Residential treatment provides a live-in recovery experience for people suffering from substance abuse, alcoholism, and addiction; during the process, patients recover in a serene setting that feels like a home away from home.
A patient will stay at the residence (a non-hospital facility) for an extended period of time. (At The Ridge, patients stay for about 30 days.) Though the residential treatment facility is not a hospital, each patient is under 24-hour medical supervision, allowing them to recover safely.
Usually located in a neighborhood or urban setting, a residential facility implies that the treatment process will occur in a home-like atmosphere, which usually includes amenities that promote healthy habits. Typically, residential treatment centers are not lockdown facilities; this environment is designed for people who are nonviolent, medically stable, and physically mobile.
Centered around live-in care, each patient experiences an intensive, highly structured environment away from distraction so they learn the necessary tools to begin a lifetime of recovery. Once each patient has the strategies to begin their recovery, they move through a step-down process, which transfers them to an outpatient recovery program.
Benefits of Residential Treatment
Residential treatment programs offer serious benefits to those who choose this as a method of recovery, from structured routines to healthy amenities. Each benefit is designed to guide the patient through the early phases of recovery, leading to increased independence in the process.
Benefits of residential treatment include:
- Serenity: a facility that feels like home away from home.
- Safety: a medically and clinically safe environment in which each patient can recover under experienced supervision.
- Structure: a scheduled environment that focuses on building successful recovery habits.
- Stress-Free: the removal of stressful circumstances that fuel the urge to use.
- Family Participation: the encouragement of family participation and education about the recovery process.
- Community: an alumni community as a support system through the recovery process.
- Amenities: features and offerings that promote healthy lifestyle habits.
- Shared Experience: living with other patients who are going through a similar experience.
In a residential treatment program, patients benefit from around-the-clock supervision, while still maintaining the freedom to move around in a home-like atmosphere where they can interact with other residents and enjoy recreation time without the pressures of daily life inhibiting their recovery process.
Drawbacks of Residential Treatment
Though residential treatment features plenty of proven benefits, it is not the best option for all people who suffer from addiction. For certain circumstances, some patients might need a more intensive level of treatment, such as inpatient care, in which the individual is at high risk for relapse, or requires medical assistance during the detox process. Some patients might need outpatient therapy, in which the individual remains at home to live, work, and maintain other commitments.
Potential drawbacks to the residential treatment process include:
- Break in Routine: a pause from work, family, and other responsibilities
- Independence: a reduced level of freedom in day-to-day life
- Cost: the overall price of the medically supervised program
- Transfer of Skills: the translation of skills from residential treatment to real life worries some potential clients
Residential treatment is an intensive, live-in recovery process, which does come with significant financial cost and a break from “normal” life. Though residential treatment is not the right answer for every single individual in the recovery process, it does allow patients to build skills in the short term that end up paying long-term benefits as the individual moves down the path of recovery for life.
Residential Treatment Successes
Patients and families have found that residential treatment really works. It allows each patient to recover in a comfortable atmosphere while building skills that are designed to restore the lives of those affected by addiction.
“I made valuable connections there that I will keep in the years to come; in just 30 days, I made lasting friendships with the people in my group,” said one alumnus from The Ridge’s residential treatment program.
The concept of living in a serene atmosphere with like-minded individuals allows patients to focus solely on their recovery without any other distractions.
“The family education and involvement was invaluable. I cannot thank them enough,” said another alumnus of The Ridge.
Allowing families and support systems to access education about the recovery process strengthens the patient’s ability to apply their recovery skills once the residential treatment program ends.
Due to benefits like these, the residential treatment process tends to show the most progress toward the ultimate goal of recovery for life.
What to Look For in a Residential Treatment Facility
Though residential treatment facilities generally focus on the same goal, each residential treatment program is different. Each program comes with its own philosophy, duration, and cost. Each facility features its own set of amenities, living situations, and structures. It is important to research various residential treatment programs and facilities, along with consulting with a professional, before deciding on which program is best for each individual.
When looking for residential treatment facilities, consider:
- Philosophy: what is the program’s overall attitude toward the recovery process?
- Time: what is the duration of the program?
- Methods: what tools and strategies will the patient develop during the recovery program?
- Amenities: does the facility contain features that will build healthy habits? (The Ridge features a pool, exercise facilities, a sauna, comfortable bedrooms, a fishing pond, etc.)
- Cost: does this program fit in with financial possibilities?
Compared to all other levels of addiction treatment, residential treatment programs tend to show the most progress. With the help of skilled expert staff members, individuals have the opportunity to learn about their own addiction and develop the skills to transition back into everyday life.
Each residential treatment program is unique. Take time to explore options and consult with a professional who can determine if residential treatment is the right step for the individual’s journey toward recovery for life.