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:
- 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 –
- 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.