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Residential Rehab for Alcohol: Benefits, Process, Financing and More

Last Updated: January 25, 2024

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

Intensive, comprehensive addiction treatment

There are different settings where a person can receive addiction treatment. One such environment is residential rehab, where you live onsite during your treatment. Benefits of residential rehab include holistic care, a structured environment and escape from everyday triggers.

For someone with a severe alcohol addiction, a residential program should be the first step. Other levels of care may not suffice for a severe substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. Some people may worry about paying for treatment or taking time away from their families. However, choosing the right program and carefully planning can resolve these concerns.

What Sets Residential Alcohol Rehab Apart?

Residential alcohol rehab programs are appropriate for those struggling with severe addiction. They often work well for those with a co-occurring mental health disorder as well. During a residential alcohol rehab program, there are unique features, including:

  • Care that’s available 24/7
  • Structured and scheduled therapy and other activities in a supervised therapeutic environment
  • Safe, secure housing
  • Medical care
  • Aftercare services — for example, connecting you with case management, housing and legal assistance

Benefits of Residential Alcohol Rehab

Residential alcohol rehab aims to teach patients how to build a healthy life without alcohol or drugs. The structured environment of residential rehab provides a distraction-free space for recovery.

Continuous Medical Supervision

One unique benefit of residential rehab is access to constant medical supervision and care when needed. There’s 24/7 access to medical professionals who specialize in alcohol addiction. They can also treat potential complications during the treatment process, such as withdrawal.

Structured Environment for Alcohol Recovery

Living a healthy, sober life relies on developing healthy routines and habits. A residential program introduces the structure you’ll carry into your sober life outside of treatment. You have a carefully scheduled day to include healthy routines, activities and therapy. 

Building a Recovery Community in Alcohol Rehab

Being in a residential program doesn’t just mean interacting with your treatment team and clinicians. You’re also creating a sober support network with the people receiving treatment. These relationships are critical during your recovery. They allow you to share experiences and provide and receive support. You aren’t alone during these early days of treatment and recovery.

Residential Alcohol Rehab: How It Works

Every residential alcohol rehab program will have its own set of practices, and each individual’s treatment plan will be unique. However, alcohol rehab programs do share some general characteristics.

Admission and Alcohol Use Assessment

Addiction is a complicated disease with so many factors contributing to its development. People also have different mental and physical health needs. All these distinctions need to be factored into someone’s treatment plan. That way, it’s tailored to their needs.

The first step in residential alcohol rehab is an admission and alcohol use assessment. It helps the clinical team understand your alcohol use and other factors to create your personalized treatment plan.

Alcohol Detoxification Process

Alcohol addiction is often accompanied by physical dependence. When you’re dependent on alcohol and stop drinking, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. With alcohol withdrawal, these symptoms can be severe or sometimes even life-threatening. A medical detox program provides care so you can safely get through withdrawal.

Some specific medical interventions and medications can be used to reduce withdrawal symptoms, manage the risk of any complications and help someone get through this time successfully. Once detox is complete, the client can move into the next levels of care. A detox program isn’t a standalone treatment for alcohol addiction. Instead, it’s a critical initial step.

Therapeutic Interventions for Alcohol Addiction

The core of addiction treatment for alcohol and other substances is therapy. This can include behavioral therapies and other forms of talk therapy. Therapeutic interventions can occur in individual and group sessions. Holistic therapies may also be included. These sessions delve deep into underlying elements that led to alcohol addiction. There’s also an emphasis on dealing with addiction triggers and preventing relapse.

Preparing for Life After Alcohol Rehab

A rehab program is integral to recovery. However, there’s still work to do once you leave a treatment center. Your recovery is a life-long endeavor. That’s why you need strategies and resources to help you stop drinking. As part of that, your treatment team will begin planning for when you leave the center as soon as you check in.

Of course, your plans may change with your needs. Still, your aftercare plan is as important as any other part of treatment. An aftercare plan might include connecting you to outpatient services and therapy. You may also get recommendations for local alcohol support groups.

Daily Life in an Alcohol Rehab Facility

Active addiction is often chaotic, with little sense of routine or normalcy in your daily life. Your life in an alcohol rehab facility will be very different than that. When you leave treatment, you’ll begin to build the healthy habits and routines that will be part of your day-to-day life.

