What to Look for in a Residential Drug Rehab Program

inpatient drug rehab in connecticut

Substance addiction is a chronic disease that – much like diabetes or asthma – requires continuous, active care and management. It is for this reason that clinicians and addiction treatment experts around the world often recommend long-term, residential drug rehab. Residential rehab, also called inpatient drug treatment, means that those battling addiction live in or near their treatment facility. They receive full-time attention and round-the-clock support as they work to overcome their substance use disorder.

Residential rehab is associated with high success rates, as residents are separated from the outside pressures of daily life, and placed in an environment that encourages healing and good health. Residential rehab programs are generally intensive and longer-term programs, and therefore are best for people who may not have another safe place to go, who are battling a more severe addiction, or who are facing multiple, co-occurring substance and mental health disorders at once. As explained by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), “A person experiencing a mental illness and dangerous/dependent patterns of substance use may benefit from an inpatient rehabilitation center where they can receive medical and mental health care 24/7. These treatment centers provide therapy, support, medication and health services to treat the substance use disorder and its underlying causes.”

If your loved one is battling an addiction, and residential drug rehab was recommended, you may be wondering your next step. Learning your loved one has a substance use disorder is hard enough – how will you choose the right treatment program for his or her needs? There are several different types of residential drug treatment today, including luxury rehab programs, evidence-based care facilities, and dual diagnosis centers. Which treatment setting will bring the highest potential for success and sobriety?

Below, we outline the top five things to look for in a residential drug treatment program today.

  1. A Safe Space for Healing, with Round-the-Clock Care

The key benefit of residential substance abuse treatment is the fact that it offers a completely separate, safe space for healing, equipped with 24/7 care. This is why so many experts endorse residential drug treatment, and why so many parents choose this path for their teens. In a residential rehab, clients are placed in a drug-free, stress-free environment, away from outside temptations and anxieties (whether in society, at school, or at home). Rather than worrying about things like peer pressuring buddies and going to parties to maintain a certain social status, residents can take the time and space they need to heal, and have access to support staff at all times. In contrast, those in an outpatient rehab setting need to return to their daily lives while in recovery, and cope with those everyday pressures, often by themselves.

When looking for a residential rehab center for your loved one, be sure to take a close look at their facilities and residences. What do the buildings, the dormitories, the general atmosphere say to you? Do they feel hospitalized, or do they suggest a peaceful, supportive place where your loved one can thrive? At Turnbridge, the residences and clinical facilities are designed to reflect aspects of positivity, security, peace of mind, inspiration, and space for each person to find the best versions of themselves. Clients have access to nutritious meals, in-house fitness and yoga centers, music and art studios, full libraries, and outdoor spaces, among other encouraging healing environments. There is also the benefit of round-the-clock access to clinical resources, counselors, and mentors at all stages of the recovery process.

  1. Tailored, Individualized Treatment

Everyone carries a different addiction story – how they initiated drug use, why they continued drug use, the experiences they have or had on drugs. Many people facing addiction also battle other, co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. That said, there is not one type of treatment that is right for everyone. Drug rehab cannot be one-size-fits-all. It’s important that the residential rehab program you choose understands that substance use can affect all aspects of a person’s life in different ways (including his/her medical and psychological health), and that treatment must be tailored to his or her individual needs. Choose a rehab facility that customizes treatment plans to each clients’ age, gender, drug of choice, mental health, relationships, and readiness to stay sober.

  1. Gender-Specific and Age-Appropriate Treatment

Just as substance addiction affects people in different ways, it also affects genders and ages differently. As detailed in our recent article about gender differences in substance use, research shows that males and females have diverse experiences in the way they initiate, react to, and continue drug use. For example, women in recovery are more likely to battle co-occurring mental health disorders such as PTSD, and to carry past traumas of physical or sexual abuse. In a residential rehab setting, treating young men and women separately, based on their unique experiences as genders, is important for their healing environment. Gender-specific addiction treatment programs are staffed with clinicians who are specifically trained in substance use among males or females – providing them with the space and attention they need to recover comfortably, without distraction or pressure from the opposite sex.

