What is Short-Term Residential Treatment?

Seeking treatment for addiction is always the right idea, but it can feel overwhelming when looking at the wide range of treatment options that are available. One popular option for those struggling with addiction is short-term residential treatment. Before enrolling in a treatment program, prospective patients and their loved ones should get a better understanding of what short-term residential treatment is, who can benefit from it and what its advantages are.

Distinguishing Between Short- and Long-Term Treatment

Although there may be a big difference between short- and long-term addiction treatment, it’s important to understand one vital thing: there’s no quick fix when overcoming addiction. Facilities that advertise recovery in a matter of days won’t be providing the best possible care to their patients, and in many cases those patients may be struggling with high relapse rates just weeks after their programs have ended.

Short-term treatment is far from instantaneous. It’s the phrase used to describe rehab and recovery programs that last an average of 28 to 30 days. Long-term treatment, on the other hand, tends to be approximately 90 days, although in some cases it can be six months or even a year in duration.

What to Expect in Residential Treatment

With the duration of short-term treatment defined, it’s a good idea to get a better idea of what a residential treatment program entails. Residential addiction programs are defined as those that provide accommodation as well as treatments and therapies on a regular basis. Residential care can be considered as “one-stop” treatment, because it will include all of the therapy, accommodation, meals and any additional services that might be required.

Patients who are going into residential treatment programs should expect to start with an assessment, or an evaluation, that determines the severity of the addiction and identifies any physical or mental health problems that will need to be addressed. This allows for a dual diagnosis, if necessary, and can ensure that all patients receive comprehensive care that will benefit their overall wellbeing.

There are several types of treatment that might be provided to patients in short-term residential care. Evidence-based treatments such as behavioral therapy, pharmacological treatment and group counseling are popular options that provide a substantial success for patients. However, residential treatment also opens up options for holistic and alternative therapies that can develop skills, improve confidence, relieve stress and contribute to lasting health. Things like nutritional therapy, yoga therapy, art therapy and fitness therapy are all possible in a short-term residential treatment program.

Residential treatment is widely considered to be the most beneficial form of addiction treatment because of its accountability for patients. However, it’s not the only available form of care. Alternatives to residential treatment can include outpatient care, intensive outpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs.

Who Can Benefit Most From Short-Term Residential Treatment

Short-term residential treatment is an effective way to treat patients who are addicted to a range of substances, including drugs and alcohol. Virtually anyone with a dangerous addiction should seek professional assistance, and there’s no question that short-term residential treatment would be beneficial. However, there are some potential patients who might benefit most from short-term residential treatment. This would include individuals attending rehab for the first time, those who want to minimize the costs and time commitment of rehab and those who are battling a severe addiction.

Short-term treatment is often preferred by those who don’t have the resources to commit to a 90-day program. Individuals with financial limitations, or those who need to get back to careers, schools and families as quickly as possible, may thrive in a short-term program of 30 days or less.

Individuals who are battling with severe addictions, or who are attending recovery programs for the very first time, are ideal candidates for short-term residential treatment. Why? Because residential care is intensive treatment that is around the clock, which means that patients can enjoy higher rates of successful sobriety and lower rates of relapse. Outpatient programs, in comparison, are not always ideal for those struggling with severe addictions as there is lessened accountability for patients.

Advantages of Short-Term Residential Treatment

Short-term residential treatment brings with it a number of advantages for patients as well as their loved ones. The families of patients won’t have to directly supervise or care for patients while they are in inpatient programs, which can be a relief during this challenging time. Short-term programs are also less expensive and can minimize disruptions to everyday life. In addition, residential programs offer better results to patients.

Cost is nearly always a consideration for prospective rehab patients and their families. Even when health insurance is involved, there may be questions of limited care coverage or deductibles. For these reasons, many patients opt for short-term care. Many health insurance providers will cover a full 30 days of treatment, but won’t cover long-term programs.

Short-term residential care is an intensive program that functions on a 24/7 basis, but this concentration of treatment, therapy and accountability means that many patients can return to their lives in as little as 30 days. Short-term programs are an excellent way to minimize disruptions to life, and these shorter absences are more easily explained. This makes them ideal for patients who have careers, who attend college or who can’t leave their families for extended periods of time.

Finally, it’s vital to look at the objectives when understanding the value of short-term residential programs. For most patients, the primary goal is to achieve sobriety and learn the necessary tools to maintain that sobriety for life. Residential programs outperform outpatient programs routinely, perhaps because they have higher rates of completion, 24/7 care and greater accountability.

Patients can benefit from short-term residential treatment if they want a more intensive treatment method that can still achieve great results. Programs can vary significantly from facility to facility, but most will offer a variety of trusted and effective treatments and therapies to help patients achieve their goals.