficient progress.
As an individual progresses in managing their symptoms, developing coping skills, and achieving treatment goals, the treatment team may decide that they are ready to move to a lower level of care, such as a partial hospitalization program or outpatient therapy. Additionally, some insurance companies have limitations on how many days or weeks they will cover for residential treatment. The treatment programs will frequently step an individual down to a partial hospitalization program if needed once insurance stops covering residential treatment.
Benefits Of Residential Treatment
Residential addiction treatment provides multiple advantages for individuals who require intense, structured care. Residential treatment provides individuals with 24/7 access to support and care from mental health and medical professionals. This level of support can be vital for those in crisis or who are struggling with severe symptoms.
Residential treatment programs provide structured schedules, including group and individual therapy sessions, recreational groups, and other therapeutic activities. Some programs provide alternative forms of therapy, such as art therapy and equine therapy. This structured routine can help individuals establish stability, develop new healthy habits, and learn new ways of enjoying life without using drugs or alcohol. Residential treatment also includes comprehensive assessments to help the medical team identify the individual’s needs. These assessments also help guide the individualized treatment plan, including customized goals for the individual.
Other benefits of residential treatment include the following:
- Individuals develop coping skills, life skills, emotional regulation, and impulse control.
- Peer support helps foster a sense of community, reduces feelings of isolation, builds connections, and provides valuable insights and empathy from others who face the same challenges.
- Family involvement improves communication, addresses family dynamics, and helps create a supportive home environment.
- The safe, controlled environment allows individuals to focus on healing without external stressors, allowing them to achieve sobriety more quickly that may be hard to achieve elsewhere.
- Transition planning ensures a smooth transition and continuity of care.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of residential treatment greatly depends on the individual’s commitment to actively participate and engage in treatment and apply the learned skills to their life outside of treatment.
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Residential addiction treatment provides a supportive environment where healing is the main focus.
If you struggle with an addiction and think residential addiction treatment could benefit you, contact a treatment provider today to learn more.