When it comes to recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction, California has something special that’s not available anywhere else. To beat addiction, the best thing patients can do is position themselves in an environment that will increase their chances of a successful recovery. Most people envision the addiction rehabilitation process as sitting in a cold, clammy hospital wing alongside dozens of other addictions recovery patients, all of them just staring at peeling white paint in between occasional therapy sessions. While this dull description may have once been the way rehabilitation worked in decades past, modern rehabilitation programs have come a long way and now include several treatment options that include different levels of patient population and/or inpatient versus outpatients treatment options. One of the least well-known forms of rehabilitation treatment, unique to California, is the small bed residential treatment setting, which can include as few as six beds (e.g., 6 patients served at a time). Although only found in California, this small residential recovery setting is also one of the most powerful treatment settings available.
This small residential recovery setting is also one of the most powerful treatment settings available
Using smaller, more intensive, and focused rehabilitation programs, addiction treatment providers strive for much more comprehensive and engaging treatment models that integrate both behavioral health and medical care (Ramanuj et al., 2019). This means that in a small, focused residential treatment program the patient is viewed from a more holistic level, and although treating the addiction is the primary focus, the recovery of the individual is viewed as just as essential. That means that small rehabilitation programs, like those provided by the BeWell Network, are just as concerned about providing high-quality life care as they are about cutting-edge addiction and behavioral health treatments.
Chief among these smaller residential treatment options is the California 6-bed residential treatment program. Because of addictions treatment laws unique to California, the 6-bed residential treatment center model is not widespread. Given the substantial benefits of this treatment setting, the California 6-bed residential program exemplifies perhaps the best opportunity available for overcoming addiction.
The California 6-bed residential program exemplifies perhaps the best opportunity available for overcoming addiction
Benefit #1 of the 6-bed residential treatment program: Immersive treatment – no hiding!
One of the most important considerations with seeking a small, residential treatment facility for detox and rehabilitation is that the small setting both encourages and facilitates engagement in the treatment process. In larger recovery centers and hospital treatment settings there may be enough patients present that a newly recovering patient can essentially fly under the radar during the treatment process. The larger number of patients, therefore, allows them to avoid intensive discussion during group treatment settings or avoid engagement in other treatment activities that help them come to grips with the damage addiction has caused in their lives. In a small, 6-bed residential facility, there is no hiding behind other patients or shifting treatment focus onto other patients as a way of avoiding addressing your own key treatment needs. The nature of addiction is that it wants to avoid the reality of the problems drugs or alcohol have caused, and an immersive, clinically intimate treatment experience confronts this part of addiction in the most effective and yet supportive way.
If you or a loved one needs help with any addiction our caring counselors can help. Your call is 100% confidential and there is no obligation.
So, what does a small residential recovery center look like?
So, what does a small residential recovery center look like? For example BeWell‘s Southern California residential treatment centers include two upscale, six-bed treatment centers. While these treatment centers look like large, upscale homes and have several amenities, discussed in further detail below, the key issue to consider is the level of immersive treatment they provide. For example, at these BeWell Southern California residential treatment centers, intense one on one therapy is provided up to four times per week, far more than is offered in most other treatment settings. In addition to intensive individual therapy, patients also have access to a variety of group treatment modalities, and because of the setting, these groups are still small enough to maximize patient engagement.
Patients also have access to a larger variety of individual treatment modalities that go beyond treating addiction, and patients can work on improving other mental health concerns simultaneously with addiction recovery, such as working on depression or anxiety. For example, prior traumatic stress is particularly common in many of those addicted to alcohol or other chemical substances (Mills et al., 2018). In a larger treatment setting, there is likely less time available for work on personalized individual care, such as working on recovery from past trauma. In a smaller, more intimate treatment setting, facilities like those at BeWell can provide such individualized services with providers specializing in essential specialty areas, like trauma recovery. Finally, because these small bed California residential facilities are designed to be immersive and clinically intimate, residents also have 24-hour access to professional staff if they need any assistance.
