How To Prepare for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

how to prepare

There is no question that residential treatment can be life-altering. However, you should feel hopeful if you or a loved one needs this treatment. The evidence clearly shows that well-managed programs can help someone defeat their addiction for good.

Residential substance abuse treatment can change someone’s life and dramatically alter its trajectory. Residential substance abuse treatment removes an individual from their home, school, and family members. As such, preparing for residential substance abuse treatment is critical. First, you’ll want to make sure that you find the best residential treatment facility for you. If you live in south Florida, we encourage you to check out Summit Detox, where we offer an array of treatment programs that can fit your needs.

What Is Residential Substance Abuse Treatment?

Residential substance abuse treatment is a specific type of treatment. It is used for someone who has tried other treatment methods and failed. For example, it may be appropriate for someone who needs 24/7 monitoring because of their addiction.

As the name implies, residential substance abuse treatment is an in-patient service. This treatment requires you to temporarily live at the facility for a time that you and your medical team determine.

There are multiple kinds of residential programs. First is medical detox. Many individuals must detox from whatever substance they are addicted to, be it drugs or alcohol. Detox is necessary before any comprehensive treatment can truly start. However, medical supervision may be necessary to monitor for any withdrawal symptoms depending on the substance in question. It may also be needed to prevent relapse.

There are also broader residential treatment programs. Residential treatment allows an individual to receive different types and levels of therapy. It also allows for 24/7 secured monitoring. Such monitoring prevents a person from easily slipping into old habits and falling back into addictive behaviors. Residential substance abuse treatment facilities are secured and monitored. This monitoring prevents individuals from abusing substances during their stay.

What Are the Benefits of Residential Substance Abuse Treatment?

Many individuals have found that they were only truly able to recover from their addiction after entering residential substance abuse treatment. The benefits of residential substance abuse treatment include:

  • Residential substance abuse treatment can change a person’s life — in a good way. It can remove a person from their social groups and family members that may be reinforcing or encouraging an addiction, thus allowing an individual the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate their life choices. It will also teach critical skills, like self-care, that can help increase the odds of successful recovery.
  • This treatment allows for intensive therapy throughout the day. Removing an individual from their prior circumstances may enable a person to concentrate better on therapy and recovery.
  • Residential treatment takes place in a secure facility. As such, treatment managers can monitor individuals 24/7. This monitoring ensures that all medical needs are met and helps prevent individuals from using or abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • If structured properly, residential treatment can encourage individuals to work with others who, like them, are attempting to recover from an addiction. This can allow people to reap the benefits of working with others.

Residential substance abuse treatment can save the life of people who need it. If you want more information, consider contacting Summit Detox today to learn more about our residential programs.

What Can I Do To Prepare for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment?

Residential substance abuse treatment can be life-saving. However, it can certainly be very disruptive to your life. The more you can prepare for this type of treatment, the better. Here are some things you can do to get yourself ready for this treatment.

Speak With Your Work or School

Depending on your length of stay, you may miss work or school. You’ll need to take off from everything during this time. This allows you to concentrate on your healing and recovery. You may want to make arrangements with your work to ensure they know where you are. Lengths of stays vary, so sick or personal days may or may not cover your absence.

In theory, protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act should protect you from being fired. However, you must follow the appropriate procedures while filling out this paperwork. Speak with your HR department to make sure you manage this process correctly. If you’re a student, you may find it beneficial to arrange for treatment during time off.

Gather Your Paperwork

You’ll need to do some paperwork when enrolling in a residential substance abuse treatment program. This paperwork ensures that your treatment is correctly paid for. It will also ensure that your treatment facility has the information to give you the proper treatment.

You should bring copies of government IDs and your insurance paperwork. You may also need to provide copies of your medical paperwork. This medical paperwork may include doctor’s records, records of past treatments, and notes from any therapists you have seen. You probably won’t have to bring physical copies of the records. Instead, you’ll be asked to provide information on what doctors you have previously seen. You’ll also have to sign waivers that allow your treatment facility to get copies of those records.


You’ll be staying at a residential treatment facility, so there are some things you’ll need to pack, including toiletries, personal items, phone chargers, and a change of clothing. In addition, you’ll likely be allowed some entertainment items, like an iPad or book. First, however, you should consult with the facility you are staying at to find out if there are any prohibited items. For example, if you smoke, you’ll likely be allowed to bring cigarettes. However, the facility may require that the cigarettes be unopened, thus ensuring that you aren’t trying to sneak in any drugs or alcohol.

You should also understand that your luggage may be subject to inspection. Such inspection ensures you aren’t bringing drugs or alcohol to rehab. Again, this is done to protect you and the others in the facility.

Speak with Your Family

Family can be a vitally important part of any recovery process. Speaking with your family can get complicated, but your family will ultimately be highly influential in the long-term success of any treatment. As such, your family will need to know where you are, what you are doing, and how to contact you in an emergency.

When it comes to talking to your family, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be ashamed. By going to rehab, you are taking care of yourself and ultimately putting yourself in a position to be a good family member. Rehab is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.
  • Keep the conversation age appropriate. Teenagers can likely understand what you are doing and why. However, this conversation may be more challenging with kids. You may want to limit how much information you give them. Tell them you are “sick” and going somewhere to get better.
  • Explain where you are going and why. Give reasons. Make sure to keep the conversation recovery-focused and talk about how you are trying to get better.
  • Develop a communication plan. Your ability to communicate during this time may be limited, so speak with the facility to talk about how you may be able to talk with family during this time.
  • Talk with them about what you’ll need from them when you are out of rehab. They may want to be supportive. They may also be terrified. Make sure to lay out your expectations of them. At the same time, understand that they may be hurt and upset. They will likely have expectations of you, and you will need to respect those.

As you can see, residential substance abuse treatment can benefit your recovery. It can help position you to recover from your addiction and live the life you deserve. However, residential substance abuse treatment is only as effective as the clinic you attend. That’s why we’re so proud of our work at Summit Detox. If you want more information about the various detox and residential treatment offerings we provide, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recover.

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