Residential Inpatient Addiction Treatment | What is Inpatient Treatment

Safe & Intensive Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment

For most individuals suffering from chronic drug and alcohol abuse, inpatient addiction treatment is an effective first step on the path to recovery. Inpatient drug and alcohol treatment enables these individuals to undergo safe substance abuse withdrawal. It also provides insight into the nature of addiction and the strategies that may help them achieve ongoing sobriety.

Residential inpatient treatment followed by ongoing outpatient treatment can give struggling individuals a chance to maintain long-term recovery. Experienced medical professionals at specialized inpatient treatment facilities offer evidence-based care. They also bring a safe and comfortable withdrawal experience and encourage lasting recovery.

What to Expect From Inpatient Residential Treatment

Typical inpatient chemical dependency treatment starts with medical detox, a process designed to clear out the drug or alcohol from the body in a comfortable and safe manner, minimizing the symptoms of withdrawal.

Facilities for intensive inpatient treatment offer a structured, patient-focused environment, as well as a range of educational, psychiatric, spiritual, and nutritional services. The staff members range from clinicians and therapists to psychiatrists and social workers dedicated to helping drug and alcohol users on their journey to recovery.

Inpatient treatment can be tailored to the patient’s unique circumstances via a range of specialized programs designed for:

  • Individuals who have experienced trauma.
  • Christians and other religious individuals.
  • Individuals with a history of relapse.
  • LGBTQ+ community.
  • First responders and military veterans.
  • Elderly persons.

inpatient chemical dependency treatment

The Benefits of Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient treatment removes outside distractions and enables patients to immerse themselves in the process of recovery. With clinical treatments, 24/7 medical supervision, educational and spiritual services, inpatient care may heal the mental, emotional, and physical damage caused by substance abuse. Some of the most important benefits of inpatient chemical dependency treatment include:

  • Structured environment: Inpatient treatment is offered in an environment designed to help patients focus on achieving sobriety.
  • Evidence-based clinical treatment: Inpatient care is based on science-backed methods, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and trauma treatment.
  • 24/7 inpatient care: Patients can rely on around-the-clock medical and emotional support and supervision.
  • Dedicated support staff: The clinicians and nurses offering intensive inpatient treatment are fully committed to providing tailored care to struggling individuals.
  • 12-Step treatment programs: Inpatient care also includes immersive 12-step programs that rely on intensive step work, meeting attendance, and helping others.
  • Spirituality-based programs: Patients can also find their sense of belonging and purpose through programs based on spirituality.
  • Music and art therapy: Inpatient drug and alcohol treatment also provides an opportunity for patients to express themselves and find healing through creativity.
  • Family therapy and counseling: Inpatient care can be combined with educational workshops, counseling sessions, and therapy with the whole family.
  • Physical wellness facilities: Physical exercise is a crucial pillar of restoring happiness and health after substance abuse addiction.
  • Suitable nutrition: Along with physical fitness, healthy nutrition can also help struggling individuals handle the physical challenges that come with withdrawal.

Specialized Inpatient Trauma Treatment

Once the individual has managed to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, the trauma may still remain. This is why it is important to rely on an approach that focuses on helping the individual as a whole through effective inpatient trauma and addiction treatment.

This form of treatment is tailored to the specific trauma the patient is experiencing. The aim is to help individuals understand and cope with their past experiences, behaviors, and emotions in a safe and healthy manner. The patient will receive tools designed to support advancement and growth, as well as community awareness and understanding.


Frequently Asked Questions


  • The easiest way to define inpatient treatment is to contrast it with outpatient addiction treatment. While both treatment options focus on patient rehabilitation, each of them has their own unique benefits and challenges:
    • Outpatient care entails part-time treatment that helps the individual to recover while going to school or work.
    • Inpatient care offers intensive residential programs that fully immerse the patient in the process of recovery by removing outside distractions.

    Inpatient residential treatment provides patients with a controlled environment in which they receive 24-hour emotional and medical support. The process relies on evidence-based programs designed to treat serious addictions and minimize the risks of relapse.

  • The duration of a residential inpatient treatment mainly depends on the specific needs of the patient and the severity of addiction. In general, inpatient treatment programs last anywhere from 30 to 90 days.Although lengthy inpatient addiction treatment may seem intimidating, longer durations of care have a proven potential to ensure lasting recovery for patients struggling with substance abuse.

  • Unfortunately, trauma and addiction often go hand in hand. Research has demonstrated that there is a clear connection between individuals who have faced trauma and substance abuse. In fact, approximately 75% of individuals who suffer from addiction have experienced some form of trauma in their childhood or adulthood.1This is why many inpatient programs are based on both addiction and trauma treatment, aiming to help struggling individuals understand the link between the two and achieve lasting recovery. Inpatient trauma treatment may include different forms of therapy:
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This form of therapy focuses on teaching the individual to think before they act by retraining behavioral patterns. This may minimize the risk of relapse after upsetting situations that would otherwise trigger a highly emotional response.
    • Mindfulness: Activities geared toward mindfulness may reduce reactivity in individuals suffering from trauma by helping them stay anchored in the here and now. Through mindfulness, the person may learn to better understand their behaviors and emotions, and possibly uncover the connection between their substance use and trauma.

  • Overcoming addiction is not an immediate process. In order to achieve long-term recovery and wellness, the patients should be fully engaged in the treatment and receive continual support and care.Upon completing residential inpatient treatment, the patients may continue with additional partial care or outpatient programs depending on the severity of addiction. Overall, combining inpatient and outpatient care brings lasting benefits for individuals trying to cope with trauma and overcome addiction.


1. Farrugia, P. L., Mills, K. L., Barrett, E., Back, S. E., Teesson, M., Baker, A.… Brady, K. T. (2011). Childhood Trauma Among Individuals With Co-Morbid Substance Use and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Mental Health and Substance Use: Dual Diagnosis, 4(4), 314–326.

2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Principles of Effective Treatment.

3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction DrugFacts.

4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Types of Treatment Programs.

5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Treatment Options.

6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families.