Benefit #2 of the 6-bed residential treatment program: Making recovery comfortable.
Part of the difficulty with long-term recovery from addictions is coping with ongoing withdrawal symptoms and craving, which can be extremely uncomfortable even long after completion of detox (LINK TO PRIOR DETOX ARTICLE). The benefit of recovering in a small residential facility is that it can provide a more comfortable living experience than other larger or hospital-based units typically provide. By improving physical comfort, the chances of overcoming the discomfort of residual addiction withdrawal symptoms and cravings are much improved. Likewise, small residential treatment centers have other benefits not typically present in hospital-based recovery centers, including access to spirit-uplifting residential grounds and gardens, outdoor recreational activities, and even facilities like a pool for aquatics programs or just relaxation.
BeWell‘s 6-bed residential treatment centers in Southern California, California are facilities designed for a private, secluded treatment experience
For example, BeWell‘s 6-bed residential treatment centers in Southern California, California are facilities are designed for a private, secluded treatment experience surrounded by picturesque, natural California surroundings. In addition to comfortable lodging, the 6-bed treatment centers at BeWell’s Southern California locations have some extra recovery lifestyle perks like a luxury pool and spa, and exercise facilities. Not to mention these facilities also offer high-quality, chef-prepared meals.
While it’s true that such amenities are not required for successful addictions recovery, indeed few addictions recovery centers can offer such treatment amenities as those available at BeWell’s Southern California facilities, recovery from addiction can be a very difficult process. Thus, anything that helps patients through this difficult time is going to facilitate long-term success, especially day-to-day comfort level and engagement.
Benefit #3 of the 6-bed residential treatment program: Building a new identity!
Another essential part of recovery from addiction involves replacing prior substance use activities with refreshing alternatives that can help build new identity and self-perception. Indeed, my own laboratory-based research indicates that an essential part of recovery from addiction and other mental health diagnoses involves the building of a new, healthy identity to replace the prior unhealthy identity that was sustained by addiction or other maladaptive behaviors (Selby & Coniglio, 2020). These positive recovery activities can range from artistic or musical to recreational and athletic, anything the patient finds enjoyable as an alternative to using drugs or alcohol and that promotes a positive new identity.
Building new routines in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy is a great way to build a new life
Pairing positive experiences and building new routines in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy is a great way to build a new life. Such activities are less likely to be offered at a larger inpatient or hospital settings than they are in a smaller, residential treatment setting. For example, while BeWell’s Southern California locations are primarily focused on providing residents with the psychological tools necessary to maintain long-term sobriety, they also offer numerous experiential activities including yoga training, meditation, music, and other recreational and artistic opportunities. Indeed, pairing activities such as meditation and physical activity with traditional therapy has the potential to facilitate positive changes in the brain that can improve memory, concentration, and decision making while helping cope with stressors and past trauma (Shors et al., 2018). Thus, the small residential setting provides more than just addiction treatment, it provides opportunities to craft a well-balanced skillset essential post-recovery maintenance of improvement.
Benefit #4 of the 6-bed residential treatment program: Recovering life!
The fourth and final benefit of small residential addictions recovery programs discussed here, although there are other positives discussed beyond those highlighted in this article, involves an improved ability to recover life from the grip of addiction. While the primary focus of residential treatment is recovery from addiction, simply treating the addiction without additional focus on other parts of one’s life is less likely to succeed, as compared to more comprehensive, multisystem approaches (Randall et al., 2018). Therefore, comprehensive residential treatments should offer additional services beyond individual and group addictions treatment. Key factors to consider when choosing a residential treatment program is the degree to which that program provides individuals with skills and experiences necessary to maintain long-term sobriety, access to legal and employment assistance services, opportunities to build faith and spirituality, access to social services and referral to community support agencies, and connection to community support networks (Dillon et al., 2020). 6-bed residential facilities, like those offered by the BeWell Network, offer all such services to patients and work closely with them in designing a tailored transition program upon successful completion of residential services.