To the same end, age-appropriate drug rehab is equally important in a residential setting. For teens and young adults especially, it can help the healing process to live alongside, and to be surrounded by, peers of similar age and stage of life. Simply put, teenagers and young adults have different experiences with drugs and addiction than older adults, largely because they are at different phases of development. They are more likely to become addicted with repeated drug abuse, for example, because their brains are still in progress. They are also likely to respond to treatment differently.

It is important that the residential rehab facility you choose offers age-specific programs for your loved one to feel comfortable and accepted in their surrounding recovery community. At Turnbridge, we believe that a strong, sober support network can be one of the greatest recovery tools when overcoming addiction. In a residential setting, this support network is easier to build when there are other same-age, same-gender peers surrounding you, walking in very similar shoes. This can help a person feel supported, and as though they are not going it alone, in drug treatment.

  1. Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis (commonly referred to as “co-occurring disorders”) is a clinical condition in which a person is battling both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Currently, about 8 million people in the United States face a dual diagnosis. Even more individuals are battling co-occurring disorders unknowingly, as symptoms are often masked.

Dual diagnosis is so common, in that many people with a mental illness self-medicate by using drugs, and in that drugs are chemicals that can actually provoke the symptoms of a mental health issue – anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and eating disorders are just some of the many examples. Most mental health issues begin in the teenage years. If drug abuse is also introduced at that time, it puts a young person at even higher risk for substance addiction down the road. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Effectively treating substance use disorders in adolescents requires also identifying and treating any other mental health conditions they may have.”

If your loved one shows any signs of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, ADHD, behavioral issues, any extent of problematic thinking or conduct, it is important to look for a residential rehab program that also treats cases of dual diagnosis. Not every rehab is equipped to treat dual diagnosis. Those that are able to treat co-occurring disorders should do so in an integrated environment, addressing both the substance use disorder and the mental health issues simultaneously, to the best treatment outcome.

  1. Educational, Vocational, as well as Social Opportunities

When many people think about residential drug treatment, they often think, “What about all that I’ve established here? Will I have to leave that behind for rehab?” Parents of addicted teens may worry about their child’s academics and the effect rehab might have on college, while others may worry about leaving their job or friends, to go away to treatment. There are ways to mitigate these concerns, and that’s through a residential rehab that offers social, educational, and vocational pursuits as part of their treatment programs. At Turnbridge, we believe that no one should have to put their life on hold completely to attend inpatient rehab.

When researching residential programs for your child, ask how they incorporate academics and career goals into their programs. Do they offer tutoring, study workshops, or college application support, to help keep your young one on track? Turnbridge, for example, has a staff of educational advisors and tutors who can help high school students and college students in recovery maintain as well as find academic success. We also encourage residents in our program to pursue work and volunteer opportunities as they get into the later phases of treatment. This allows them to get involved in the surrounding community and further prepares them for life after treatment, while still receiving the care and support they deserve in a residential setting. If your loved one is not in school, still look for a residential treatment center that can accommodate and support his or her career goals through opportunities such as this. Vocational and academic experiences in residential rehab help clients to regain focus on their priorities, as well as the life skills needed to transition to life after rehab.

Social and recreational opportunities are another key aspect of residential drug rehab, particularly for adolescents and young adults who may be hesitant to participate in their treatment at first. While educational and vocational pursuits are designed to keep residents on track, recreational opportunities are also a great way to build meaningful, supportive relationships in treatment. As noted above, a sober network of friends can be one of the most powerful addiction recovery tools. That is why, at Turnbridge, we offer an array of fun and engaging activities for residents to get involved in, so that they can build friendships with one another and gain a more active and eager role in their own recovery journey.

For more information about the residential treatment programs for young men and women at Turnbridge, please do not hesitate to call 877-581-1793. We are here to help your loved one back on the road to recovery, with 24-hour, seven-days-a-week support.