All About Inpatient Treatment Programs
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a difficult process. Many individuals need additional care and support to achieve and maintain sobriety. Inpatient treatment programs, also known as residential treatment, may be a good choice for individuals struggling with substance abuse. However, just like each person recovering from addiction is unique, so is each treatment option.1
If you are considering inpatient treatment for yourself or a loved one, it is crucial to get familiar with the nature of such programs, their benefits, and the levels of care provided. In this guide, you’ll learn about the principles of inpatient treatment for substance abuse and how you can make an informed decision when choosing a program.
How Inpatient Treatment Programs Work
Inpatient or residential rehab is a form of addiction treatment that provides patients with 24/7 structured care under the supervision of qualified professionals at a treatment facility.2 Once an individual enters into inpatient addiction treatment, they are required to be a full-time resident of the chosen treatment program, receiving structured and tailored care 24 hours a day, every day of the week. They might be assigned a room with a roommate or live alone, have their meals at the facility, attend individual and group therapy, and receive other forms of care depending on the specific program.
Due to the structured and comprehensive nature of the care provided in inpatient treatment programs, they are typically recommended for individuals with severe and/or long-term addiction to alcohol or drugs, as well as those suffering from co-occurring disorders. For many individuals, inpatient treatment can be beneficial in the sense that it helps place some distance between themselves and their potentially difficult home environments, allowing them to focus more easily on achieving recovery with guidance from addiction treatment professionals.2
The Duration of Inpatient Treatment
A crucial component of inpatient substance abuse treatment is the duration of the treatment program. The individual should remain in treatment long enough in order to develop confidence in the skills they learned during treatment for maintaining recovery. The duration of inpatient treatment may vary depending on the chosen programs and the particular needs of the individual receiving care.3
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) proposes that addiction treatment should last at least 90 days in order to achieve the desired results. However, the individual doesn’t need to spend the entire period at an inpatient treatment facility.4
Oftentimes, the patient may start with a 30-day inpatient treatment program and later transition into an outpatient program for the remainder of the time spent receiving structured treatment. Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment duration. Instead, the length should be determined based on the specific circumstances and needs of the patient.4
Principles of Inpatient Treatment
Due to the multifaceted nature of addiction, the treatment options should adhere to a number of principles in order to be effective. According to NIDA, some of these principles include:4
- Treatment should be tailored to the unique needs of each individual and adequately adjusted if these needs change.
- Treatment for substance abuse should be readily available.
- Treatment should be designed to address any additional issues that co-occur with substance use.
- The effectiveness of treatment may be better with longer durations.
- Behavioral forms of therapy should be the main focus of treatment in order to help the patients achieve and maintain abstinence.
- In addition to behavioral therapies, medication may be provided as needed.
- Medical detox should only be the first stage of treatment and followed by structured therapy and counseling to promote lasting sobriety.
- The patients should have access to infectious disease testing and harm reduction education.
- The most suitable level of care for the patient will be best determined by addiction treatment professionals upon thorough consideration of their unique needs and circumstances.
Do I Need Inpatient Treatment?
Making the decision to attend an inpatient treatment program is a highly personal endeavor. In order to decide whether or not you or a loved one may need inpatient rehab, it is usually best to rely on a treatment professional for guidance and evaluation. Professionals will consider your unique needs and circumstances to determine the appropriate level of care.2
Inpatient treatment programs offer a controlled and structured environment for recovery. They can also provide the patient with the necessary resources and tools to address the various effects of addiction on the different aspects of their life. Treatment providers may rely on different criteria to determine the right type of care, such as:5
- Physical and mental health assessments.
- Identifying any co-occurring conditions.
- Taking into account the personal needs of the patient.
- Assessing the patient’s attitude or outlook.
- Evaluating the patient’s living situation.
Treatment providers rely on these evidence-based treatment criteria to help provide individuals with the most appropriate level of care that will maximize their chances of recovery and minimize the risk of relapse.
Frequently Asked Questions