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What is a Residential Treatment Center? 5 Things to…

When researching how to manage a substance use disorder (SUD) you’ve probably wondered, “What is a residential treatment center?” at some point. Without knowing what inpatient treatment means, you might miss considering it as a potential option for your alcohol or drug use. To help you make a more informed decision, let’s look at what’s offered at a residential treatment center and five things you should know before going to one.

A residential treatment center is designed to have a patient stay at the facility where substance use treatment is offered. It’s helpful to be aware of what factors set some centers apart from the rest. Look for a center’s accreditation as a reflection of the quality of care there. Evaluate what length of programs are available. Ask about success rates of its programs. Be aware of what’s mentioned about related outpatient and continuing care resources. Also, check out the center’s amenities as these can make a residential stay more comfortable and more enjoyable for you. 

What is a Residential Treatment Center?

A residential treatment center provides living spaces for people who are participating in programs for substance use disorders. Unlike an outpatient program, the stay at this kind of treatment center is day and night. That means a patient is under the care and supervision of a team of professionals 24/7 until they’ve completed their residential treatment program.

A residential treatment center cares for all the needs of a patient during their stay. This care includes medical care, addiction recovery, mental health, proper nutrition, recreation, and more. In this environment, recovery and healing becomes the priority, without the work, family, and life distractions that can come with outpatient treatment options.

Structure and routine are basic elements of residential treatment centers. Patients feeling vulnerable during their stay will benefit from a sense of security in knowing what each day looks like. Removing chaos and adding stability to each day can help a patient focus on their short-term and long-term recovery goals.

Five Things You Need to Know

Right now, you may think all residential treatment centers are alike. It’s true they all share some characteristics: 24/7 supervision, living quarters, daily schedules, and more. At the same time, there are some pivotal aspects to exceptional residential care you should know about.

As you’re doing your research, limiting your results to treatment centers with keywords like “near me” isn’t sufficient in finding adequate care, much less exceptional care. There are some essential factors in determining if a residential treatment center is most aligned with your needs and goals. The following is a list of five factors to not only help you answer, “What is a residential treatment center?” but also narrow your focus as you look for recovery help for a drug or alcohol problem.

1. Length of stay is everything

How long do I have to be there?” is a common question for patients new to residential treatment. It’s a reasonable question, too. No one wants to commit to something without a clear ending in sight. The length of stay is really dependent on the needs of each patient. The severity of the addiction is a factor. One’s mental health needs play a role as well. The level of commitment to the recovery process is instrumental in determining how long someone will need to stay at a residential treatment center.

Let’s look at an example of two patients in a program for alcohol use disorders. A patient with a co-occurring mental health disorder (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) has more comprehensive needs than someone being treated for addiction only. The history of someone’s drinking and the severity of the outcomes are also factors that can influence how long a patient should stay in a program.

Ultimately, the question changes from “How long do I HAVE to be there?” to “How long do I NEED to be there?” A personalized program helps answer that question. Your individual needs and goals also become significant influences on determining that answer for you and only you.

2. Accreditation matters

Accreditation is a process by which a treatment center gets reviewed for its level of quality care. The reviews come from credible, widely-recognized, outside sources. These reviews are made visible to the general public. They are intended to be used by potential patients and their families in making informed decisions about where to seek recovery help.

At Origins, accreditation is a high priority for our programs. Origins’ facilities have received accreditation through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). These accreditations demonstrate a commitment to excellent quality of care in a variety of aspects of our treatment centers, including Detoxification/Withdrawal Support, Residential Treatment, Day Treatment, and Community Housing.

The complete list is below.

  1. Florida  
    1. Detoxification/Withdrawal Support: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
    2. Residential Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • Residential Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Older Adults)
  1. Day Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  2. Community Housing: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  1. Texas  
    1. Detoxification/Withdrawal Support: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
    2. Residential Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)

3. Location should enhance the experience

An exceptional residential treatment center goes beyond a patient’s most urgent recovery needs to create a positive, engaging environment. Every touchpoint at the center is designed to provide a specific purpose for a patient’s overall comfort and healing. Since a person stays for weeks or months at a time, these enhanced experiences can help keep them motivated toward reaching their short-term recovery goals.

Treatment center experiences can include nourishing menus to replace poor eating and nutrition habits. Not only does a patient eat better this way, they can learn how to sustain healthier eating habits after treatment ends. Feeling and looking healthier during a program can be a motivating factor to stay committed to the work needed to stay in sobriety.

Fitness and recreation opportunities are a way to encourage movement and activity and to help a patient create a sense of community around them. Healing the body can come from yoga, weight training, running, swimming, volleyball, and more. Participating in one or more of these activities regularly also can lead to developing new habits to focus on after treatment ends.

4. Not all approaches to recovery are equal

When looking for a treatment program that meets your recovery needs it’s important to not only ask “What is a residential treatment center?” but also “What types of treatment interventions does your center offer?”

Many residential treatment centers focus on addiction treatment only. Holistic recovery approaches are different. They evaluate a patient’s comprehensive needs and integrate treatment interventions.

Origin’s holistic approach to care allows for a diagnosis and treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Patients with depression, for example, need treatment for its symptoms while addressing substance use. The two disorders affect each other. Treating one and not the other leaves a person with unresolved issues that may intensify the symptoms of one or both disorders.

The results of this type of treatment model are significant when looking at Origins Behavioral Healthcare alumni from 2017-2021. As Dr. John Dyben, Chief Clinical Officer for Origins Behavioral Healthcare, reports, “The overwhelming majority of our study’s participants found their treatment experience to be ‘very helpful,’ and 74% reported complete abstinence from all substances since leaving treatment.” Dr. Dyben adds, “of those who were not abstinent 73% of those reported using less than before since completing treatment .”

Additional internal data from 2017-2021 alumni are also encouraging.

  1. 85% reported complete abstinence from all substances in the last 30 days
  2. 85% said the relationships with the people most important to them had improved
  3. 88% said their overall quality of life had improved since treatment
  4. 79% said their physical health had improved since treatment

5. Outpatient & continued care should be available

Sobriety is a lifelong commitment gets recognized by an exceptional treatment center from day one. Treatment commences with the goal in mind of how to sustain it after a program ends. Having a plan in place before returning home is a much more effective way to stay sober.

Continuing care at a residential treatment center provides resources for your recovery work once a program ends. Continuing care involves counseling, medication if necessary, and family support. It also makes available structure and accountability help and guidance in finding safe living accommodations. Origins provides continuing care at all of its residential treatment centers.

A transition to an outpatient program may be needed to help a patient stay in recovery. The outpatient program can be connected to a residential treatment center, as it is in the case of Hanley Center Counseling. It may be a standalone program, as seen at Origins Counseling Dallas. Outpatient programs are an excellent way to get help processing your individual concerns about recovery, identify behaviors that may add risk for relapse, and learn new healthy coping strategies to support your sobriety.



Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.

We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.

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Call or send us a message to begin your journey to wellness today.

If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.