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Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse


Topic Overview

In residential treatment, you live in an alcohol-free and drug-free setting while recovering from addiction. How long you stay varies. You may stay for a number of months or more.

Residential treatment may be a good option if you have a long history of alcohol or drug use or crime, have a bad home situation, or don't have social support.

Most residential treatment programs involve the 12-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). You'll have group therapy, counseling, and medical care, and you will learn about addiction. Some programs also offer job or career training. Women may be allowed to bring their children.

Group therapy provides support and feedback from others who have struggled with addiction.

Some residential programs use a therapeutic community (TC) model. These programs allow you to be more accountable, responsible, and active in your community as your treatment progresses. This helps you stay committed to quitting.

At first, you may have limited contact with your family and others. This helps you adjust to your therapy. It also helps you make major life changes so you can quit drugs and alcohol.

Over time, you may go back to work during the day. You'll return to your program for evening sessions and to sleep each night.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerPeter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
Last RevisedJanuary 18, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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