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Finding a Residential Addiction Treatment Centre

With all of the options for inpatient addiction treatment centres across Canada and the United States the prospect of finding the right fit for yourself or a loved one can seem overwhelming. When an individual contacts admissions at Cedars at Cobble Hill either via email or by phone it is often the first time they are reaching out for help. We have complied our recommendations to help simplify the process for what to seek out in a treatment facility to find the one that will best meet you or your loved ones needs.

Seek out a treatment centre that offers open-ended programming – with a length of stay that is determined by measured progress toward patient and staff identified goals. Look for an addiction treatment facility that uses terms like “average length of stay” or a date range such as “6-7 weeks” or “42-50 days”. A predetermined treatment duration of 28 or 42 days is a common offering in residential treatment facilities in British Columbia and across the country. The limitations with this is that like addiction, the recovery process can vary significantly depending on the patient. All individuals are unique and addiction is a complex illness, at times accompanied by other mental and physical health issues. All people are not the same and to be successful we believe the treatment plan must take into account the unique aspects of each individual. A pre-determined completion date doesn’t always reflect the needs and progress of each individual and addiction counselling professionals often find that individuals seeking treatment for addiction find the most success in a program that provides individualized programming. This affords the patient, and their respective addictions counselors the opportunity to address the individual needs and identify challenges as they arise.

Evaluate needs vs. wants – Some facilities will offer extra-curricular activities such as hot tubs, swimming pools, spa services, sports complex’s, significant “free time” and other amenities such as upgraded private rooms or personal televisions. Although therapeutic, these components can also be distracting or isolating and for some can slow down the treatment progress. It is important to find a program that does not compromise on the structured therapeutic activities to create space for such amenities. It is best to seek out an organization that places a large focus on balance, structure and holistic modalities. Residential Addiction Treatment Programs should include but are not limited to a combination of the following: Group & Individual Counselling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, 12 step facilitation, educational seminars, separate residences for men and women, a comprehensive medical, psychological, emotional and spiritual assessment, individualized programming, a high staff to patient ratio, daily physical fitness activities such as personal training, walking or hiking and yoga practice.

The treatment program at Cedars at Cobble Hill offers all of the components listed above. Patients attending our residential addiction treatment programs can also participate in Art Therapy Programs, Equine Therapy facilitated by Generation Farms in Nanaimo, BC, Sweat lodges, and somatic experiencing. They are also welcome to receive spiritual guidance from our team of chaplains and local First Nations Elders.

Consider the location & environment – It is best to find a facility that has a significant connection to nature and a disconnection from environmental triggers. Many patients seeking addiction treatment will benefit from attending a facility that is no way related to their previous lifestyle i.e. away from a downtown core, old neighbourhoods, city centres and institutions. At Cedars we often see patients attending treatment from across Eastern Canada including Ontario as a way to physically separate themselves from previously triggering people, situations and places. Addiction treatment is provided at Cedars at Cobble Hill in British Columbia in a natural therapeutic setting with over 65 acres of forested trails. We believe our environment provides a picturesque landscape and tranquil treatment setting conducive to healing.

Look for abstinence based – We understand addiction is a chronic and progressive neurobiological brain disease with psychological, spiritual, and social implications. We also recognize that in order to address the underlying issues of addiction and addictive behaviour, the brain and the individual cannot reach their full potential if the substance is still being utilized. We recommend finding a residential inpatient treatment centre that recognizes addiction as a disease and strives to create an abstinence based foundation for healing without selling the idea of “controlled drinking” or “using willpower” to overcome poor drinking or drug habits.  At Cedars, we believe that abstinence from drugs or addictive behaviors is just the starting point. Abstinence alone is not recovery. You can recover mental and physical health, family relationships, careers and reputations. You can also recover a life filled with meaning and the endless possibilities that are presented when you enter a life of recovery.

Continuum of Care – The support provided after an individual completes residential addiction treatment is almost as important as the inpatient treatment itself. A continuing care plan should consist of: 6 months of weekly in person or online group counselling appointments, access to a peer support network, a continuing care plan consisting of daily self-care tasks, recommendations for 12-step meeting attendance at AA/NA/EDA or another fellowship, recovery sponsorship and invitations to alumni events and support from Continuing Care Co-ordinators. We recommend ensuring the facility you choose for addiction treatment has a significant continuum of care to support you or your loved one outside of residential treatment.

Family Component – Addiction is a family disease that affects not only the addict themselves, but their loved ones. Addiction can take a significant toll on the family members of those suffering from alcoholism, drug abuse, and gambling or sex addiction. In order for the individual to thrive in recovery the family system also needs support and to have access to a program of recovery for themselves. We recommend finding an Addiction Treatment Centre that offers an inpatient family program. Cedars at Cobble Hill offers a 6 day all-inclusive Discovery Program for one family member or loved one to attend that is included in the cost of residential treatment.

Most importantly – it is best to find the facility that meets YOUR needs. We encourage you to contact addiction treatment facilities to request further information on how their facility operates and what a typical day would look like. In active addiction it can be very difficult to commit to a decision and the desire to seek help can be limited. Ultimately it is best to ask for help, ask questions and get the help you need as soon as possible.

Whether the individual suffers from an addiction to legal or illegal drugs or alcohol, an addictive relationship with food, sex, gambling, the internet or even work, we know that a thorough evaluation of the entire physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health must be the starting point of a sound treatment plan. We hope that everyone suffering from addiction and their loved ones will find the help they need to begin a fulfilling life in recovery.

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