People with deep-rooted emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric issues that need help may benefit from long-term residential treatment.  Long-term residential treatment will last six months or longer.  Although programs may vary, most long-term residential treatment programs offer a highly structured curriculum that provides therapeutic support for each client.

The benefits of long-term residential treatment include:

  • A collaborative environment where trained therapists, psychiatrists, nurses, residential staff, and others meet regularly to discuss the individual needs of each client.  This allows clients to receive specialized care tailored to their therapeutic needs.
  • A supportive structure helps clients manage daily life tasks such as fulfilling responsibilities, taking medication, practicing good self-care.
  • Individual, family, and group therapy sessions foster growth and understanding that promotes healing.
  • They can learn personal responsibility as they see how their actions impact others around them.
  • Clients learn to support one another and form healing relationships
  • Clients are encouraged to adopt positive values that give them a framework for healthy living and overall quality of life
Long-Term Residential Treatment
Long-Term Residential Therapy

How Long-Term Residential Treatment Works

As residential treatment programs are intensive and structured, clients can achieve long-lasting healing that may not be possible in traditional outpatient therapeutic settings.  Although outcomes may vary from program to program, some studies suggest that long-term residential treatment leads to lasting change more often than outpatient therapeutic settings.  But, again, this is likely due to the structured nature of these programs; for example, taking the medication regularly or attending weekly therapy sessions is much easier when it’s a required part of a daily routine.

Many long-term residential treatment programs also provide resources and help for the transition back home, as this can be overwhelming.  Transition resources may include in-home visits, outpatient therapy, or coaching to help with school/vocational goals, but transition support will vary from program to program.

When looking for a long-term residential treatment program, tour the facility and meet with the treatment staff to get a sense of the program’s goals, structure, team, and therapeutic style.  You’ll want to look for a program that best matches your client’s needs, interests, and values.  Some long-term residential treatment programs may have specialized services to meet individual needs, such as a girls-only program or a program that focuses on treating substance abuse issues.  Research programs thoroughly to find the best fit for your client.

Long-term residential treatment can be a haven of personal growth, healing, and lasting change for residents who are committed to learning healthy coping and management skills for their challenges.

Effective Factors that Make Long-Term Residential Treatment

Although many different long-term treatment centers for addiction, most of which promise high-quality care, there are five essential factors for effective long-term residential treatment.

  • The staff:  An experienced and committed team is the foundation of a high-quality long-term residential treatment program.  The staff’s ability to connect with patients and be a source of understanding, support, and guidance is essential to an addiction treatment program that works.
  • Treatment methods:  Research supports the idea that specific addiction treatment methods are highly beneficial and effective for recovery.  One study from the Psychiatric Clinics of North America found addiction treatment programs that use cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational interviewing, and medications such as methadone or buprenorphine for alcohol and opioid addiction are generally more effective.
  • Presentation of the facility:  The overall presentation of a long-term treatment center for addiction can go a long way to make a client feel less anxious and depressed.  Instead, foster feelings of encouragement and make the client feel welcome and at home.
  • Facility amenities:  A high-quality residential treatment center should provide amenities that foster personal growth, privacy, accountability, and comfort.  For example, this may include a clean and welcoming living environment, separate living spaces for men and women, designated areas for physical fitness and yoga, and meditation.
  • Longer durations of treatment:   Although 90 days is the minimum amount of time required for a program to be considered a long-term addiction treatment program, many facilities offer treatment for as long as the client needs, whether that’s three months or five months.  Many long-term residential drug treatment programs also provide continued support after rehab, connecting clients with community support groups, sober living homes, or formal aftercare treatment.

What Happens After Long-Term Residential Rehab?

A long-term addiction treatment program is designed to help you change negative patterns of thinking and behaving and develop the skills, strategies, and techniques you need to reduce stress, combat cravings, and cope with other powerful triggers to improve your chances of successful recovery.  But once you’re finished with treatment, you’ll likely still need support, and Long term addiction treatment will put an aftercare plan in place to help you stay on the road to recovery during the early months and years of abstinence.

If you’re looking for long-term addiction treatment in Florida, call We Level Up today to learn about our continuum of care that carries clients through the entire treatment process, from detox to aftercare.

Expectation From Long-Term Residential Treatment Centers

Long-term alcohol treatment and addiction recovery have come a long way since the 18th century.  Unfortunately, though, substance use has increased with it insidiously. 

In 2018, 2.2 million adolescents drank alcohol regularly.  Out of this number, 1.2 million were binge drinkers.  This adds to the 20.3 million Americans with a substance use disorder. 

Therapies within long-term residential treatment centers have advanced with these numbers.  A combination of medicine, talk therapy, holistic therapy, and a healthy environment help.  Everyone gets a personalized treatment plan. Long-term inpatient rehabilitation gives members all the tools they need to recover permanently. 

Medicine As Therapy  

When medicine is used to aid recovery, it’s called medication-assisted treatment.  Only medical professionals can assess whether or an individual with a substance use disorder needs it.  This kind of treatment can be for people that need to detox or have an additional condition. 


