Residential Treatment Programs for Addiction and Mental Health

When a person is ready to get help for their substance abuse, mental health disorder, or a combination of the two, there are numerous treatment options to choose from.

Read on to learn more about:

  • What a residential treatment program is and what a patient can expect.
  • The differences between a residential program and an inpatient program.
  • How facilities can create personalized treatment programs, including co-occurring disorders.
  • How to pay for residential treatment.

What’s a Residential Program?

When a person has made the decision to pursue recovery and sobriety in a residential treatment program, they can expect:1

  • To live on the campus or in the facility for the duration of this stage of treatment.
  • A sober environment that requires abstinence from substances.
  • Medical and clinical staff on site to supervise and provide help to patients 24/7.
  • A mix of therapy approaches, often including group and one-on-one therapy.

Each facility may offer different approaches and intensity levels in their approach to treatment. You may also find varying levels of access to clinical care. While the mark of a quality facility is often the inclusion of evidence-based approaches to treatment and therapy, many facilities today offer holistic approaches and a range of other types of therapy as they see fit.

Before beginning a residential treatment program, a patient may have already gone through detox, either at the same facility or a different one. If they are checking into a new facility, a patient can expect to go through a screening and diagnosis process with the medical staff.

At this point, facilities like Sunrise House will create a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that focuses on treating the entire individual, rather than just a person’s addiction. Often, other physical and mental health diagnoses play a part in a person’s addiction. This individualized treatment approach means that the whole person will be considered and treated.

Holistic Treatment Approaches

Mental health and addicts residential treatment programMany facilities offer a suite of exercise opportunities, including walking trails, golf, swimming opportunities, tennis, weight rooms, and yoga classes. These amenities can help people to stretch their bodies and soothe their minds while they deal with recovery, and all of the things people might need in order to participate are right there, ready to go, on the grounds of the facility. Some programs offer suggested exercise times, while others leave exercise open to the whims of the people who enroll. Either could be a good option.

Some facilities also offer alternative therapies that could ease mental distress, including:

  • Acupuncture.
  • Massage.
  • Acupressure.
  • Herbal therapy.

These therapies could help to calm a restless mind and soothe an unhappy body, and both could be ideal for people who are enrolled in a residential program.

Since people who enroll in residential programs move into the facilities in which they will be receiving care, they will also expect to get food as part of their care plan.

How Long Does Residential Treatment Last?

A person’s length of stay in residential treatment will vary. Some facilities may offer 30, 60, or 90-day programs. However, individualized treatment programs should be conducted for as long as it makes sense for the patient.

General understanding in the addiction treatment space is that a longer time spent in treatment can lead to better recovery outcomes, with most patients benefitting from at least 3 months in treatment.2

Addiction is a difficult disease to treat and overcome, and a longer time spent in treatment, or attending treatment more than once, might be the right recipe for sustained recovery.2

What is the Difference between Residential and Inpatient Treatment?

You now know what a residential treatment facility can offer. But sometimes, the term “inpatient treatment” is used interchangeably with residential treatment. So, what is inpatient treatment?

When a medical professional recommends inpatient treatment, a patient can expect treatment in a hospital or clinical setting. Residential treatment is administered in a facility that isn’t a medical facility, although medical care should be available to patients.

Inpatient treatment is suggested for patients who:

  • Are experiencing rough withdrawal symptoms.
  • Have significant medical needs that require more attention and monitoring.
  • Have a severe substance use disorder.

Residential Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Addiction does not occur in a bubble and is often influenced by a mental health disorder or vice versa. As mentioned above, a personalized approach to co-occurring disorder treatment allows each person’s diagnoses to be taken into account during recovery.

Although residential programs aren’t administered in hospital or clinical settings like inpatient programs are, residential programs with medical and clinical professional can administer medication that can help manage withdrawal symptoms and addiction cravings. They can also help manage mental health disorders, such as:

The risk of medication abuse is reduced in a residential program, as there are supervisors and staffers available around the clock to monitor the use of the drugs. The medications are kept in locked cabinets, and they are handed out at specific times. This means less risk of diversion or abuse, and a higher likelihood that the person will take them properly.

Paying for Residential Treatment

One of the biggest questions patients and their loved ones have upon searching out treatment options is does insurance cover residential treatment? The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) mandates that health insurance offered on the health exchange or Medicare must offer coverage for substance use treatment.

However, certain facilities only accept certain types of insurance, meaning yours may not work at some facilities but will work at others. Figuring out how your insurance works at a facility can be confusing. Luckily many places that offer residential treatment have staff who can help you figure out your insurance and what would be covered before you even go to treatment.

If you’d like to understand more about how your insurance could work at a facility like Sunrise House, you can verify your benefits below.

How Much Does a Residential Treatment Center Cost?

The cost of addiction treatment through a residential program is going to vary based on several factors, including:

  • How much a patient’s insurance will cover.
  • How long the patient stays in treatment.
  • What type of treatment the patient needs, such as if it includes the need for medication.
  • How severe the substance use disorder is.

Facilities should have a member of staff that can provide a more detailed breakdown of cost and might even be able to create a payment plan for you to make payments easier.

If you or a loved one is ready to start their recovery, give us a call at . Not only can we help you understand the cost of treatment, our Admissions Navigators can answer your questions pertaining to treatment at our facilities.



  1. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (n.d.). ASAM criteria.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of effective treatment.