The most intensive form of intervention that someone struggling from alcohol or drug addiction can get is inpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient rehab involves checking into an accredited facility for a round-the-clock treatment plan, just like being confined in a hospital for any other serious illness. Exhaustive medical care, a thorough assessment about their addiction, appropriate therapies, and rigorous routines are what one can expect from an inpatient rehab center. All these are necessary to break the hold that addiction has over them, heal them from their illness, and prepare them for sober living.
What’s the Difference between Inpatient Rehab and Outpatient Rehab?
Aside from 24/7 living arrangements within the facility, inpatient rehab is different from outpatient rehab in the following ways:
- Inpatient rehab has a much more structured environment, designed to field off any distractions from the outside world.
- The patient needs to be inside the center for the entire duration of their program and must engage in it full-time. Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, typically allows for part-time arrangements so that the patient can balance them with school or work.
- Inpatient rehab offers extensive medical care throughout the person’s stay. Medical staff are trained to respond to any emergencies that may occur over the duration of treatment.
- Inpatient rehab programs also tend to be shorter than outpatient programs. The former is intended to achieve a high success rate within 28 days to 6 months. The latter usually spreads out the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction across a period of 3 months to a year.
No two cases of drug or alcohol addiction are ever alike. The outpatient arrangement may work better for certain people, while for others, it’s intensive inpatient treatment they need. To be sure, you must get the opinion of an addiction specialist before you or your loved one check in for treatment.
When Is Inpatient Rehab the Best Course of Action?
That said, there are certain cases in which inpatient rehab should be considered immediately. If any of the following hold true for you, you should consider inpatient rehab the best course of action.
- If the person in question is suffering from a serious drug or alcohol addiction and they have a high chance of experiencing withdrawal.
- If the person has tried less intensive drug or alcohol addiction treatments before but are having difficulty staying sober.
- If the person has undergone any type of rehab before but is going through a relapse.
- If the person has co-occurring mental health conditions—such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder—that should also be treated alongside the addiction.
Those four indicators should serve as your cue to get the most extensive form of medical treatment for the person struggling with substance use disorder.
Who Is Involved in an Inpatient Rehab Program?
If this will be your first time to seek inpatient rehab for yourself or for someone else, it’s normal to experience some form of anxiety. Inpatient rehab may still be an abstract concept to you, or perhaps the only thing you know about it is what you see from the media. However, one of the most important takeaways that you should have about inpatient rehab programs is that they are headed by professionals. The people who are putting a tremendous collective effort into healing people from alcohol or drug addiction are the following:
- Trained medical staff, like physicians and nurses. At an accredited inpatient facility, there are medical doctors who specialize in addiction and know of its effects on the body and brain. The center may also have its own psychiatrists, who conduct therapy and prescribe medication for the treatment of addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions.
- Therapists and counselors. The inpatient facility may also employ licensed clinicians who provide therapy and counseling for those suffering from addiction. They will take charge of either individual sessions or group sessions, and may also provide their services for couples’ or family therapy with the patient.
- Nutritionists and fitness specialists. Part of the holistic care that the patient will receive is special attention to their diet and fitness. In this regard, the facility may also have its own nutritionists, trainers, and wellness coaches to guide patients through healthier routines.
- Partners and advocates for continuing care and livelihood. The center may also have its own network of people to reach out to when the patient has graduated from their program. These include:
- local chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
- organizations that provide livelihood or education opportunities for those who struggle to find them after rehab
- clubs or faith-based organizations that have special advocacies or ministries for those suffering from addiction
Suffice to say, there will be a number of people looking out for the patient’s best interests and making sure their recovery is on track.
What Will an Inpatient Treatment Plan for Addiction Look Like?
The treatment plan for inpatient rehab will likely unfold as follows:
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- The patient or their loved ones seeks admission into the facility. The process starts when a patient, their partner, or their family members calls the center for help. This is when everyone involved can start asking staff from the inpatient facility about what they’ll need to prepare. Representatives from the facility will likely respond by asking for the person’s medical records, history of addiction treatment, insurance information, and the like.
- The patient is formally admitted into the facility. Once they’ve made the arrangements, the patient will then check into the facility for their full-time stay. They will be checked by the facility’s staff to make sure they’re not bringing in any items that are prohibited. This is so that they will not disrupt their own or other patients’ progress with their recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.
- The patient will be assessed and receive a custom treatment and recovery plan. Before treatment starts, the staff will carry out a formal assessment of the patient. They will find out the severity of the patient’s substance use disorder, which substances were involved, and what additional medical care the patient needs. These assessments help the staff formulate effective and responsive treatment plans for each individual patient.
- The patient undergoes medically supervised detoxification. In the next step, the patient undergoes what’s commonly known as detoxification or detox. Doctors monitor the patient’s vital signs as the harmful substances exit the patient’s system. They may also administer medication to help manage the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and lessen their cravings for drugs or alcohol.
- The patient receives additional medical treatment as part of their recovery plan. If the patient suffers from any co-morbidities and needs additional treatment for these, these are also administered in the facility. The patient may need to attend different medical appointments and get their body’s chemical levels assessed several times during their addiction treatment.
- The patient will participate in various individual and group therapies. An essential part of inpatient treatment is therapy. Patients may attend individual sessions or group sessions with their peers in the facility. Things that patients can learn during therapy are self-analysis, identification and control of their substance use triggers, and adjustment to sober life.
- The patient will prepare for involvement in any community-based programs. After they’ve made significant progress in their treatment plan, the patient will be prepared for reintegration into society. At the facility, they may be advised on what the next steps are when their treatment is done. They may be referred to the nearest aftercare resources, AA or NA chapters, or employment and education opportunities.
Some Important Reminders About Life in Inpatient Rehab
- Routine and structure are important. A hallmark of inpatient rehab is the rigorous structure that it follows. Life in an inpatient facility will involve a lot of strict rules and routines, from what to eat to when visitors are allowed. The adjustment may be tough on the patients at first, but it is for their own health and wellbeing. The structure is in place so that there are few impediments to their recovery.
- Inpatient rehab is costly, but it may offer the thorough care that the patient actually needs. Most inpatient programs are more expensive than their outpatient counterparts. But the cost covers round-the-clock medical care from professionals and a safe, secure recovery environment. The investment in inpatient rehab is also likely to pay off. If anything, it can help the patient avoid greater costs to their family, to their health, and to their social standing.
- Family support is crucial during inpatient rehab. The patient isn’t the only person who should be involved in their recovery. At this difficult time in their lives, they will need all the support they can get from their family members. Rehab can be an opportunity to mend broken relationships and pledge a collective commitment to healing from drug or alcohol addiction.
- Post-rehab recovery will be a lifelong process. Though inpatient treatment can do a lot to bolster the patient’s physical and emotional health, they may need a lifetime to recover. The patient and their family must remember that addiction is a chronic disease, just like hypertension or diabetes. They will need to put in constant work to manage their symptoms and exercise self-discipline in their lives. Hopefully, the patient can take the lessons they’ve learned in inpatient rehab to heart and apply them for the rest of their lives.
Better Addiction Care can help you find accurate, up-to-date information about inpatient programs in your area. Browse our website today to begin the intensive healing process from alcohol or drug addiction.