What Basic Amenities & Accommodations Should Be Expected at an Addiction Treatment Facility?

Addiction recovery is possible

Every day, people all around the world make the decision to leave drugs and alcohol behind for good. And they stick to that resolution with the help of talented and dedicated drug rehab professionals.

In a small study of 13 people, published in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, researchers found that the therapeutic alliance between a counselor and a client was the most important aspect, in terms of how people felt about the recovery program as a whole. If they had a good connection, they felt better about the recovery.

So finding the right staff is of vital importance, but seeking out the right recovery environment matters too. When people feel engaged and involved in the facility where they are getting care, they are less likely to drop out. The right amenities can mean the difference between completing a program and dropping out much too early.

These are some of the amenities and accommodation attributes that could be considered vital.

1. Clean, comfortable rooms: Therapy, medications, and treatments can soothe the physical discomfort caused by years of addiction, but there is a degree of mental adjustment that comes with the recovery process. People need to learn to live without drugs, and they need to quell the mental cravings for drugs that can set in as they heal. That means there may be some mental discomfort during recovery. It is easier to deal with that issue when the rooms the person stays in are welcoming, hygienic, and beautiful. Often, people are expected to share rooms. As a study in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs points out, peers are considered part of the therapeutic program. Peers can offer their own recovery stories, and they can provide support as someone who has “been there.” Sharing a room helps make that peer support easier to both give and get.

2. Cleaning services: Work can be an important part of recovery. Work provides people with an opportunity to distract the mind and focus on tasks that can and must be completed. But people in the early stages of recovery may not be ready to handle all of the cooking, cleaning, and mending that goes along with a healthy life. They may need a little time to relax. Maintenance services can remove the pressure to heal too quickly, and that could be really important to people in need.

3. Exercise opportunities: Many people who enroll in addiction treatment programs struggle with physical health. They may be weakened due to years of physical decline caused by drugs, or they may have endured physical problems caused by a drug binge. Exercise can help with these issues, and it can also help with addiction. In a study in Frontiers in Psychiatry, researchers found convincing evidence that exercise helps to reduce compulsive drug use among addicted people. That means exercise might be helpful during recovery too. Some facilities offer gym equipment, basketball courts, and other typical sporting opportunities. Others offer pools, golf courses, yoga classes, and other high-end amenities. All could be helpful for people in recovery.

4. Nourishing meals: Physical decline can be amended, in some cases, with exercise, but nutrition plays a role too. Many people who take drugs simply replace healthy meals with unhealthy drugs, and they may be dangerously underweight when they arrive for care. Others may deal with physical side effects caused by drugs that make eating less appealing. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that these drugs can all impact the gastrointestinal system:

  • Cocaine
  • GHB
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • MDMA
  • Nicotine
  • Prescription painkillers

5. People with addictions to these drugs may also be underweight and weak, and they may have little interest in eating. A talented chef could help to create the right meals that could help to soothe GI distress while enticing people to eat. That could be remarkably helpful.

6. Supervision: People who enroll in drug rehab programs really want to get better, but their damaged brain cells may continue to call out for drugs, even after they enroll in care. Those cravings for drugs could lead to a relapse, and sadly, that is not at all uncommon. NIDA reports that 40-60 percent of people treated for substance use disorders relapse to drugs. Treatment facilities can help by providing supervision. The facility may have people on staff who ensure that clients are clean and sober at all times. The facility may also provide a secure environment via a closed campus, and there may be cameras along the grounds too. These tools are not designed to make people feel trapped. Instead, they are used to help ensure people stick to their commitment to get sober.

7. Educational opportunities: Drugs and alcohol can be incredibly time-consuming. When they are removed from a person’s life, huge swaths of time can open up, and some people cannot find a way to fill that time. Treatment facilities can help by providing helpful diversionary activities. Some might even help people to succeed in a real way when rehab is complete. For example, some facilities offer job training or resume writing workshops. Others offer parenting skills classes. Others teach people to journal, play an instrument, or paint. These classes can help the time to pass, and they can keep the mind active. People can emerge from these programs with new skills and hobbies they can lean on, should cravings for drugs reappear.

8. Meditative space: Cravings can also be conquered with meditation. People who meditate learn to use the power of the mind to calm the body’s urges. They find a safe, comfortable, and relaxing space inside the mind, and they head to that space when the urge to use becomes overwhelming. Many addiction treatment facilities teach mediation skills. As an article in Psychology Today points out, meditation helps people with addictions to deal with the uncomfortable feelings that might stem from changing their behaviors. Rather than escaping with drugs, they learn to cope with the discomfort. Meditation could, in theory, be done anywhere, but it is easier for people new to the practice to do so in calm, beautiful spaces. Some facilities offer landscaped grounds dotted by tiny meditative spaces. Others offer rooms devoted to meditation. Either could be effective.

9. Recreational spaces: The vast majority of time people spend in a rehab facility is devoted to therapy, healing, and support group work. But people who work all day and do not enjoy their time can become people who are burned out, tired, and weary. Those people are at risk for relapse. Facilities can help by providing recreational spaces, including reading rooms, movie-watching areas, music rooms, and more. Those spaces allow people to rest and relax in the company of other people healing from addiction. It could be vital.

Families searching out the right rehab facility for a person in need will need to ask about these amenities before they make a final selection. These families may not be able to walk through the facility, due to privacy and legal concerns, but they can ask for a written description of offerings. And they can ask for photographs of the grounds and amenities too. That can provide families with a good idea of what is on offer and what is available. That could make choosing the right facility a lot easier.

About The Contributor

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers

The editorial staff of Sunrise House is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands... Read More

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