Residential Programs

Residential treatment is a well-known approach to addiction treatment, and it involves a patient being treated in a residential environment. In this environment, residents will undergo a more laid-back, relaxed treatment program. The general length of residential treatment is long-term and can range anywhere from 30 days or less up to over 90 days (for more severe addictions). Residential treatment is best suited for those who have a psychological addiction and require long-term, low-intensity treatment but do not have a stable living condition.

Commonly referring to the long periods of time that a patient stays on-site during treatment, the use of the term “residential treatment” is commonly mistaken for “inpatient treatment.” Though residential treatment is a form of inpatient treatment, the difference between them is the fact that residential treatment programs explore the psychological reasoning and roots behind a patient’s addiction. Other inpatient treatment programs generally take place in drug rehab centers and hospitals as opposed to a residence, and they focus more on treating physical dependence and addiction.

Why Residential Treatment?

When considering residential treatment, a common question that pops into someone’s head is, “Is it really necessary?” In fact, the necessity of professional treatment is a hotly debated topic in today’s society. Many people that recognize that they have a substance abuse disorder do not believe that undergoing full treatment is necessary and that detox is more than enough to treat their addiction. By going “cold turkey,” someone struggling with addiction will cease all substance intake to avoid going through medically-supervised detox. Although it may be effective in cleaning substance residue and toxins from the body, quitting a substance cold turkey does not count as recovery and does little to nothing in treating the psychological factors behind addiction.

Quitting cold turkey is not only ineffective but also can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. Convulsions, sweating, seizures, nausea, and agitation are all common withdrawal symptoms that many people will experience during cold turkey withdrawal symptoms. Not only are they uncomfortable, but things such as seizures can sometimes prove to be fatal, so seeking the correct medical detox program is essential to retaining a patient’s health.

As the first step in recovery, medical detox is consequently one of the most difficult and intensive steps in the path to recovery. The success of detox directly correlates to the success of overall treatment, and those that complete detox have a much higher rate of success than those who do not. Make no mistake, however, completion of medical detox does not mean that recovery is complete. Finishing detox is a huge step, but without further treatment, it is similar to cutting a weed and ignoring it; if not treated at the roots, it will simply grow back.




The first step in nearly every addiction treatment program is medical detox, but what is the point of detox and why is it so necessary? Detoxification is defined as the cessation (tapered or immediate) of a substance in an attempt to remove any residue or toxins built up from past abuse and addiction. The point of this toxin removal is to ensure that the body’s different organs such as the lungs and liver are working without any hindrance. By having a sober body throughout drug treatment, each individual organ can focus solely on recovery without the interference of a substance’s effects.

Detox can be very difficult for many people, and to encounter withdrawal symptoms is not uncommon. Depending on the severity of past addiction, withdrawal symptoms can range anywhere from mild insomnia to fatal seizures. When someone engages in medically-supervised detox, a team of 24-7 doctors and nurses ensure that the proper steps are taken to counter the withdrawal symptoms and make the overall detox stage as comfortable for the patient as possible.

If a patient is not medically supervised while going through detox, the withdrawal symptoms can easily lead to relapse and the development of another addiction. The completion of detox alone is not enough to ensure sobriety, and a lack of post-detox treatment contributes directly to increased withdrawal symptom severity and likelihood.

Residential Treatment and Relapse Prevention

Relapse, though it should be commonly avoided, is sometimes inevitable and happens to a larger population than you would think. Because it is stigmatized against, many people view relapse as a failure and “two steps back.” To doctors and those providing you with medical supervision, however, relapse can be beneficial in determining the cause of previous addiction and ultimately may help in preventing future relapse and staying sober after treatment.

It is important to remember that just because relapse can sometimes benefit the identification of the reason behind someone’s addiction, relapse should never be viewed as acceptable and everyone should always try to avoid relapse.

The following list consists of tips to help someone in recovery avoid relapse:

  • Making friends with those that have been successful in their recovery process can be much more beneficial to a patient than you think. Most of the time, they will have tips and useful advice to help you with your recovery be.
  • Being around someone who is successful in recovery can influence you to make the similar, smart decisions that they make.
  • Though it is generally encouraged, distracting yourself from current withdrawal symptoms can sometimes negatively affect your recovery as a whole. Many people will overwork themselves in an attempt to over-distract them from their withdrawals, and doing so can lead to workaholism.
  • To best avoid this, stay vigilant in noticing your behavioral patterns. If you find yourself to be preoccupied too often, consider taking a break from your work.
  • On the subject of overworking, you should always remember that recovery is a process to be appreciated and enjoyed. If your residential treatment feels more like a punishment than a residence, you should consider talking to your case manager or even seeking an entirely new treatment center.
  • Comfort and happiness is the main factor in determining whether or not treatment is a success, and a happier resident is a successful one.

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What to Expect from Residential Treatment Programs

Effective residential treatment programs use clinically-proven methods to treat substance abuse and addiction. Activities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) are three of the most popular and commonly used methods used to treat addiction in residential treatment programs. In these activities, both doctors and patients interact with one another and explore the psychological reasons behind the patient’s addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, has been one of the most well-tested, successful methods in treating mental disorders and illnesses, addiction included. CBT is the most widely used method for treating psychological disorders, and its evidence-based approach to treating addiction makes it the psychosocial treatment of choice.

Originally used to treat depression, CBT has undergone multiple studies that prove that CBT can be used to treat other mental health disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, addiction, and personality disorders. When used in conjunction with expertly-administered medications such as benzodiazepines, it can be used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), severe depression, opioid addiction, bipolar disorder, and many more physiological disorders.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a branch of cognitive behavioral therapy, and thus shares many of the same methods and traits. Both of them are referred to as talk therapy, but DBT follows a much more laid back structure and focuses on the social aspects of addiction as opposed to CBT, which focuses on why and how certain emotions interact with one another in a certain way.

While it may not be as widely used as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is still commonly used. Effective in treating personality disorders, DBT has been proven to be effective in treating negative behavioral patterns such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, anger management, and other behavioral disorders.


Motivational Interviewing

First referenced in 1983, the idea of Motivational Interviewing (MI) was first proposed by Dr. William R. Miller in an article in Behavioral Psychotherapy.Titled “Motivational Interviewing with Problem Drinkers,” the article challenges the traditional idea at the time: that the motivation for problem drinkers is attributed almost entirely to the individual’s personality.

Motivational interviewing ventures off of the cookie-cutter path and asserts that a therapist, through certain tone, word choice, and speaking style, can influence someone suffering from alcoholism to make behavioral changes. Through the resolution of ambivalence (known commonly as “mixed feelings”), motivational interviewing can help someone personally identify the downsides of abusing a substance and consider that maybe the cons of addiction outweigh the pros.

Why Choose Residential Treatment at Arete Recovery?

Drug addiction is a dangerous problem and, if left unchecked, can severely affect a person and their loved ones. Early detection is crucial, and if you or someone you know suffers from an addiction, it is essential that you seek help immediately.

At Arete Recovery, we treat every case as its own. There is no room for shortcuts when it comes to addiction treatment and grouping the treatment for different substance addictions together is dangerous. Our team of professional doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and case managers will create a plan for you on day one and will gladly provide any resource or support you may need while in recovery.

Call us today at (855) 781-9939 or contact us online to let one of our medical experts help you. From any questions regarding general addiction information to insurance policies, Arete Recovery is excited to help. We are grateful to be a part of your recovery story, and our mission is to ensure that it is a successful one.