Residential Treatment

Home > Treatment Programs > Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment (RTC) is 24-hour intensive level of care for individuals who are in need of substance abuse treatment. Those clients who receive inpatient treatment typically struggle with cravings and should be monitored around the clock to prevent relapse. Most clients who enter residential rehab cannot go more than a couple days without using alcohol or drugs. A detoxification program is required before entering residential treatment however the detox program is usually the initial stage of residential treatment.


Residential treatment is provided by state-licensed alcohol and drug rehab treatment centers with licensed healthcare professionals in community-based settings such as campus-based wilderness lodges, residential neighborhoods, and boarding schools. It is considered a higher level of care meaning that is a step down from inpatient hospitalization however it is more intense and disciplined than partial hospitalization or outpatient care. Individuals are not allowed to leave the facility unless they are granted permission to go on group outings with other clients and individuals must also take random drug and alcohol testing to ensure sobriety.

Who can enter residential treatment?

Clients who have successfully completed drug or alcohol detox but still require around-the-clock care for their substance abuse should undergo residential treatment. Individuals who are struggling with minor medical complications associated with their withdrawal or addiction should undergo residential treatment. However if the medical complications are severe or life threatening then the client should be placed in a hospitalized setting until they are medically stable.

How is residential treatment different than outpatient treatment?

Outpatient treatment programs often include many of the same therapies offered in inpatient treatment, but clients reside at home whereas clients in residential treatment are required to stay at the facility for the entirety of the program, including overnight. The benefits of inpatient treatment include:

  • Lack of opportunities to relapse
  • An immersive treatment experience
  • Fewer distractions
  • Continual support


How is residential treatment different than inpatient rehabilitation?

Inpatient rehab also known as inpatient hospitalization and inpatient treatment is different than residential treatment such that it takes place in a hospital setting for individuals who are undergoing severe medical complications associated with their alcohol and/or drug addiction. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and certain drugs can be life threatening and may require hospitalization in order for the individual to be medically stable. Additionally, inpatient hospitalization is required for individuals who have recently overdosed on drugs or alcohol and who require specialized medical supervision. Individuals who are actively suicidal or homicidal should also be placed in an inpatient hospital setting until they are stable.

What type of therapy is offered at residential treatment?

Each client will be under a treatment team consisting of a therapist, a physician, a dietitian, a nurse and ancillary staff who will provide medication treatment, psychotherapy, lead group discussions and make sure that each client is learning how to adopt positive coping skills and conflict resolution skills. On average an individual will partake in five to six hours of therapy each day. The following are specific treatments that are offered at residential rehab:

  • Medically assisted detoxification
  • Individual therapy including cognitive behavioral and dialectal behavioral therapies
  • Family therapy
  • Nutritional counseling
  • 24-hour nursing supervision
  • Recreational therapy such as yoga and meditation
  • Aftercare and discharge planning
  • Daily group therapy that includes specialty groups and peer groups


Group therapy topics may include the following:

  • Substance abuse
  • Introduction to the 12-step program
  • Grief and loss
  • Sexuality
  • Trauma survival
  • Self-esteem
  • Family patterns
  • Assertiveness
  • Interpersonal relationships
Get Help Now

What is the average length of stay for residential treatment?

Residential treatment programs typically last 30–90 days, depending on each client’s needs. In some instances, clients will take part in a shorter inpatient treatment program, such as 28-30 days, and then transition into an outpatient care program that lasts for much longer. Although some inpatient programs only last 28 days, the most effective inpatient programs last 90 days or longer, per the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.


How effective is residential treatment?

Although there is no single treatment that’s right for everyone, residential rehab is one of the most effective forms of care for drug and alcohol addiction. According to statistics, 51% of individuals who enter residential treatment will complete residential treatment and 21% remain sober after five years. The success rate of drug treatment programs does not depend on achieving complete sobriety, but rather on improving the individual’s quality of life as a whole. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there are many factors that determine success in substance abuse recovery:

  • Reduced drug and alcohol use
  • Improvements in employment
  • Improvements in education
  • Relationship improvements
  • Improved overall health
  • Better legal status: shown by fewer arrests and convictions, and fewer crimes committed.
  • Better mental health
  • Improved public safety: including drug-related fires, car accidents, and trauma to yourself or others.

Is detoxification offered in residential treatment?

When individuals enter a residential treatment facility, one of the first crucial tasks is to detoxify the body and get through the often challenging, and sometimes dangerous, process of withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Because it is often accompanied by unpleasant and potentially fatal side effects stemming from withdrawal, detoxification is often managed with medications administered by a physician in a controlled setting therefore, it is referred to as “medically managed withdrawal” or “medical detoxification”. Medications are available to assist in the withdrawal from opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, barbiturates, and other sedatives. Depending on the substance of abuse, detoxification can usually take 3-5 days. In residential treatment, medical detoxification can ease the symptoms of withdrawal while keeping the client safe.

In-Network With

Anthem Insurance
Aetna Insurance
Multiplan Insurance
Beacon Health Option
Magellan Health Services
health net
Blue Cross Blue Shield
HMC Health Works
western health advantage

Most PPO Policies Accepted

Ameri-health Insurance
Optum Insurance
Humana Insurance
United-healthcare Insurance
Allcare Insurance
UPMC Health Plan

Are co-occurring disorders treated in residential treatment?

Co-occurring disorders are substance abuse disorders that occur in the presence of mental health disorders. Studies show that one in five Americans is diagnosed with a mental health disorder and within this group; approximately 9 million Americans are also struggling with a substance abuse disorder. An individual can be struggling with alcohol addiction but may be diagnosed with anxiety or depression at the time of residential treatment admission. Many substance abuse disorders can trigger the mental health disorder or vice versa however it is important to treat the substance abuse disorder simultaneously in order for the individual to fully recover from their mental health disorder. Residential treatment at Akua Mind & Body has a specialized treatment track for individuals who have a substance abuse disorder co-occurring with a mental health disorder.

Residential treatment for depression

Major depressive disorder affects more than 15 million adults in the United States and presents with feelings of sadness, sleep disturbance, loss of interest in activities, feelings of guilt, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, psychomotor agitation, sadness and even suicidal ideation. Individuals are encouraged to enter residential treatment for depression when signs and symptoms are interfering with all aspects of their life. If an individual is unable to work, is constantly struggling with their relationships and is failing at completing tasks at home because their depression is taking over; residential treatment can offer a healthy road to recovery.

Residential treatment for alcohol abuse

Alcohol treatment includes both a pharmacological approach and a psychotherapy approach. Medications are used to prevent cravings associated with alcohol, to lessen or prevent withdrawal effects associated with alcohol and to induce unpleasant side effects when alcohol is consumed. Behavioral therapy, family based approaches and recovery support systems such as Assertive Continuing Care, Mutual Help Groups, and Peer Recovery Support Services are the mainstay of psychotherapy approaches used for alcohol treatment and any present co-occurring disorders. Behavioral therapy focuses on identifying the negative feelings, thoughts and emotions driving the individual to use alcohol and uses positive behavior approaches, coping skills and problem solving techniques to prevent these thoughts and negative behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy and dialectal behavioral therapy are three types of behavioral therapy that can be used to help treat individuals with alcohol use disorder. Family therapy approaches are used to provide education to the family as a unit about addiction and focus on family stressors and negative behaviors that may be present triggers for the client’s behavior.