Short-term Substance Abuse Treatment

Addiction leaves lasting effects that only get worse the longer a person keeps taking drugs or drinking alcohol. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction functions as a complex illness that impacts the addict’s life on a physical and psychological level. With weeks or months of ongoing drug use, a person creates the conditions for addiction to take root in his or her life.

Short-term residential treatment offers addicts a means for working through the hold that addiction has on their lives. While a few people may be able to overcome addiction’s effects through sheer force of will, this is more so the exception than the norm. Short-term residential treatment offers the structure and supports needed for maintaining abstinence and establishing a drug-free lifestyle.

Short-Term Residential Treatment Programs

Short-term residential programs operate as live-in treatment environments where a person receives 24-hour monitoring and support for the duration of the program. Short-term programs typically run anywhere from 14 to 28 days in length.

Services provided by short-term residential programs include:

substance abuse help

Even if only for a short time, residential programs provide a great depth and quality of personalized care to help you recover.

  • Initial intake evaluation and assessment process
  • 24 hour nursing staff
  • Physical evaluation
  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Family therapy as needed
  • Individual and group psychotherapy sessions
  • 12-Step support group meetings
  • Aftercare planning

These services work to help recovering addicts confront the issues that drive drug-using behaviors and develop healthy ways of coping with everyday life. The live-in aspect of short-term residential treatment helps to instill a sense of structure and order in a person’s life, which ultimately works to replace the chaos and turmoil that characterizes the addiction lifestyle.

Short-Term Residential vs. Other Forms of Treatment

Anyone considering getting help for an addiction problem can choose from three types of treatment programs –

  • Detox
  • Outpatient
  • Short-term residential
  • Long-term residential

Detox treatment is necessary before any progress can be made in recovery, regardless of the type of program a person enters thereafter. Outpatient treatment allows for more flexibility, so a person can still live at home while attending scheduled treatment sessions.

While short-term and long-term residential treatment both offer the same types of services, long-term residential entails a more in-depth approach that runs anywhere from four months to a year in duration. Long-term residential programs most benefit those suffering from other conditions in addition to an addiction problem, such as –

  • Chronic medical problems, i.e. diabetes
  • Psychological disorders
  • Multiple addictions

When to Consider Short-Term Residential Treatment

As short-term residential treatment only lasts for a relatively short period of time period, certain circumstances influence whether this type of treatment will work best for any one person. People coming off chronic, long-term addictions will likely require a more in-depth treatment approach so short-term residential won’t be able to provide the level of care needed.

The ideal candidate for short-term residential treatment will be someone who:

  • Doesn’t suffer from a chronic medical condition
  • Doesn’t struggle with severe mental health problems, such as bipolar disorder or anxiety disorder
  • Lives in a dysfunctional home environment

While short-term residential treatment does provide a person with a solid foundation for recovery, someone suited for short-term treatment must still be able grasp and implement the principles and practices provided through these types of program. Likewise, people struggling with other serious co-occurring conditions may not be ready for this level of care.