Residential Treatment Programs

Most experts assert that the drug rehab program type that is most likely to help individuals maintain long-term recovery is residential treatment.

In fact, a recent study from the Australian Patient Pathways National Project demonstrated that, of the various types of treatment programs, residential care was one of the most likely to result in higher rates of continued recovery from addiction.

While certain addiction cases, such as those with less severe or short-term addictions, may be sufficiently treated with outpatient treatment, severe or long-term instances of addiction most frequently necessitate residential care. However, not all residential programs are the same, and a person struggling with drug or alcohol addiction may not know what the ideal residential treatment program looks like.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a combination of medically supported treatments and various types of therapy make up the approach most likely to result in the outcome and long-term maintenance of recovery. The components of these treatments as used in a residential setting are outlined below to help individuals who are seeking help with their addictions, or their loved ones, to find the residential treatment program most likely to support them in their journey.

The Elements of Residential Treatment

oxford_outpatientA study in the journal Addiction shows that people who receive help with recovery from addiction are more likely to stay in recovery for longer periods than those who don’t receive care. Sixty-two percent of those who had professional help in treating their addiction remained in recovery for three years after treatment, compared to only 43 percent of those who didn’t get treatment. In addition, 57 percent of those who made it three years were still free of the substance after a total of 16 years. This shows that getting professional treatment is vital to reaching the best outcome.

Residential treatment in particular is often more helpful because it requires that the person stay in treatment for the amount of time necessary to affect change.

In the NIDA article linked above, it is stated that an essential element of drug addiction treatment is staying in treatment long enough to complete the various components of the program, because this enables people to emerge with the highest level of confidence in their newly learned skills and tools for remaining in recovery. Because of this, each of the components of a high-quality treatment program works best when it is designed to help individuals get through the entire treatment process.

Residential rehab provides 24-hour care in a setting where the focus is helping individuals achieve and maintain recovery from addiction. Because of this, these programs are able to offer a breadth of services that are more likely to help clients develop capabilities and tools to stay in recovery well after leaving the program. These include:

  • Medically supported detox and withdrawal, if needed
  • Medically supported maintenance care, if needed
  • Individual therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family or couples counseling
  • Building skills and tools that are necessary for life post treatment
  • Follow-up care after the formalized program ends

Medically Supported Detox and Withdrawal

The physical components of treatment involve freeing the body of its dependence on the addictive substance.

When people enter drug treatment, one of the first crucial tasks is to detoxify the system and get through the often challenging, and sometimes dangerous, process of withdrawing from the addictive substances. In residential treatment, this is best performed through medically supported detox and withdrawal that can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while keeping individuals safe.
Withdrawal usually involves at least some discomfort, which can be lessened through various medications administered by doctors and other medical professionals.

Managing withdrawal symptoms is vital to a successful residential program, as the person is more likely to remain in rehab if withdrawal symptoms are kept under control.

In the case of addiction to certain substances, such as alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepine drugs (benzos), withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Another study from the journal Addiction shows that even low-dose benzos, if used over a long period of time, can result in severe withdrawal symptoms that must be managed under the care of a professional who can administer medications to help prevent the worst symptoms. Individuals addicted to alcohol, opiates, and benzos should never attempt to detox cold-turkey on their own.

Medically Supported Maintenance

medical Detox NeedsFor some people, medicines are an effective way to maintain abstinence from their addiction until they can better manage the challenge of recovery on their own. For withdrawal from alcohol or opiates, for example, maintenance medications can help

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