How to Tell if My Loved One Really Needs Residential Drug Addiction Treatment?

How to Tell if My Loved One Really Needs Residential Drug Addiction Treatment?

If you’re at the point where you know beyond a doubt that your loved one requires treatment for addiction, you may be at a loss to figure out which type of treatment is best. There are several different options, including inpatient hospital treatment, outpatient hospital-based treatment, specialized outpatient treatment centers, and residential treatment facilities.

There’s no need to agonize over which is best for your loved one, however, since your decision – and that of your loved one – can be based on practical considerations, such as type and duration of addiction or addictions, insurance coverage and/or cost, success rate of the facility in treating particular addictions, as well as personal preference.

Consider What’s Going On With Your Loved One Now – and the Family

For some family members who have a loved one with addiction, the first realization is that something has to change. Things become so intolerable at home, so disruptive to the family dynamic, that everything is in turmoil on a daily basis.
In addition to the abuse or addiction to alcohol or drugs causing serious physical, mental, and emotional changes to the loved one, often there have been serious consequences that also impact the family. These include the loss of the loved one’s job (being fired or laid off), demotion, loss of a promotion, accidents involving drunk driving, arrests for criminal offenses, legal problems, serious financial difficulties, and more.

Strife at home may result in physical, as well as verbal, abuse or violence. If the loved one is the sole support of the family, the problems may become even worse. Arguments, often loud and occasionally violent, may seriously weaken the family bonds. Children who witness such conflict often become withdrawn or overly aggressive, begin to fail in school, and may take up drinking or doing drugs in an effort to escape from the stress. If it’s the child that’s abusing or dependent on alcohol and/or drugs, the parents often are completely lost and unsure what to do. Their formerly loving, happy, well-adapted child has become surly, secretive, prone to wild and erratic mood swings, hangs around with unsavory friends, gets in trouble at school, and causes heartbreak and turmoil in the family.

If you’ve had enough of the constant promises to quit drinking or doing drugs that always fail, if you don’t know where else to turn, and if you and your loved one are committed to getting help to overcome addiction, you may find that residential treatment is the best choice.

When Residential Treatment Makes Sense

Addiction recovery experts, backed by numerous research studies on the effectiveness of various types of addiction treatment programs and settings, recommend residential treatment for individuals who have chronic and debilitating addiction, multiple addictions, substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorder, or addiction and process disorder (such as compulsive gambling, sex, work, or spending, among others).

In general, the more severe the problems a person experiences as a result of his or her addiction, the more likely it is that residential treatment can offer the best opportunity to overcome the addiction and live a healthy, happy, and productive life. Those with long histories of drug abuse or addiction, involvement with the criminal justice system, and/or seriously impaired social functioning are perhaps better suited to treatment in a residential treatment program of a long-term duration.

Residential treatment programs may also make sense if your loved one would benefit more from an intensive treatment program that’s fully integrated in one location. Such a comprehensive residential treatment facility includes all services, either provided by professionals and staff at the facility, or coordinated and carried out under the administration of the treatment facility, either on-premises or off.

There are also residential treatment facilities that have programs for specific groups: men, women, seniors, adolescents, gay and lesbian, handicapped, and others. In addition, there are residential treatment facilities that have professionals that speak various languages, to enable them to provide care to patients of different ethnicities.

Short-Term Residential Treatment

In short-term residential treatment, patients receive intensive but relatively brief treatment for addiction in a residential setting. Such treatment is based on a modified 12-step approach and was originally developed to help clients overcome problems with alcohol. In the 1980s, during the height of the nationwide cocaine epidemic, many residential treatment facilities began to treat illicit drug abuse and addiction.

Typical duration of short-term residential treatment is 30 days or less. After active treatment is completed, the patient continues recovery by attending 12-step meetings and participating in aftercare or continuing care, if this is part of their addiction treatment program.

Beyond 30 days, some patients may transition to extended care programs offered by the residential treatment facility. The purpose of the extended care treatment is to provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals who have completed residential treatment but are not yet ready to transition from treatment to their home environment. During this early stage of recovery, the extended care treatment program helps patients build upon the gains they made during treatment and addresses issues that arise as they rejoin the workplace and return to their homes.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

As the name implies, long-term residential treatment encompasses many more months than its short-term counterpart. Long-term residential treatment involves 24-hour care, and is generally provided in non-hospital settings, otherwise known as residential treatment facilities.

Long-term treatment is that which lasts 30 to 90-plus days. Some long-term treatment may be 6 months or more. Some individuals with persistent severe problems, involvement in the criminal justice system, and/or co-occurring disorders may be transitioned to a structured living environment, known as therapeutic communities, and remain there for a period of 6 to 12 months. The focus of TCs is resocialization of the patient to a drug-free and crime-free lifestyle.

Which Residential Treatment Program is Right for Your Loved One?

Choosing the type of residential treatment program is a decision that you and your loved one will make based on the recommendations of the professionals at the residential treatment facility you choose. After a thorough interview and assessment of the patient, a personalized treatment plan will be created that will address the patient’s needs and concerns.

You will have the basic treatment program, as well as a number of options or additional services available through the residential treatment facility. Be sure to ask all the questions that come to mind, including whether financial assistance is available, the facility’s overall success rate in treating specific addictions, the credentials and licenses of the facility and staff, what’s included in the treatment plan and what is extra cost, how long the treatment program will last, and what’s included following completion of the active treatment phase (continuing care, additional counseling, etc.).

Remember that the end goal is that your loved one establishes a firm foundation for recovery from addiction and is able to return home better prepared to live a healthier lifestyle, one that’s free from drugs and alcohol. The homelike and relaxed treatment setting of residential treatment facilities has proven to be very conducive to the recovery and healing process.
Does your loved one really need residential treatment? Hopefully, by now you will be able to answer that question. At the very least, you will have more information that can assist you in making your decision.

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