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What Is Residential Rehab Like?

6 minute read

Residential rehab is an intensive treatment where individuals stay in a facility for 24 hours a day. It typically lasts 21 days to several months. As the most intensive form of substance abuse treatment, residential rehab is most successful in helping those with severe or long-term addictions. Facilities typically offer group counseling, individual counseling, case management support, family therapy, and other treatment plans.

What Is Rehab Like: A Typical Day in Inpatient Treatment

The first week of addiction treatment in a residential facility like Footprints to Recovery usually consists of a detox period. This ensures drugs and/or alcohol are out of your system so you can enter treatment no longer influenced by their effects. Detox can often be difficult or dangerous.

At a treatment center, professional addiction treatment counselors oversee medical detox so you have support and care throughout the process. These experts help manage withdrawal symptoms, watch your vital signs, offer emotional support, and administer medication. How intense detox is and how long it lasts depends on factors like what substances you abused and for how long. Co-occurring mental health disorders can also affect the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. The staff at Footprints to Recovery focus on establishing a safe place for controlling cravings and managing withdrawal symptoms.

After medical detox, inpatient rehab is very structured and filled with activities and therapies. This eliminates boredom and downtime, which may tempt you to relapse. Planning the day distracts you from cravings and teaches you how to live differently. Each program varies, but a typical day usually looks like the following:

You’ll rise early and have a healthy breakfast. Some facilities offer morning programs such as yoga and meditation. These help you form new healthy habits that can be continued outside of treatment.

Afternoons are reserved for therapy sessions. An individual therapy session might include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is one of the most effective methods in substance abuse treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it has been effective during treatment and after people leave a facility. This therapy teaches you to anticipate problems and enhance self-control through effective coping strategies.

Other forms of therapy may include:

  • Group therapy: Allows patients to learn from each other and support one another’s experiences
  • Specialized sessions, including anger management, grief counseling, and trauma counseling
  • Family therapy: The key to success is building long-term support and trust through open communication within the family unit.
  • , including art, music, equine-assisted, or adventure therapy. These allow patients to build renewed self-confidence.

In the evenings you’ll have opportunities to engage socially and be a part of sober recreation, like:

  • Karaoke
  • Art
  • Movie nights
  • Fitness
  • Yoga
  • Holiday-based activities

Or you might choose to read, journal, pray, or meditate.

Group Therapy

how long is rehab

Group therapy is an important and highly effective treatment for addiction issues. It involves mediator-led meetings with others who share your desire to get sober. Meetings are safe and supportive settings where everyone collaborates on how to handle addiction and the issues in life that come with it. Group therapy can help you develop better communication skills and allow you to see that you aren’t the only one who struggles with drugs or alcohol. A sense of community support creates a place where you can feel open and vulnerable as you work towards sobriety.

Case Management

In residential addiction treatment you’ll be assigned a case manager. Your case manager is part of your system of support during your time at a recovery facility. They’ll also be there for you in the future when you feel like you need help to prevent a relapse or negative decision making. Your meetings may entail creating a treatment plan, connecting you to a provider, and keeping track of your progress.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication, such as methadone, can help treat addictions. The medications should only be used under the supervision of an addiction treatment professional. When taken in a supervised setting, medications can:

  • Help reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol
  • Reduce the risk of relapse
  • Aid in recovery long term

It is important to understand that these medications do not cure addiction. They are most-effective in addiction recovery when used alongside counseling and other forms of behavioral therapy.

12-Step Model Support/Recovery Groups

The 12-step model offers a free, peer-based treatment program for those with drug use disorders. Participants adhere to a set of instructions to refrain from using their preferred substances. Each step is a guiding principle that helps someone avoid triggers, cope with stress, and stay sober even when life gets difficult. The 12-step model involves regular group meetings, which help create a sense of safety, inclusion, and community among attendees. Examples of 12-step recovery groups include:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

These types of programs are often used during aftercare following residential rehab. Aftercare is an ongoing form of addiction treatment for those who have completed their inpatient and/or outpatient treatment programs. Aftercare offers support and care post-rehab so you can remain on a path to sober living.

Pros and Cons of Residential Addiction Treatment

It is important to take the pros and cons of residential addiction treatment into consideration before you commit to a level of care. There are benefits and drawbacks to this treatment path, and it may not be the correct process for everyone.

Here are some important pros and cons to consider when deciding if residential treatment is right for you.

Pros of residential rehab include:

• 24-hour medical and emotional support
• Medical support during withdrawal symptoms
• None of the distractions or temptations of everyday life
• Flexible program lengths
• Structured programming
• Nutritional support
• Forming new healthy habits
• Sense of community
• Establishing healthy boundaries

Cons of residential rehab include:

More expensive
• Disruptive to everyday life
• Limited access to social circle support

All the items listed in the pros section are important reasons why you should consider residential rehab over a 12-step program or trying to quit alcohol or drugs at home. The outstanding level of care provided; access to skills development; and the opportunity to turn your life around in a distraction-free, safe environment should be reasons to consider getting help from a professional recovery program. Trying to get sober on your own can be difficult, frustrating, and ineffective. For many, attending occasional meetings isn’t enough to get a grip on their addiction problems. Residential rehab is the more effective treatment for those in search of a sober future.

What Are Other Types of Rehab Like?

Partial Hospitalization Treatment

Residential rehab is just one type of addiction treatment offered by a treatment facility like Footprints to Recovery. There are other, less intense treatment programs that allow more flexibility with your recovery. Some of them include:

  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP) – Clients spend their day at the facility participating in group and individual therapies but return home at night.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP) – Clients visit the facility a few times a week for several hours doing group and individual counseling sessions.

How Long Is a Typical Inpatient Drug Rehab Program?

Each patient’s stay differs in length. It can last anywhere from 90 to 180 days. Naturally, this depends on your unique treatment approach and factors such as:

The team of addiction treatment professionals at Footprints to Recovery are able to assess your situation and offer a path to sobriety that fits your needs.

Can You Quit a Residential Treatment Program?

Inpatient drug rehab centers do not usually allow their patients to leave. If you are in danger or putting someone else in danger because of your addiction problems, then it’s important that you remain at the treatment facility to get better. However, situations change, and everyone is different. Some inpatient drug rehab centers do provide court appearances or supervised excursions for their clients.

What to Look for When Choosing a Residential Rehab Facility

  1. Credentials and reviews: Always seek care from qualified, experienced specialists.
  2. Follow-up support: The best treatments are less helpful if they do not transition people to continued care.
  3. Treatment approach: The treatment center should use a wide variety of scientifically proven therapies. These therapies should address the complete person rather than just the addiction.
  4. Comfort: Patients might devote more energy to their treatment if they feel peaceful in their surroundings. During the initial visit, make sure the accommodations are pleasant and the staff is kind and open.

Residential rehab at Footprints to Recovery can be essential to recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. Our top focus is offering you the support you require in your struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. No matter which treatment you choose, we don’t believe you should live with addiction for another day. If you or a loved one are struggling with a drug use disorder or mental health problem, help is available. To find out more about our treatment programs or for an insurance verification, contact us today.


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