Another key factor to life recovery from addictions is improving relations with family
Another key factor to life recovery from addictions is improving relations with family, who are often wanting to work with recovering patients. Indeed, patients who’ve recovered from addiction most frequently report improving family relationships was essential to their recovery (Petterson et al., 2019). Smaller, more intimate residential treatment settings also provide more opportunities for integrated treatment with family. For example, BeWell Southern California facilities routinely provide didactic family lectures addressing communication skills, dysfunctional relationship boundaries, and co-dependency versus helping. Family integration into psychological treatment is also something that can be included as needed.
Unique to California, there are numerous advantages to pursuing treatment in a 6-bed residential setting where there may be as few as six patients residing at a time. Such benefits include increased engaging in an immersive treatment setting, enduring the addiction recovery process in a comfortable setting that promotes success, building a new, positive identity through new activities and opportunities, and recovering other parts of life that have been damaged by addiction. BeWell Network’s Southern California facilities arguably offer the best form of substance abuse treatment program available. While other treatment options, including larger residential settings and hospital-based programs, can still prove quite successful at treating addiction, enrolling in a small, residential treatment setting is most likely to provide you with the comprehensive treatments and opportunities necessary for overcoming addiction in the long term and put you on the fast track to recovering your life!
Dillon, P. J., Kedia, S. K., Isehunwa, O. O., & Sharma, M. (2020). Motivations for treatment engagement in a residential substance use disorder treatment program: A qualitative study. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 14, 1178221820940682.
Mills, K. L., Marel, C., Darke, S., Ross, J., Slade, T., & Teesson, M. (2018). The long-term impact of post traumatic stress disorder on recovery from heroin dependence. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 89, 60-66.
Pettersen, H., Landheim, A., Skeie, I., Biong, S., Brodahl, M., Oute, J., & Davidson, L. (2019). How social relationships influence substance use disorder recovery: a collaborative narrative study. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 13, 1178221819833379.
Ramanuj, P., Ferenchik, E., Docherty, M., Spaeth-Rublee, B., & Pincus, H. A. (2019). Evolving models of integrated behavioral health and primary care. Current Psychiatry Reports, 21(1), 4.
Randall, J., Cunningham, P. B., & Henggeler, S. W. (2018). The development and transportability of multisystemic therapy-substance abuse: A treatment for adolescents with substance use disorders. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 27(2), 59-66.
Shors, T. J., Chang, H. Y., & Millon, E. M. (2018). MAP Training My Brain™: meditation plus aerobic exercise lessens trauma of sexual violence more than either activity alone. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 211.
Selby, E. A., & Coniglio, K. A. (2020). Positive emotion and motivational dynamics in anorexia nervosa: A positive emotion amplification model (PE-AMP). Psychological Review, 127(5), 853-890.
Dr. Edward Selby is a licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Rutgers University Department of Psychology. Dr. Selby specializes in the research and treatment of suicidal and self-injurious behavior, personality disorders, and eating disorders, with a particular focus on emotion regulation and harmful behaviors like binge eating, substance use, and self-injury. Dr. Selby has published extensively in these areas, with over 100 publications appearing in premier outlets such as Clinical Psychological Science, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology Review, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and Psychological Review. Dr. Selby’s research has been funded by organizations such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and private philanthropists.
His work has been recognized with multiple awards including an International Academy of Suicide Research Young Investigator Award for 2013, NARSAD early investigator award, the Neil S. Jacobson Award for Outstanding and Innovative Clinical Research, and in 2015 Dr. Selby was name a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. In addition, his ongoing program of research, Dr. Selby serves as the Director of Clinical Training for the Rutgers Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and regularly teaches graduate level adult psychopathology and applied latent variable modeling and hierarchical linear modeling. Dr. Selby is a Data Analyst and Researcher at the BeWell Network, where he is responsible for clinical service effectiveness evaluation and research dissemination.