Daily Routines in Alcohol Rehab

An alcohol rehab’s daily routine will vary. It depends on the treatment center and program, but some of the elements you might expect include:

  • Waking up early in the morning
  • Therapy sessions throughout the day. These include individual therapy and group therapy. Rehab programs also include educational sessions. These focus on topics like understanding addiction, coping strategies and relapse prevention.
  • 12-step meeting participation or similar support groups
  • Recreational activities and exercise
  • Regular mealtimes
  • Medical monitoring to address physical health issues linked to alcohol dependence
  • Holistic therapies like art therapy, yoga or meditation
  • A structured bedtime routine for developing healthy sleep patterns

Rules and Expectations in Alcohol Rehab

In alcohol rehab, there are usually rules and expectations to create an environment conducive to recovery. They can vary depending on the center, the level of care and the person’s treatment plan. However, there are some common rules and expectations you might encounter in alcohol rehab. These include:

  • Residents must abstain from alcohol and other substances not prescribed by medical professionals.
  • Residents must attend all scheduled activities, therapy sessions and group meetings.
  • Confidentiality is important to create a trusting, safe environment.
  • Respect for fellow residents, staff and the facility’s rules is essential. 
  • Active participation in therapy sessions is expected.
  • Residents must follow their personalized treatment plans.
  • Most residential centers expect that spaces are kept clean and tidy.

Family Involvement in Alcohol Recovery

Family involvement can play a critical role in alcohol rehab and recovery. Alcohol addiction’s effects often extend beyond the person struggling with it, affecting family and relationships. The family’s involvement in rehab and recovery creates a support system that promotes healing. Families might attend educational sessions to understand more about addiction and recovery. Family therapy sessions can also be part of a treatment plan to improve communication skills.

Family involvement in recovery can also help rebuild trust and reduce enabling behaviors.

Rehab centers have different rules and expectations for family involvement during treatment. Be sure to check your facility’s policies on visitation and communication.

How to Choose the Right Residential Alcohol Rehab Center

Choosing the right residential alcohol rehab center is a life-changing decision. It can significantly impact the success of your recovery. Some things to consider as you’re comparing and selecting a residential rehab include:

  • Accreditation and licensing: Ensure relevant authorities accredit the rehab center. They should hold the necessary licenses to ensure the facility meets standards of care and professionalism.
  • Approach: Consider the specialization of the rehab center and the treatment approaches utilized. For example, does it use a combination of evidence-based, 12-step and holistic treatment methods?
  • Staff qualifications: Check the experience and qualifications of treatment staff. This includes therapists, counselors and medical professionals.
  • Evidence-based practices: Look for programs incorporating evidence-based practices and therapies supported by scientific research for treating alcohol addiction.
  • Individualized treatment plans: Choose a facility that offers personalized treatment.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment: If someone has co-occurring mental health issues, a rehab center must provide dual diagnosis treatment. This treatment addresses the addiction and mental health concerns at the same time.
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention: Ask about the aftercare services provided. A concrete aftercare plan and relapse prevention strategies are necessary for sustained recovery.
  • Cost and insurance coverage: Take time to understand the program’s costs and whether your insurance covers rehab services. Check for additional fees and explore available financing options.
  • Reviews and testimonials: Look at feedback from individuals who have completed the program. These reviews can provide insights into the center’s effectiveness.

Financing Options for Alcohol Rehab

Paying for alcohol rehab can be a concern for many people. However, there are several ways to cover the costs, including the following:

  • Health insurance: Check if your insurance plan covers addiction treatment. Many policies do include coverage for substance abuse treatment, including residential alcohol rehab. Contact your insurance provider to learn about coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Public insurance: If you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, these public insurance options may provide coverage for alcohol rehab services.
  • Employee Assistance Programs: EAPs are offered by some employers to support substance abuse treatment. You can ask your employer or HR department if an EAP is available. These programs are likely to provide coverage for short-term counseling, and they may refer you to a residential program. They’re less likely to cover the costs of residential care. 
  • Sliding scale fees: Some rehab facilities adjust fees based on the client’s financial situation, making treatment more affordable.
  • Financing options: Rehab centers often offer financing options or payment plans so you can pay for treatment costs over time.

Same-Day Admission at The Recovery Village Kansas City Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The Recovery Village Kansas City Drug and Alcohol Rehab is a physician-led adult rehab center. We provide compassionate, evidence-based care for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. With multiple levels of care and comforting amenities, our treatment center prioritizes healing. We also offer same-day admission so you or a loved one can begin the recovery journey immediately. Contact our Recovery Advocates to learn more.


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