Residential Treatment Center

What is a Residential Treatment Center?

A residential treatment center is a live-in facility that specializes in the treatment of chemical dependency (drug use), alcoholism, or psychological problems. Mental health issues may coexist with substance abuse, which is referred to as “Dual Diagnosis.” Psychological problems appropriate for a residential treatment center include bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, personality issues, psychological trauma such as PTSD, and self-injury behavior (cutting).

Residential Treatment Centers are appropriate for persons with these issues who are having significant disruptions in their lives, including loss of job or school, destruction of intimate relationships, estrangement or difficulties with family members and/or isolation. Residential treatment centers may also address eating disorders, sexual problems, violence and other behavioral problems. Most residential treatment centers house adults, but many specialize in services for older children, adolescents and young adults. Residential treatment centers may be “locked”, with limitations of a Client’s ability to leave the house, receive visitors, or participate in outside activities. “Unlocked” facilites range from supervisory to completely free of constraints, consistent with a sober living model.

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An important advantage of a residential treatment center is that the environment may be less threatening and more healing than a psychiatric hospital or drug rehabilitation unit. Often, Clients in a residential treatment center function like a family, which acts as a treatment milieu separate from actual individual or group therapy. Another advantage residential facilities offer is that they can be highly specialized to treat specific addictive behaviors or psychological problems. Because they are smaller and usually private facilites, control over staff and mental health professionals can be tighter, and a high quality of service can be maintained. Many residential treatment centers have high success rates in helping their Clients overcome drug and alcohol problems, as well as psychological disorders.

What is the Cost of Residential Treatment?

Residential treatment centers vary in price, as well as what type of payment they will accept. Prices for residential treatment range from $10-60,000 per month for full service programs. It should be noted that the cost of a program does not exactly correlate with the quality or success rate of that program. Many more expensive programs offer spa-like services which do not necessarily produce better outcomes. Sober living houses do not offer specific treatment modalities, and thus Clients are paying only for living expenses such as food and housing. Sober living houses range in price from $3-10,000 per month, and Clients are mainly paying for the healing milieu (living with other persons in recovery for support).

Many private centers accept only direct payment up front, either by credit card, wire transfer, or check. These residential treatment facilities are considered “private pay” and they are not contracted with nor do they accept insurance. Some private pay facilities will prepare an insurance “superbill” so that a Client can be reimbursed for specific services covered out of network. Private health care financing companies, such as Clark Behavioral Health Care Financing can offer loans for residential treatment services to qualified persons or their families.

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Residential treatment centers that do accept insurance may be contracted or non-contracted. Contracted centers have arranged a specific payment arrangement with insurance carriers, and a large portion or all of the treatment may be covered. Out of network or non-contracted centers will have limitations on who can receive treatment at that center and how much insurance will cover. Oftentimes a non-contrtacted center will require that a Client pay a significant portion of their charges. Very few centers will accept Medicare or Medicaid or other government insurance plans.

Thus, it is important that a Client or family looking for residential treatment services check carefully to determine what type of payments any individual center accepts, so they can find a financial arrangement that works for them.

What types of Services do Residential Treatment Centers offer?

Alcohol and chemical dependency residential treatment centers offer a wide variety of services. Psychiatric care and psychological therapy may be provided. 12-step programs may be incorporated into treatment, as well as group therapy, client educational courses, spiritual programs, life skill courses, interventions and detoxifications.

Psychological residential treatment centers may offer individual and group psychotherapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), Neurofeedback, process groups, anger management, sleep therapy and holistic treatment modalities. Many psychological residential treatment facilities customize their treatment plans for specific psychological issues. These centers have high rates of success in improving their Client’s lives and ability to function in society.

A big advantage of residential treatment centers over outpatient psychotherapy or medication treatment is the healing milieu. The milieu is the environment that exists in the residence house that provides support and encouragement to Clients. Living and undergoing treatment with other Clients experiencing similar difficulties provides a strong support structure which results in better awareness and more rapid healing and personal growth.

What are advantages of a Holistic Treatment Approach?

Residential treatment centers that focus on a holistic approach offer specific advantages. A core philosophy to treat the whole patient, physically, mentally, and socially allows for improved healing and growth. While hospitals and some treatment centers rely on medications, a holistic residential treatment center that attempts to treat with the least amount of medication possible to achieve the desired results is a unique advantage.

Where are Residential Treatment Centers located?

Residential treatment centers are located throughout the United States. California and Florida have been at the forefront of the growth of this industry. Clients from across the country will find it worthwhile to travel to a residential facility that has specific expertise in their problem and a high success rate. Clients and their families should carefully research each treatment program, whether the problem is chemical dependency, alcohol abuse, a specific psychological problem, or a Dual Diagnosis. Time should be spent in discussion with a representitive from the facility over the phone, and an in-person meeting and tour of the facility is useful to make sure the program is the right fit for the Client.

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