Addiction is insidious in the way it latches onto you and takes full control of your life.
The cycle of use serves to build an ever-increasing tolerance which means you need progressively more and more of the substance just to get by and stave off withdrawal symptoms.
It’s a slow-motion train wreck.
The path into drug addiction and/or alcoholism feels almost effortless, a slippery slope you just glide down until the drugs and the drink are so thoroughly intertwined with your life you almost can’t remember a time without them.
Therefore, winning the battle over addiction, particularly a severe and long-lasting one, is no easy task which is where a residential treatment program comes in.
What Is a Residential Treatment Program?
Residential treatment, or inpatient care as it’s commonly referred to, requires living at the rehab facility. As opposed to outpatient treatment where you would live at home and go in for regularly scheduled sessions.
Residential treatment can be broken down into short- and long-term options, long being 6 to 12 months and short being anything less than that.
As defined by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), long-term residential care “provides care 24 hours a day, generally in non-hospital settings. The best-known residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC)…TCs focus on the “resocialization” of the individual and use the program’s entire community—including other residents, staff, and the social context—as active components of treatment. Addiction is viewed in the context of an individual’s social and psychological deficits, and treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as socially productive lives. Treatment is highly structured and can be confrontational at times, with activities 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”.
Short-term does much of the same but in a more stripped-back fashion.
Which is better for you depends exclusively on your addiction and what you need to overcome it. Generally speaking, the more severe your substance use disorder is, the more a longer stay will help you.
Benefits of Getting Sober at a Residential Treatment Program
Getting away from everything and going to an inpatient program comes with many benefits:
A Holistic Approach
Addiction is both physical and mental, in other words, it affects the whole of you. Given that, rehab that treats the whole person makes a big difference. In practice, that means a combination of evidence-based, traditional therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as complementary methods like yoga and art therapy.
Ability to Focus
With a residential program, you’re physically being removed from the environment in which you use. No exposure to the triggers or access to the people and places that could motivate you to drink or take drugs. Distractions – school, work, family, friends, etc. – are completely removed and you’re able to focus solely on the task at hand: beating addiction.
What sharpens that focus is the highly structured nature of inpatient rehab. Your program is designed and built around your specific needs and one of the most basic needs is structure and a daily routine. Residential treatment occupies all your time with individual and group therapy as well as other planned programming to make sure you don’t have downtime – downtime in which cravings can develop –because, as they say, “idle hands are the devil’s playthings”.
Support & Community
You don’t have to go it alone. In addition to the constant support and guidance of the trained addiction specialists you’ll be working with, your fellow residents form a strong community of people to lean on. You’ll be living together and sharing your trials & tribulations with addiction and ultimately your successes with another. More than anyone else, those going through recovery with you will truly understand what you’re experiencing. That’s a powerful thing.