If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues, you may be wondering if residential inpatient treatment is a good option for recovery. A residential inpatient treatment center is a nationally accredited facility that provides 24-hour care for people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. One question people ask is, “what is residential inpatient like?”
Here we will discuss the different types of residential inpatient facility options, the treatments provided, and what to look for in a residential inpatient treatment facility. Practical tips such as preparing for residential treatment, what insurance companies look at when covering treatment, and other helpful information to help you along your recovery journey.
Residential inpatient treatment is often referred to as RTC since it is provided in what is called a residential treatment center. Some RTCs specialize in substance abuse disorders, mental health disorders, or what is known as co-occurring disorders, which are when someone suffers from both substance abuse and mental health issues.
Residential inpatient treatment centers are different from inpatient hospital units in that they are generally not locked in a home-like setting and provide longer-term stays than in a hospital. Length of stay depends on your progress in treatment which is determined using medical necessity criteria by your treatment team.
If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms from alcohol or drugs, you may stay in a different area of the RTC and receive what is known as sub-acute detox. Generally, people stay anywhere from a few days to up to 10 days at sub-acute detox until their withdrawal symptoms are stabilized and then move to the regular part of the RTC to begin programming.
One of the first things that will happen when you are admitted to a residential inpatient treatment center is your treatment team will conduct an initial evaluation. This will be an in-depth assessment of your physical health, mental health, substance abuse history, and current symptoms. Based on the evaluation results, specific programming and goals will be set for your stay.
Residential inpatient treatment provides daily structure to address your specific symptoms. You will meet with your assigned primary counselor for individual therapy and also attend many different groups. Groups may include psycho-educational groups, therapeutic processing groups, and recreational group activities.
You will also see a medical provider regularly. Any physical concerns will be treated, and you may be started on medications such as anti-depressants. If you have drug addiction problems, you may be given medication-assisted-treatment (MAT).
Family therapy may also be a part of your programming at RTC, depending on your situation. Many RTCs offer intensive family treatment for a few days to address issues and help your loved ones understand how they can support you.
Some RTCs provide additional therapies such as art therapy, yoga and meditation, mindfulness training, and equine therapy.
If you are considering residential inpatient treatment, one of the first things to do is to call your insurance company. The number on the back of your insurance card should connect you with customer service. You can ask questions such as what your mental health and substance abuse benefits are and ask for a list of network providers. Be sure to find out practical information such as co-pays, deductibles, and if residential inpatient treatment requires pre-authorization.
One helpful tip is to inquire if your insurance company offers case management services. If so, a case manager who is a medical professional can assist with finding the right program for you and help with your initial authorization and any subsequent authorizations if needed. Getting a case manager assigned to you will help immensely with getting your care covered, as well as coordinating any step-down or discharge planning once your treatment at RTC is completed.
Leaving home and entering a residential inpatient treatment facility can feel scary and overwhelming. A qualified RTC will help you prepare for your treatment. Usually, this begins with a call to the admissions coordinator for an initial screening. They can assist with pre-authorizations from insurance companies and any financial concerns.
Once you and the treatment provider agree that the RTC is a good fit for your needs, they will schedule an admission date. Depending on the location of your RTC, the admissions coordinator will assist in transportation plans to and from the RTC.
When packing for your RTC stay, you will be given a list of what you can and cannot bring to the treatment center. Generally, you will want to be as comfortable as possible so that your main focus can be on your recovery.
For additional information about how to prepare for residential inpatient, call Transformations Mending Fences at (888) 611-31188.
Talking to your loved ones about your mental health or substance abuse issues can be a delicate topic. You both may not know how to approach the topic and how to be of support to one another. The best approach is to be open and honest, ask questions in a non-judgemental manner, and communicate your needs in a caring manner.
Talking to children about your RTC stay can be especially difficult. If they are young, they may not completely understand why you must go away, although they may be aware that something has been off for a while. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a variety of resources for families coping with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
It is common for people who enter residential inpatient care to go through what is known as a “honeymoon” stage in the first few weeks of treatment. The stress and chaos of problems at home are eliminated by being away, but then the real work begins, focusing on you and your issues without distractions.
Some people in RTC start feeling homesick and focus on their discharge date. It is important to listen to your treatment team and do the hard work needed for recovery. Residential inpatient treatment is not a “quick fix” for mental health and substance abuse disorders and may take some time. The journey will be challenging at times, but if you can stick it out, there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel.
Most graduates from residential inpatient are extremely grateful for their treatment; many say it saved their lives. When considering an RTC, look on their website and read testimonials from real-life graduates. Also, many RTCs offer free alumni groups or programs to provide ongoing support to their graduates.
Here is a first-hand experience of RTC treatment from a graduate of Transformations Mending Fences:
“So I was really skeptical and afraid to come here. I ran and ran. Then I decided I was ready. So I packed my bags and headed back to Florida. I was planning on only staying until Christmas. I’ve now decided I’m going to stay as long as they think I need to be here. I am so grateful to be here.” -Ally G.
No one should have to deal with mental health or substance abuse issues on their own. Please know that help is available and that you are worth it!
Now that you have a better idea of what residential inpatient treatment is like, the next step is to find out more information about if RTC is right for you. Call Transformations Mending Fences at (888) 611-31188 to speak with an admissions counselor.