Long-Term Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
After completing detox treatment, many people struggling with drug or alcohol addictions enter some form of residential program. Traditional residential treatment programs offer those in a recovery a “trial run” in terms of learning how to live a drug-free life on a day-to-day basis. Long-term residential treatment works from the same premise with program durations being considerably longer and more so intense.
More than anything else, ensuring a person receives the level of treatment he or she most needs can go a long way towards preventing relapse and avoiding another detox period. In this regard, a long-term program offers addicts a solid foundation on the road to recovery.
Long-term residential treatment offer a range of therapeutic benefits, some of which include:
- Stable, structured living environments
- Daily guidance and support
- Real-life experience
All of these benefits work together to provide recovering addicts with the skills and experience needed to live a drug-free lifestyle.
Residential Treatment Programs
Residential treatment exists as one of two primary options for receiving ongoing treatment help after completing detox, with outpatient care being the second option. Residential treatment programs provide a type of living environment where residents devote all their time, attention and energy to getting and staying drug-free.
While outpatient programs do offer a certain degree of freedom and flexibility, this same freedom and flexibility can threaten a person’s recovery progress when he or she is unprepared to handle it. As live-in facilities, residential programs help instill the types of routines and behaviors needed to maintain abstinence on a long-term basis.
Long-Term Residential Treatment
Traditional residential programs can run anywhere from 30 days to three months in duration. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a long-term residential program can run from six months to as long as a year.
Long-term residential programs are fairly structured treatment settings where residents engage in any number of activities on a daily basis, some of which include –
- Support group participation
- Group therapy
- Household chores
- Drug education training
These programs also conduct periodic drug screenings to ensure residents maintain abstinence for the duration of their stay.
Long-term residential treatment programs are often described as therapeutic communities where residents can apply the principles of recovery in real-life. In effect, therapeutic communities act as a bridge between the drug treatment environment and the real world.
As therapeutic communities, long-term residential programs place a heavy emphasis on –
- Peer supports
- Developing healthy communication skills
- Developing structure and purpose within one’s daily life
Over the course of the program, residents learn how to manage stress, emotions and conflict in healthy ways. In turn, a person can develop the type of mindset set that makes living a drug-free lifestyle possible.
When to Consider Getting Long-Term Residential Treatment Help
While not everyone struggling with addiction will require long-term residential treatment, certain conditions do point to the need for a long-term approach –
- A long history of substance abuse
- Two or more previous attempts at drug treatment
- Co-existing conditions, such as a psychological disorder
- Lack of a support system
Ultimately, the more severe a person’s addiction the more likely he or she will benefit from long-term residential treatment.