woman joins residential treatment during covid

If you are looking into residential treatment for substance abuse, the severity of the addiction will dictate the level of treatment necessary. Individuals diagnosed with severe addiction or co-occurring mental disorders may require treatment in a residential treatment program. However, you may be concerned about your health and safety in light of COVID. Hopefully, this guide provides the information you need to feel safe during treatment in a residential setting.

COVID-19 and Addiction

When COVID-19 made its debut in the US, public health officials introduced quarantining, social distancing, and other safety strategies to help control the spread. However, social isolation led to an increase in alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, depression, and worsening of mental health conditions that feed substance abuse.

Meanwhile, addiction and mental health professionals are concerned that the disease may affect the treatment delivery within the residential rehab program. Since then, a long list of safety measures was put in place to lower the risk of transmission. This means you can feel safe receiving residential therapy.

What Is Residential Treatment?

Treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), or addiction, is conducted through a variety of programs. Each program offers a different level of care depending on the physical and mental health needs of the client. The programs include residential, inpatient, partial-hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and standard outpatient options.

Residential therapy programs provide the highest level of care available for drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental disorders. Patients needing long-term care, medical detox, dual-diagnosis treatment, and 24-hour supervision are required to live at the facility throughout the duration of treatment. This poses a challenge for both rehab staff and residents, considering the potential risks of COVID transmission.

Guide to Staying Safe During Residential Treatment

There are several important safety guidelines that drug and alcohol rehab programs can use to address COVID and addiction treatment.

For residents/patients and visitors:

  • All patients should be screened, tested, and be free of COVID before admissions.
  • Residents should wear a mask or facial covering at all times.
  • Mask rules may be relaxed when patients are confined to their rooms.
  • Patients should not be allowed to leave the facility unless absolutely necessary.

For rehab staff members:

  • The program should have the capacity to isolate or quarantine patients.
  • Facilities must screen all persons entering the building for coronavirus exposure and test their temperatures.
  • Wash hands often and clean and disinfect high-traffic areas frequently and routinely.
  • Staff should wear masks at all times.
  • Staff should wear appropriate Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE), especially when delivering services requiring close physical contact with the client.
  • Open windows and adjust the heating, ventilation, and air condition to increase airflow.
  • Facilities should adopt a no-visitor policy when community transmission is on the rise.
  • Staff members experiencing coronavirus symptoms should remain at home until it is safe to return to work.
  • Facilities should have clear guidelines for addressing both new and current patients who exhibit symptoms.

In therapy settings:

  • Limit group meetings and activities to 10 or fewer people.
  • Use telehealth or virtual therapy as a substitute for in-person therapy and counseling whether the patient is at home or at the facility.

San Antonio Recovery Center's Residential Treatment Program

While we cannot speak for other rehabs, we enforce health and safety measures for clients and staff to ensure our facility remains COVID-free. We continue to deliver the highest level of residential therapy through the following comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs:

Addiction does not stop for the coronavirus. Our San Antonino, TX, residential treatment center is open and we remain committed to providing you with the quality of care you need to bounce back from addiction. Call 866.957.7885, or contact us online to learn more about our programs and safety policies.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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