Residential Addiction Treatment
Residential addiction treatment should not be viewed as an alternative to outpatient treatment, but rather as part of a continuum that is followed by various forms of outpatient treatment. Most individuals who have a serious problem are better served by starting the healing process of recovery with residential treatment, especially when amounts of substance abuse are heavy, cravings are severe, when one’s home environmental entails risks, or if a history of relapse is present Residential programs provide a safe, closely monitored environment during the most vulnerable early weeks of recovery. When combined with follow-on intensive outpatient phases, residential treatment allows the addict to remain in an overall treatment program long enough to experience a logic sequence of the various levels care and complete the total therapeutic process.
What Makes for A Good Residential Treatment Program
The best residential treatment programs will offer a wide spectrum of therapeutic tools and approaches. They will also exhibit a dedication to quality care as evidenced by staff to client ratios, the professional credentials of its clinicians, and the offering of a rich variety of enrichment activities. Programs with an organized and full daily schedule that stretches clients as they grow in earlier recovery should also be preferred.
The best residential programs will simultaneously bring to bear tried and true group/12-step treatment approaches, an intensive course of individual therapy sessions with licensed therapists, and appropriate tools of modern medicine including medication prescriptions administered under the supervision of a Psychiatrist with a background in addiction treatment.
Group Therapy and 12-Step Methodologies
The group dynamic of fellow addiction sufferers sharing their experience, strength and hope is a key component of the residential treatment process. Traditional 12-step methodologies are the most popular and proven approach to the group therapy process. 12-step spiritual principles such as honesty, hope, faith, humility, accountability, and service to others are essential ingredients that virtually everyone who is serious about recovery must learn to embrace. The camaraderie, personal bonds, and shared responsibility that are established during residential treatment strongly promote the internal adoption of these principles.
Licensed therapists play an important role in residential addiction treatment by helping clients work through other underlying issues like anxiety, depression, and psychosocial problems. When clients are educated about these emotional contributors, they can better recognize what triggers them back into addictive behaviors. Therapy includes finding coping mechanisms for these triggers so that patients can avoid thoughts and circumstances that would throw them back into the cycles of addiction.
Tools of Modern Medicine
A third vital component of a strong residential treatment program is the availability of proven tools of modern medicine. These might include slow release medication that blocks cravings for alcohol and opiods for a month at a time, or various medications to assist with physical healing and a return to normal sleep patterns, or appropriate psychoactive prescriptions when appropriate.
High quality residential addiction treatment programs will offer a variety of entertaining and educational enrichment activities. It is important that individual who have longed suffered from the boredom and emptiness of addiction learn that life can be fun and rewarding again, that there is so much more to life than just drugs and alcohol. A good residential treatment program will foster good times, build good memories, and help addicts re-learn to enjoy the company of other, sober human beings.