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Pros and Cons of Residential Rehab


Many people with substance use disorder attend drug and alcohol addiction programs to recover successfully. Learning about the different types of treatment programs is recommended to people with addiction, so they can find what works best for them.

Pros of Residential Rehab

On average, residential drug rehabilitation facilities host recovering addicts for anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months. They require prospective enrollees to remain on campus for the duration of their enrollment with few exceptions. These rehabs are best for people who’ve failed to maintain sobriety on their own or after attending detox, outpatient drug treatment, or other short-term addiction treatment programs.

Alternative to Hospitalization

“[Upholding] the standard of excellence in all aspects of patient care,” says AION Health, is offered by residential rehabs as a viable option to being hospitalized. People who suffer from substance use disorder and concurrent mental health diagnoses or physical health problems benefit from the supportive social environments that hospitals often lack.

Removal From Stressors and Temptations

People in recovery should remove themselves from social circles, geographic locations, and activities prone to trigger a relapse. Known as “people, places, and things,” these temptations and stressors are often too great to overcome. When combined with a fresh perspective on life, addicts in recovery who change their lifestyles improve their chances of long-term success.

Stabilization for Co-occurring Disorders

Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia commonly accompany substance use disorder. Without addressing these conditions, addicts hopeful of recovering reduce their chances of leaving drugs behind for good. This stabilization may take the form of medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and peer-to-peer group sessions.

Medically-Supervised Detox

Regularly consuming some drugs can result in withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal syndrome, for example, includes symptoms like nausea, gooseflesh, diarrhea, muscle aches, insomnia, and vomiting and can persist for 4 to 14 days. The condition can even exacerbate existing cardiovascular issues by placing added strain on the heart. Medically-supervised detox helps patients deal with these symptoms by dispensing medications that limit symptoms’ effects.

Support With Basic Functioning

Whether due to withdrawal or existing health conditions, residential treatment centers can take care of patients’ hygienic, medical, and nutritional needs.

Cons of Residential Rehab

Residential rehabs might not be ideal for people with mild or moderate cases of substance use disorder. Some recovering addicts can’t afford to take off work, leave their children behind, or stop caring for family members, rendering residential treatment options unfeasible.


Residential programs are expensive. While many Americans do have insurance, those who deal with addiction are disproportionately likely to be uninsured and unable to afford the exorbitant cost of long-term residential treatment programs.

Transitioning Is Difficult

Adjusting to life in highly-structured residential programs may prove difficult to some enrollees. They might not allow access to things like phones or the Internet, frustrating recently-accepted patients. Many programs have mandatory blackout periods that further make new residents uncomfortable.

Only the First Step

Completing a long-term residential addiction treatment program isn’t easy. However, it’s also not a panacea. After release, recovering addicts often need new support systems, counseling sessions, and 12-step meetings to keep cravings at bay.

Residential rehab is, in fact, ideal for troubled addicts who were previously unable to recover on their own or with help from less-intensive programs. Every addict should thoroughly research different options available to them before deciding on a residential treatment program.