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Why Drug & Alcohol Treatment Matters & How to Choose a Program That’s Right For You.

When it comes to getting sober, you have lots of choices

There’s residential inpatient programs, intensive-outpatient programs (IOP), one-on-one recovery coaching, counselling, community-based support, and an emerging group of online treatment options, like the program we run here at Home Based Recovery (HBR). [updated December 2023]

Having options is a good thing, right? 

Yes, but it can also feel pretty darn overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out what’s best for you (or your loved one). 

So today, we’re going to keep things focussed on early recovery, with a look at inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is often the first step in recovery from drugs & alcohol because it allows you to take a step back from the chaos of day-to-day life & prioritize your recovery for an extended amount of time. 

The intent of most inpatient programs is to help lay a rock-solid foundation for the road ahead by equipping you with tools & practices that will support you in early sobriety. 

Sounds good right? 

But how do you go about choosing an inpatient program that’s right for you (& your family)? 

Let’s start by looking at what an inpatient program entails. 

What is a residential inpatient program?

Also known as residential rehab, residential inpatient programs provide you (or your loved one) with an immersive recovery experience, usually lasting about 4-6 weeks. With conventional programs, you are required to live at the treatment centre for the duration of the program, and abide by their rules, some of which can be restrictive, but are intended to keep you focused on recovery. 

One of the main goals of inpatient treatment is to help you shift gears as you leave behind drugs & alcohol for a life of more stability, freedom & joy. To help you do that, these programs typically include some variation of the following:

  • Education on the science of substance use and addiction
  • Introduction to new coping strategies and tools
  • Establishment of a healthy daily routine
  • Exposure to guided 12-step coursework (or alternative)
  • Peer support meetings

On top of the training, group support & coursework, there is something powerful about dedicating yourself to this type of immersive program for a full month –– it shows a real commitment & willingness to make positive changes in your life. And it also requires you to press pause on some of the day-to-day demands & stressors that may be holding you back from healing (like your job).

This pause is important because it can feel nearly impossible to catch a break when you’re trying to crawl your way out of addiction, while simultaneously trying to keep all the balls in the air elsewhere in your life. 

But, what if you can’t entirely uproot yourself for a full month? 

Is there an alternative to conventional inpatient programs? 

There are a number of reasons why a conventional inpatient program might not be suitable for you (& your family). 

For many, the cost is simply not affordable. The high price tags commonly attached to residential inpatient programs stem, in part, from the high overhead costs (housing, utilities, maintenance staff, food, etc…) that are necessary to run a residential facility. 

And, because of these expenses & the pressure to keep the overall pricing from skyrocketing, their staffing budget is often strained, meaning you may not have the level of 1-on-1 support you need.

But, there’s an alternative. 

While COVID has wreaked havoc on many aspects of life, it’s definitely shown us that great things can be done online in the health & wellness space. And the recovery industry is no exception. 

With programs like HBR’s, you’re now able to complete immersive addiction treatment from the comfort of your own home (or anywhere you have a reliable internet connection). And for many people (& their families) this makes a whole lot of sense. 

So, why might you want to choose a home-based treatment program? 

Four Key Benefits to Choosing Home-Based Online Treatment.

Real World Resilience (vs. The Treatment Bubble)

When you’re at a residential inpatient program, you exist in something we refer to as the “treatment bubble.”  This treatment bubble is an artificial environment where you’re not exposed to your normal day-to-day triggers & have very little environmental stress around you. And what this does is create a temporary sense of safety…until you leave.

While this sheltered environment is seen as a positive by some, the reality is that theorizing for 4-6 weeks, and then being jolted back into the real world doesn’t tend to work very well (surprise, surprise!), especially considering that conventional inpatient programs often do not offer much aftercare support. 

The difficulty that people experience in transitioning from the treatment bubble back home is to be expected because changes in our environment and social setting naturally cause us anxiety. When you’re engaged in home-based, online treatment you simply don’t have to cross this bridge. 

Home-based treatment provides you the opportunity to restructure your life in real time as you learn from the program, and this is a much more sustainable & grounded approach to early sobriety. 

Rather than using a shared gym & cafeteria, you can take immediate ownership & action to establish sustainable habits –– start daily workouts at your local gym, go grocery shopping for healthy food, prepare meals in your own kitchen, stock your fridge with appealing non-alcoholic beverages, dust off the bike that’s been tucked away in the garage, or make lunch plans with that sober friend. 

Another important aspect of this real-time restructuring is the ability to address triggers that are associated with your unique environment as they come up. Maybe your spouse still drinks at home and you’re having a hard time with that –– you can talk that out in real time. Maybe your friends keep asking you to come along on social outings where you know there will be substance use –– same thing applies. Feeling fully supported as these real-world triggers come up is very powerful. 

Flexibility & Family Support

Sometimes being removed from your home environment is in fact the best option, especially if there are unresolved issues of emotional abuse, or other dynamics in the home environment (such as a spouse with addiction) that make it unhealthy. However, in many situations, leaving behind your home & basic responsibilities can create a lot of added stress. 

The reality is –– there are often feelings of resentment that brew under the surface when a significant other has to take on more responsibility at home. While it’s a rather skewed perception, a lot of spouses tend to equate going to rehab with taking a vacation from life, where you’re just resting, reading & accessing the workout room at your leisure, while they’re left behind to handle “real life”. 

Home-based programs allow you to continue on with life, whatever that looks like for you –– helping with evening parenting, contributing to household work, caring for pets, or simply being available for daily tasks such as the mail & dinner prep. They also allow you the opportunity to work on communication & relationship-building in real time.

Early sobriety is a challenging time for most people, and it’s smart to be realistic about the impacts that a recovery program will have on your family dynamics. Remember –– those same family dynamics will have a daily impact on you, long after treatment ends. 

Financial Accessibility & Emotional Health

When choosing a program, it’s important to consider the financial impact it will have on you & your family, and the potential emotional implications involved. 

The cost of private inpatient treatment can be upwards of $15 – $30K for a 30-day stay. Now, if your family is like most families, that’s a large chunk of change. Oftentimes people are able to borrow the funds from a family member, but it’s important to consider whether accepting this money will cause you emotional stress & worry. 

It’s not uncommon to experience guilt for the financial stress that your substance use disorder has created, and layering that emotional burden on top of the existing stress of giving up drugs & alcohol can make it really challenging to focus on what matters most – your recovery. 

Because home-based treatment is offered virtually, with far less overhead cost, that savings is passed along to you, providing you with a top-tier recovery experience at a more reasonable price. 

These lower costs also allow virtual programs to allocate more money to sourcing industry experts & addiction specialists, which is super important because addiction medicine is evolving quickly, and you want access to the most current & cutting-edge knowledge to fuel your own recovery journey. 

Getting Started With Home-Based Treatment.

At Home Based Recovery (HBR), each of us has our own personal story of recovery, along with a deep understanding of addiction, and we’ve come together to create a program that addresses the problems we’ve seen firsthand with conventional drug & alcohol treatment.

Our home-based treatment program serves as an excellent alternative to residential inpatient programs, providing access to cutting-edge addiction medicine, top-tier recovery coaching & compassionate care, while allowing you to build real-world resilience. 

We offer complimentary discovery calls where we can help you make sense of your current life situation & answer any questions you have about our home-based program.  

We’re passionate about helping others get sober because we’ve seen the difference it’s made in our own lives, and we’d love the opportunity to support you.

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