Residential Treatment Programs

Known also as residential rehab, residential treatment describes a substance addiction program that involves a patient being treated in a residential environment. In a residential environment, patients will feel more like a resident than a client and addiction therapy is more laid back. The length of residential treatment can vary, ranging anywhere from 30 days or less (short-term) up to 90+ days (long-term) depending on the severity of the addiction.

The term “residential treatment” is commonly used to refer to the long periods of time that residents live together with other patients and therapists. What separates residential treatment from other inpatient treatment programs is that residential treatment explores the psychological reasons behind a patient’s dependence and addiction. 

Residential is commonly confused with other treatments that generally take place in rehab centers and hospitals, which specialize more in treating physical dependence.

Why Residential Treatment?

A commonly debated topic in society today is whether medical supervision is necessary to treat substance dependence and addiction. While it is typically thought that detox counts as addiction treatment, it is not enough to fully treat addiction. Although detox is effective in cleaning all substance and substance residue from the body, it does nothing with treating the psychological aspect of long-term addiction. Medical detoxification does not count as recovery, and relapse and abuse are common in patients that do not continue with treatment after detox.

Medical detox is arguably one of the most difficult and intensive steps in the path to recovery, and rightfully so. The success of the addiction treatment programs is undoubtedly highly dependent on the success of detox alone. With this in mind, it is always important to remember that completing medical detoxification without following up with further treatment is like cutting a weed and then ignoring it; unless you pull up the roots, it will keep coming back.

After Detox

The first step in almost all addiction treatment programs is medical detox, but what exactly is detox, and what does it do? Detox is defined as the cessation of a substance to cleanse the body of any substance residue or toxins. The reason that detox can be so difficult for many people is that someone engaging in medical detox will endure a significant number of uncomfortable and severe withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety, depression, nausea, agitation, and insomnia are the most common withdrawal symptoms.

The point in medically-supervised detox is to ensure that all withdrawal symptoms are in check and the patient is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. When neglected, the withdrawal symptoms associated with substance addiction detox can lead to relapse and sometimes even prove fatal. The completion of medical detoxification alone, while a huge step in the treatment of someone’s addiction, is not enough to ensure that someone stays sober, and lack of after-detox treatment greatly increases the risk of relapse and the development of addiction again.

Residential Treatment and Avoiding Relapse

Although it should be avoided at all costs, relapse is sometimes inevitable and is much more common than you think. While many people would view relapse as a failure, we at Maryland House Detox view relapse as an opportunity to learn. When someone relapses, doctors can identify the reason behind the relapse and learn more about the cause of previous addiction.

To aid those that are at risk of relapse, we suggest the following tips that can greatly reduce the chance of relapsing while in recovery:

  • Make friends with people that have been successful during recovery. More than likely, they will have useful advice that you could use; if they do not, simply being around someone who is successful in staying sober can easily influence you to do the same.
  • Though it may seem strange, it is important to ensure that you do not over-distract yourself while suffering from withdrawals. Many people will overwork themselves to take their mind off of their withdrawal symptoms, but those that do it too much are susceptible to workaholism. Always be on the lookout for strange behaviors related to workaholism that may affect you or someone you know.





  • Though it is treatable and sometimes can help in the treatment process as a whole, relapse should never be counted as “acceptable.” Viewing relapse as a minor inconvenience rather than what it actually is—a huge roadblock in the path to sobriety—can cause a user to not care as much about treatment.
  • It is always important to remember that recovery is something to appreciate and enjoy. If the residential treatment you are taking part in feels like it is forcing you to do things you are not comfortable with, you may want to consider finding a new center. Your comfort and happiness should always be the number one priority as patient comfort directly correlates to higher success rates.

What to Expect from Residential Treatment Programs

In general, a residential treatment program will use clinically-proven methods and modalities to help treat addiction. Through the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing, a patient will find themselves learning about the psychological reasons behind their addiction. With this knowledge, drug addiction recovery is generally much easier for someone struggling with addiction.


As a well-tested, successful method, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been one of the most effective therapies in treating psychiatric illnesses and disorders. As the most widely used evidence-based method for treating mental health conditions, CBT is the psychosocial treatment of choice.

While its intended use was to treat depression, there have been multiple studies that show CBT to be effective in treating less severe mental health disorders, such as anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse and addiction, and personality disorders. When used together with professionally-administered medications, CBT can also treat co-occurring mental conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe depression, opioid addiction, bipolarity, and other psychotic disorders.


Another method that is commonly used to help people that suffer from personality disorders is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Not only is it effective in treating personality disorders, but it has been tested and found to be effective in treating negative patterns of behavior, including but not limited to self-harm, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and many other disorders that may affect mood.

As a modified branch of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT shares many of the same methods and qualities. Both CBT and DBT are referred to as types of “talk therapy,” and while CBT delves deep into the understanding and interaction of a patient’s emotions, DBT follows a much looser structure and is more centered on the social and emotional aspects of addiction.


Motivational Interviewing ventures off the path of traditional models and has a very specific use. The idea of Motivational Interviewing (MI) asserts that through specific tone of voice and speaking style, a therapist can influence a client to make behavioral changes and resolve ambivalence (commonly known as “mixed feelings”). In the case of addiction treatment, MI is used to help resolve mixed feelings toward whether drug abuse’s cons outweigh the pros.

Motivational Interviewing was first referenced in an article by clinical psychologist William R. Miller, Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychotherapy with the title of “Motivational Interviewing with Problem Drinkers”. Throughout the article, Miller describes the traditional idea at the time (1983) as “The traditional model of motivation in problem drinkers attributes almost all motivational properties to the personality of the individual.”

Why Choose Residential Treatment at Arete Recovery?

Maryland House Detox has a unique take on what treatment should be. We believe that the needs and comfort of the patient should always come first.

As soon as you enter our treatment center, you are a VIP. Our staff will supervise you throughout your entire substance abuse and addiction process, and every member will be more than happy to help you. Throughout your time at Maryland House Detox, a team of qualified and professional doctors, case managers, nurses, and psychiatrists will supply any resource or support you may need to reach sobriety.

If you or a loved one suffers from relapse, withdrawal, addiction, dependency, or any other issue relating to substance disorder, call Maryland House Detox at (888) 263-0631 or contact us online. We are excited to be a part of your own addiction recovery story, and we will go above and beyond to ensure that your addiction treatment story is one with a happy ending.

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