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Residential / Inpatient

Residential (or inpatient) programs are the basic, primary form of addiction treatment and the starting point for many addicts as they begin their sobriety. When most people refer to treatment or rehab facilities, they are most likely referring to inpatient treatment.

About Residential/Inpatient Treatment

Residential treatment facilities are all-encompassing, providing addicts with all the basic living amenities as well as the clinical and medical care they need. This is the defining aspect of inpatient: its wide provision of services and amenities make it the most structured and intensive form of treatment.

What are Inpatient Programs Like?

Most often, inpatient follows medical detoxification, during which time an addict will have gone through withdrawal and physically and mentally stabilized. Upon arriving at a residential facility, an addict has usually already achieved physical sobriety. Therefore, the focus of inpatient is to maintain sobriety. This requires many different services, which vary according to the addict’s specific needs. However, they can be broadly said to include:


All treatment centers offer one or more forms of therapy and other psychological services. Therapy can take place one-on-one with a counselor, in a group setting, or with one’s family. Most often, rehabs will provide a balance between all three. Therapy can be general or have a specific focus. Usually, there are groups and workshops in the treatment curriculum that are tailored toward:

  • Anger management
  • Communication
  • Life coaching
  • Relapse prevention
  • Education
  • Vocational training
  • Specific mental health issues


Medication compliments therapy, for many are not receptive to therapy unless their mood and behavior has been stabilized. Medication can also be used to treat health conditions such as dual diagnosis disorders or health problems unrelated to addiction. Most inpatient programs will have one or more on-staff physicians and/or psychiatrists to consult with patients and prescribe these medications as needed. Such sessions are supplemented by regular appointments to tailor dosage, discuss side effects (if there are any), and add medications.

Who is Inpatient Treatment For?

Inpatient treatment programs are the basis for all other treatment programs, and they are well suited for anyone in need of addiction or alcoholism treatment. They are usually the only given option for individuals who have had one or more go at treatment, but many opt to attend residential programs their first time. Some addicts are intimidated by the prospect of leaving home and settling into a new surrounding for such an extended period of time. However, this daunting possibility must not discourage you. Due to their structure and intensity, such programs offer the best all-around chance at maintaining sobriety.