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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 2/, 014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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