Residential treatment, also known as inpatient addiction treatment, is one of the most common options for addiction treatment. While most government addiction treatment programs default to outpatient treatment to save costs, residential programs have a lot to offer for patients. As a result, more than 70% of all addiction treatment centers offer some form of residential treatment. Residential programs are almost always private and often for profit, but deliver perks in terms of more medical attention, more one-on-one care, ongoing support, and personalized treatment.
If you or a loved one is considering rehab, it’s important to make an educated decision regarding which type of treatment you want and why. This article covers 7 of the most important benefits of residential treatment for addiction recovery.
1. A Comfortable Environment
Most residential care facilities focus on building treatment centers to create a home-like environment. Unlike in the movies, where rehab facilities are cold, clinical places with distant staff, real rehab facilities are built to offer comfort, a home-like environment, and a comfortable stay. Your days are filled with activities including therapy, counseling, checkups, and complimentary treatment activities but you get to relax, dine with people, and spend time in a warm and comfortable environment. That contrasts outpatient treatment, where you receive therapy in a clinical setting where you’re more likely to be nervous, agitated, and focused on the environment.
2. A Safe Space
The second, and one of the most important, benefits of residential treatment for addiction treatment is that you get to go to a safe space. Your rehab facility is free from job, family, relationship, friends, or lack thereof. You don’t have to focus on life or how to feed yourself, you don’t have to focus on anything except yourself and recovery. You get a safe space, free from triggers, free from drugs and alcohol, and designed to give you the room you need to recovery.
That’s especially important if you have a tumultuous relationship with housemates, if you don’t currently have a place to live, if your friends or family use, or if you experience considerable stress in your normal life, or if you often use or drink at home, after work, etc., then getting away from that is crucial to your recovery. While you will eventually have to reintegrate into life, it will be with more skills, more coping mechanisms, and a better ability to handle and manage those triggers.
3. 24/7 Support and Guidance
When you go to residential treatment, you get around the clock medical and psychological support. That means medical professionals are on call to help you when and how you need it. While availability eventually depends on the facility you choose, that access can mean a world of difference in terms of navigating the physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms of drug and alcohol detox. This is especially important if you’re heavily addicted to a drug with a strong withdrawal profile, such as an amphetamine, in which case you need medical care and detox.
Constant access to care also means being able to discuss your needs with a professional when cravings strike. Being able to take triggers and stress directly to your therapist or counselors. Being able to discuss things as they come up, in a contextually relevant environment. You get more access to medical care because everyone is there, ready to help.
4. Personalized Care
Close contact with medical and psychological professionals means more than regular care. It also means those professionals have access to your current condition, and ongoing symptoms. If your initial diagnosis and treatment plan can be tweaked to provide better results, you can get that in residential treatment. This is important, because rather than seeing you a few hours a day, caregivers are there all the time. They know who you are, how you act, what you do in social environments, and how you progress. This offers much more insight for personalizing treatment programs, offering custom therapy, and delivering better results.
5. Peer Support & Groups
While many outpatient treatment options include peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, residential treatment takes this a step further. In most cases, you’re paired with someone to share a room with, not to save costs but to ensure you engage with and are social with others. Group therapy, group activities, group meals, and ample opportunity to talk to and bond with your peers means you can make friends, learn from your peers, and support your peers.
That’s important, considering many people in recovery are isolated, are at least somewhat estranged from family and loved ones, and lack real support groups at home. While this obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, it does to many. Having access to peers and the real knowledge that others have similar problems to yourself, can hear your problems without judgement because they’ve been there, and know what cravings are like can be highly motivational. Plus, with social accountability, you have more reasons to push through into recovery.
6. Complimentary Learning
Complimentary learning programs include treatment and activities designed to support your recovery but which are not part of the primary therapy. Where outpatient addiction treatment normally only includes the primary care, residential treatment offers a range of complimentary learning. How does that work? Complimentary treatment solutions can range from music and art therapy to skills and coping mechanisms. For example, mindfulness, mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy, fitness, housekeeping skills, nutrition, and cooking are all complimentary to your recovery. They offer valuable skills that help you live a better life, to stay healthier, and to manage your emotional state.
7. Ongoing Care Built Around Your Needs
Most residential care programs offer ongoing care in the form of aftercare, sober living solutions, and ongoing therapy. This allows you to reintegrate into your daily life, find support when you go back to work, and otherwise continue to get help as you navigate recovery. This offers considerable value over attending a program and going out on your own, because a large percentage of people will use on leaving rehab, during treatment in outpatient settings, and when facing large life decisions such as getting a new job, breaking up a relationship, having kids, etc. Having ongoing support and the option to talk to your therapist can help you to get back on track as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life, rather than fully relapsing.
Residential treatment is just one of several options for addiction treatment. While it has many benefits, it’s important to remember that treatment is better than no treatment. If you can only go to outpatient, it can be in certain cases almost as effective as inpatient. However, with most workplaces offering significant time off work for addiction treatment, most insurance providers covering at least some of the costs of residential care, and significant support from laws like the Affordable Care Act, most people can go to residential treatment.
Good luck in your recovery journey.