Residential drug rehab detox and treatment facilities are centers where people physically dependent on drugs or alcohol live together and work with counselors and other medical professionals in order to achieve recovery. Their average stay is usually three months.
Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Begins with Detox
The first step in recovery is “detox,” which is short for chemical detoxification. This is a process in which the person stops using the substance of choice, and then goes through physical withdrawal symptoms until the chemical is completely eliminated from his or her body. Symptoms vary, depending on the substance abused, in what amounts, and the length of time the person used it. Some withdrawal syndromes can be life-threatening; for example, withdrawing too suddenly from certain barbiturates has caused sudden deaths. Other withdrawal syndromes are extremely unpleasant, such as the severe flu-like symptoms and deep anxiety that narcotic addicts experience. By enrolling in a detox facility, however, the person receives 24-hour monitoring by medical professionals who can usually ease symptoms by medications and other means. Some people experience very mild physical withdrawals and do not have to be monitored.
Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Offers Therapies Unique to the Individual
After chemical detoxification, the next step in recovery is getting rid of the psychological dependence upon the substance. This is difficult, especially if the person has been using for years. A good residential drug rehab facility will have a very highly scheduled program of group and individual therapy, physical recreation, social activities, 12-step or other support meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous, and classes in relaxation, stress reduction, and drug education. The schedule usually is intense and has hour-by-hour mandatory activities. The client’s family or other loved ones are involved in the process through therapy sessions, sometimes by phone conference.
Residential Drug Rehab’s Offer After Care Programs
In a good, accredited residential drug rehab facility, the recovery process will include an extensive after-care program. Some clients enroll in “half-way houses” or group residences where they still live with other people in recovery and remain in support therapy, but the process is not as intense as before and they can be employed or attending school while living in the group residence. With other clients, the case manager at the treatment facility will set up an after-care program that the person can work from his home. This program usually includes continuing psychotherapy, support meetings, and family counseling.
Teenagers and children who are substance abusers are more likely to get residential drug and alcohol treatment at therapeutic boarding schools, where they can continue their education, or through wilderness programs, although there are also traditional residential drug rehabs available for adolescents.