Seeking help for an addiction is the first step to recovery. By looking for professional help, you’ve already established that you want to get better, which is the biggest part of a successful recovery. It’s easy for the information about treatment plans to become overwhelming, though. How do you know what type of treatment is right for you?
Most professionals will base their treatment recommendations around your personal circumstances. It helps to understand how a residential treatment facility will differ from an outpatient treatment plan.
Most treatment plans, regardless of whether they’re outpatient or residential-based, will start with a detox and a medically managed withdrawal. Even if you choose an outpatient treatment plan, you’ll generally need to spend some time overnight in a hospital or treatment center during the withdrawal. This is the best way to ensure you’re safe, and that the withdrawal goes as smoothly as possible.
After you detox from the substance, you’ll need to sit down with a medical professional and discuss your options for ongoing treatment. Detoxification alone will help with the physical effects of substance abuse, but detoxing doesn’t mean your healing process is over. There are still social, behavioral, and psychological issues that you need to address in order to face the root of your addiction. If you don’t face these issues, you’ll be at a higher risk of relapse. Many addicts begin using again because they haven’t developed healthy coping mechanisms for their problems.
Long-Term Residential Facilities
A long-term residential treatment facility is a facility which provides care 24 hours a day. Most treatment facilities are not hospital settings. Some facilities use the “therapeutic community” model, which usually involves planned stays between six and twelve months. These facilities are based around the socialization of the individual and helping an individual to interact with the world in a positive way.
Treatment plans will focus on helping you to develop an accountability system for yourself, take responsibility for your actions, and gain the confidence you need to have control over your life again. You’ll address the psychological problems behind your addiction and learn to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Treatment in a residential facility is very structured; you’ll have a preplanned list of items to bring as well as prohibited items. Each day will be scheduled with room for activities, therapy, and free time. Most treatment centers will also offer family therapy for your loved ones.
Short-Term Residential Programs
There are also short-term residential programs. These programs are just as involved and intensive as a long-term treatment plan, but they last for a shorter period of time. Most short-term programs are based around a 12-step ideology. A short-term residential program usually involves a stay of three to six weeks in a hospital-like setting, with outpatient therapy and self-help groups to follow.
Outpatient treatment programs are less intensive and restrictive than residential programs, because you won’t be living on site at the treatment facility. That said, the issues they address and the amount of time they last for varies widely from plan to plan. This treatment is also less expensive than residential treatment.
How Do I Know Which Treatment Type Is Right for Me?
After your initial detox, you can speak to your doctor or social worker about the severity of your addiction and the treatment program you’d like to follow. The following guidelines are good rules of thumb.
You may want to consider a long-term residential treatment facility if:
- You have tried outpatient or short-term residential treatment before and found yourself relapsing
- You need help to learn to engage socially and live in a healthy environment
- You need a structured place to face mental health issues before you go home
- You’re worried that your home environment will trigger relapses
- You want intensive, personalized treatment and medical professionals to be available 24/7
You might want to consider a short-term treatment facility if:
- You need to return to your real life responsibilities faster than at a long-term treatment center, but do not need to return immediately
- You want a stable environment to learn coping mechanisms to take back home
- You are seeking education about drug addictions and alcoholism
- You want to be supervised for the first few weeks following your detoxification to avoid relapse
You might consider outpatient-only plans if:
- You cannot afford a residential treatment facility
- You already have a social support network at home
- You have a stable home environment which is unlikely to trigger a relapse
- You need to return to work or school immediately
Here’s an important fact regarding addiction: Residential treatment has a higher rate of success than outpatient-only treatment. This can be attributed to a number of different factors. Residential treatment gives you real-time access to mental health professionals 24 hours a day. It also ensures you’re in a safe, supervised environment while you begin your addiction recovery. Sometimes the variables in a home environment can trigger relapses, even if you’re involved in a relatively intensive outpatient program.
If you’re able to, taking some time off work or school is sometimes the best course of action. Work and school both add enormous amounts of pressure to your workload. The stress isn’t always good for you, and it’s even worse when you’re trying to fight an addiction on top of that.
If you begin an outpatient treatment program but find yourself relapsing or struggling, you might want to talk to your doctor about inpatient care. Many treatment facilities have sliding scales of responsibility regarding finances. Some also have scholarship programs that you can apply for.
The people in your life would want you to get the treatment you need in the time frame you need, rather than trying to rush treatment and having a relapse. We can help you discuss your options; our trained counselors are available 24/7 at 888-380-0342