Before I go into great details, what is a treatment center for? It's basically to help you, hence that it is called a treatment center. A treatment center is for many people. It helps those with drug addictions, self-injury, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, anger issues, alcoholism, depression, personality disorders, P.T.S.D., etc. A treatment center is a place you temporarily live in with other people who share similar troubles with you. A treatment center is kind of like a rehab center but it deals with more than just drugs and alcohol addictions, as you can tell from what I listed above. When you are an inpatient in a treatment center, your visit there could last anywhere from a couple of days to a whole month.

Treatment centers aren't that bad, in my opinion from my own experience. I've been in one about three times. Even while I was there, I wasn't the only one who liked being there rather than being at their home. Depending on the place you're at, you get your own room and bathroom. If not, you might have a room mate and then there's a bathroom down at the end of the hall. You may or may not get a room mate, depending on your sexuality. (So, since I am bi, I never got a room mate.) Treatment centers usually divide the kids from the teenagers. If not, they might divide the girls from boys. The time of year that you get into a treatment center determines your scheule and all that you do there. If you arrive during the school year and you're not on break, you will be provided with schooling. If you arrive during the Christmas holidays, like I did once, you end up with a whole lot of free time on your hands.

When you wake up, you change and get ready for the day. You leave your room and the staff checks up on you. They take your temperature and blood pressure, check your pulse, give you vitamins and meds, (if you have any - everybody eventually do get some while being there.) Once the staff is done checking up on you, you go to eat breakfast. When you are done eating, you report to staff to show them what you ate - this is for those with eating disorders and you do it for every meal you eat. After that, you get together with your peers in a group, you go around the room where everyone shares how they are feeling and what they're goals are for today.

When that is done, you generally get a 15 minute free time / snack time. Bascially you do whatever you want for 15 minutes. If you want to nap, go ahead. If you have to use the bathroom, go ahead. If you want to play and have fun with your peers, you can do that too. Once 15 minutes is up, you get together as a group again. This time in your group, a staff member will ask a question at first, and everyone gives their answer. Then, they will give you a challenge or game to do. The challenge could be that everyone has to draw a picture together where one person can only draw one line at a time, and they aren't allowed to talk.

When that group session is done, you get a 5 minute brief break before there's another group you attend where you discuss why you are there, drugs and alcohol. Usually you are asked what brought you into that building and then you watch a video about drugs and alcohol. When the video is done, you go around the room and list one thing you might have learned from that video - it is benefical for the addicts and alcoholics. After that group session is done, you have another break before one last group meeting in the morning.

This last group is the therapy time. Each day, you talk about something different. One day, you could be asked to use your peers to represent what your family looks like and then how you want your family to look like. This could be beneficial for those with divorced parents or abusive parents, etc. When that is all done, it is lunch time. Once lunch is done and over with, you get to go to your room for what is called quiet time.

Now what happens next depend on the time of year, if it isn't a holiday break then it is considered school time. If it is a holiday break, you pretty much just hang out with the rest of your peers. If I remember correctly, I think that lasts from about noon to 3 or 4 something. After that, you go to dinner. When dinner is finished, this is the time where you either go to the gym or an art room. You spend, I think, 2 hours there.

After that, you go back to the main area and you are instructed that it is shower time. Once you are done showering, you have to wait in your room until everybody is done and a staff member comes to release you. When you released, you have a final group of the day where you discuss how you are feeling now and if you accomplished your goals. After group is done, you have snack time and you hang out until it is bed time.

Now, you may be wondering about the rules, regulations and safety. Yes, as you will soon to find out, this environment is pretty darn strict. There is an infinite list of 'do nots'. So, hold on to your horses as I try to remember all of them and list it for you.

You are not allowed shoelaces, spiral notebooks, shaving razors, makeup, belts, camouflage clothing, sharpies, white out, anything with strings attached to it, long fingernails, fingernail polish, fingernail polish remover, see-through clothing, electronic devices, drugs (obviously), alcohol (another obvious), tweezers, fingernail clippers, scissors, razorblades, weapons of any sort, steel-toe boots, arm warmers, cooking utensils, anything made out of glass, spray cans, bobby pins, thumb tacks, safety pins, paper clips, staplers, lighters, necklaces, chains, bondage straps, coat hangers, plastic bags, erasers, rubber bands, earrings, any other body piercings, spikes / studs, sand paper, and that's all I can think of right now.

In a treatment center, you are not allowed to touch anybody so no PDA. If you're divided by kids and teens, then teens can't talk to kids and vice versa. You are not allowed to swear or curse. You not allowed to ask one staff member for something, get an answer and then go ask another staff - they had a name for that but I can't remember what, chain something. You are not allowed to use the phone to call anybody but your parents or guardians. When using the phone, you can only use it for about 15-30 minutes at a time and when you get off the phone, you have to wait 15 minutes to use it again. Nobody is allowed outside. If the treatment center has an upstairs for the adult section, teens and kids are not allowed in that area. Nobody is allowed to a room without informing a staff member. You are not allowed to give out personal information like your last name, phone number, address, etc. You are not allowed to "get with" someone, as in dating. You are not allowed to harm others verbally or physically. Lights out at 10 PM. You are not allowed to bring food or drinks into your room. You can bring a pencil or pen to your room only if you return it before falling asleep. You not allowed to enter anybody's room, stand in their doorway or yell across the hall to one another. You are not allowed to form cliques and exclude people.

If any rule is broken, you are given a warning first. After you have received several warnings, you are sent to what's usually the called the time out area. The time out area is a room near the office. It has a chair and mattress with straps on it in there. The straps are for if force has to be applied. The staff monitor over you with a camera posted in one of the corners in the room. If the time out room fails, you given the shot to the butt to sedate you. Usually that is when the straps on the mattress is used - to hold you down because you don't want a needle going into your buttocks. In my own experience, I haven't seen anything go further than that so I don't know what disciplinary actions are taken after that.

I personally enjoyed staying in a place like that. It was a place where I felt welcomed. I could talk about things and people would listen and understand where I was coming from. The place was calm and things were under control. I felt safe and secured, it gave me a better sense of belonging than my own home. But that is just me, I'm sure there are people out there who probably dread places like this or someting. And well, anyways, that is basically what it is like to be in a treatment center, hope that created a good enough image for you. If there's any details left, I'll try to go back over it and edit it. 



A treatment center is where you go and pay $15,000 to find out that A. A. meetings are free.

BrevityQuest 2007

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