A long-term plan regularly includes medicine as a tool for addiction recovery.  A detox program doesn’t always mean treatment.  People in a program like this usually have a severe dependency.  A medical professional might use these medications to ease a hard drug withdrawal: 

  • Naltrexone:  It blocks the effects of opioids.  Also known as an opioid antagonist
  • Methadone:  An opioid without any euphoric effect.  Eases opioid withdrawal
  • Buprenorphine:  Medicine to help with severe pain.  Used carefully as a last resort

In general, a detox is a process of ridding the body of unwanted substances.  Long-term alcohol treatment may not need medicine to avoid unbearable withdrawal symptoms.  This can depend on the severity. 

Medicine For Mental Illness 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 50% of people with a substance use disorder have a mental illness.  This statistic increases to 60% for adolescents.  Two or more disorders at the same time is a dual diagnosis.  A member at a long-term treatment center with a mental illness may use one of these medications: 

  • Antidepressants:  Can be used to treat people with anxiety and depression disorders
  • Antipsychotics:  Individuals with schizophrenia might need a prescription
  • Mood stabilizers:  Aids the highs and lows that come with bipolar disorder

Substance use disorders and mental illnesses can be deadly.  Doubly so as a dual diagnosis.  A member of a long-term residential treatment center gets a full assessment.  One can’t be treated without the other.  Otherwise, treatment will fail. 

Talk Therapy 

Talk therapy for addiction recovery encourages individuals with a substance use disorder to talk through their issues.  It’s an umbrella term. In other words, many kinds of therapy fall under it: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) 

These three types of talk therapy are primarily used at long-term inpatient rehab centers.  The number of talk therapies out there is exhaustive.  A therapist or counselor may use the ones above in combination with others. 

Holistic Therapy 

Long-term treatment centers also offer natural forms of therapy.  These are known as holistic therapies.  They may include an individual’s favorite form of exercise.  It can also include essential oils and sound therapy.  These are popular types of holistic treatment: 

  • Aromatherapy 
  • Yoga 
  • Vitamins and herbal supplements 
  • Reflexology 
  • Guided meditation 

Individuals under long-term care for addiction recovery are in an intense program.  As a result, their issues will most likely not be cure through music and meditation alone.  But, indeed, it has its place as a tool. 

A Safe Environment 

One of the crucial portions of long-term residential treatment centers is that it provides people a safe environment to recover.  Here, the focus is 100% on recovery.  As a result, stressors from the outside world are eliminated. 

Everyone in the center has different problems.  But, they are all working towards a common goal.  The trained staff consistently works with members on that goal, too.  It’s a healthy hive mindset that is one of the most powerful tools.

Consideration for Long-Term Residential Treatment Centers

When a person decides to be a member of a long-term treatment center, it’s not an easy decision.  The plan is a long one, sometimes more difficult than the others.  It requires more commitment.  Yet, that’s why people who are committed to addiction recovery should choose long-term care. 

Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, especially when so many are prone to relapse.  Because if a drug or alcohol dependency has ruined their life, they should turn to long-term treatment centers.  Half a year is nothing in comparison to a lifetime of a substance use disorder. 

These are examples of people who should consider a long-term residential center: 

  • Individuals suffering from years of substance dependency 
  • People who have lost their job because of addiction 
  • Parents who have had their children taken away due to their toxic lifestyle 
  • Those who have already tried forms of short term therapy 
  • People who have a co-occurring disorder (dual diagnosis)
  • Individuals who are surrounded by those with a substance dependency 

Those are just a few examples, but anyone serious about getting better needs to consider long-term care.  If a substance use disorder is severe, short-term therapy probably won’t be effective.  It may work for a bit but then reemerge. 

90 Day Residential Treatment Programs

Longer forms of addiction recovery treatment are known to be more effective and it makes sense.  The more a person practices a skill, the better they get at it.  Mindfulness and the tools to recover from addiction are skills. 

That said, 90-day residential treatment programs can be a happy medium.  Members at a residential treatment center can take enough time to heal.  Since 90-day residential treatment programs fall right under the length of long-term care, it could be a viable option.  In addition, employers are likely to give employees a leave of absence for this period.

Best Options For Long-Term Treatment Centers

People with a substance use disorder need to be in one of the top long-term residential treatment centers to recover.  They must be surrounded by positive influence because it also lets them go through each step of recovery with no rush or pressure.

Steps to Recovery at Long-Term Residential Treatment Centers:

  • Assessment of the severity of the substance use disorder.  Also, if any other conditions must be considered. 
  • A decision on a plan of action.  What kind of personalized treatment will they need? What will the timeline be? 
  • Admittance into the residential community
  • Different forms of therapy alongside a like-minded community to recover from addiction. 
  • A member feels well enough for outpatient treatment.  After over half a year, this is something to decide upon. 

Becoming a member at one of the top long-term residential treatment centers may seem unattainable.  But, on the contrary, individuals with a substance use disorder might be eligible for financial assistance.  In addition, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) covers some people with drug dependencies who actively seek help. 

How Do I Find an Inpatient Drug Rehab Near Me?

At We Level Up Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope.  We work as an integrated team providing support through long-term residential treatment and other aspects of treatment.  Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life.  Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.  Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


[1] Affordable Care Act (ACA) –