“An inpatient drug rehab offers the opportunity to express complex feelings, receive support from a compassionate community, and work through trauma in a safe environment with highly skilled and devoted professionals.” – Larena Davis, LPC, PHD, LCADC, CCS, Clinical Director at The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper
In inpatient rehab, you’ll receive intensive treatment for drug or alcohol addiction while living onsite at a rehab facility. Inpatient settings are short in duration – often lasting just days or weeks, but they provide 24-hour care by a highly-skilled staff that includes physicians, nurses, and therapists to offer support and care during critical moments of recovery.
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What is Inpatient Rehab?
Inpatient treatment centers typically include clinical guidance and supervision and referral to a variety of step-down programs that you can transition towards after completing medical detox. When receiving inpatient treatment, you’ll live onsite at a rehab facility in a supportive and supervised environment. After finishing inpatient rehab, you may continue recovering in a residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment setting.
You are required to stay at the facility for the entirety of the program, including overnight. Although there is no single treatment that’s right for everyone, inpatient rehab is one of the most effective forms of care for drug and alcohol addiction for people with severe addictions, few supports, and poor success in lower levels of care.
Most inpatient rehab programs include:
- Comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning
- 24-hour nursing supervision
- Medication management, if necessary
- Meeting with a psychiatric provider one or more times a week
- A community meeting group
- Ongoing review of treatment goals
- Individual therapy
- Recreational therapy, such as meditation and yoga
- Daily group therapy, including specialty groups and peer groups
- Aftercare and discharge planning (a necessary component in this level of care)
Some inpatient treatment facilities, like The Recovery Village, also offer treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, personality disorders and eating disorders. Treating mental health disorders and substance use disorders at the same time, called dual diagnosis treatment, often leads to better outcomes in recovery.
Components of Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab programs consist of medical treatment, withdrawal management and individual, family and group counseling. This combination is essential to treat the overall medical and mental health of the individual in a holistic way. When only one component is addressed, there is more room for addiction to return.
Inpatient treatment involves medical care to further support you as you take your first steps in recovery. Medical care is so valuable because addiction and physical dependence are issues that impact a person’s physical health. Commonly, people in active addiction may be malnourished, sick and unhealthy. Without medical care, the person could be in danger of serious risks to their organs and major bodily systems.
For example, alcohol can cause seizures during withdrawal, so medical staff needs to be trained to handle seizures. An intravenous (IV) drug user might need to be screened for HIV, and Hepatitis B and C. Medical care in the inpatient rehab setting is sometimes the first treatment people have gotten in years.
Withdrawal symptoms may last long after the drug has left the body. The time frame depends on the drug of abuse, the amount used, how long it was abused for and many other personal factors. Clinical care in inpatient helps mitigate negative side effects as a person faces lingering withdrawal symptoms.
If a person attempts to detox outside of inpatient care, they could be more prone to relapse as a way to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal. Detoxing from certain substances, like alcohol, opioids and sedatives, also carries a risk of dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can be deadly without medical support. Withdrawal management can create a safe and comfortable environment for detox, making it more likely the person will complete their detox.
Related: Drugs that Cause Withdrawal and What to Expect During Detox
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involved using medications to reduce cravings, minimize withdrawal symptoms, and improve success in recovery. Prescribers may offer MAT solutions for opioids, alcohol, nicotine, and other addictions.
Individual, Family and Group Therapy
Individual counseling, family counseling and group therapy are options included in inpatient rehab services. When selecting an inpatient rehab near you, understanding which types of addiction therapies they offer should be a key factor in deciding if it’s right for you.
The most common forms of therapy include:
- Individual therapy involves meeting one-on-one with a therapist to address symptoms.
- Family therapy allows you to bring family or close friends into the treatment to bolster relationships, communication, and understanding.
- Group therapy uses the knowledge and experience of other group members and a professional therapist to accomplish goals.
Topics discussed during therapy may include:
- Substance abuse: investigating how the substance abuse, addiction, and dependence began, so its patterns and habits can be broken
- 12-step programs/support groups: not all recovery includes 12-step programs, but support groups work well to complement professional treatments
- Dual diagnosis: many people with addiction issues have co-occurring mental health disorders that influence substance use, so addressing these can limit future addiction
- Skill-building: to improve communication, relaxation, self-care, self-esteem and self-monitoring skills
In inpatient care you can access a range of recreational amenities to improve your physical and mental health. Amenities vary by the facility but may include yoga or equine therapy, sports activities and more.
These options can serve as an escape or a form of therapy depending on your needs. Many of these activities can also reduce stress and improve mood so you can focus on their recovery. Physical activity plays an important role in the recovery process, so there is always room for recreational therapy.
Related: Find a Treatment Center Near You
Inpatient vs. Residential Rehab
People may confuse residential vs. inpatient treatment, but there are two main differences: intensity and duration. Both inpatient and residential treatments are more intensive than outpatient, but inpatient offers the most restrictive services for people with the most serious symptoms.
Residential treatments last a month or more and more closely resemble a home-like setting while permitting more freedoms. Alternatively, inpatient services are frequently in acute care hospitals under constant monitoring and observation. Inpatient treatments may only last a few days to weeks. At The Recovery Village, inpatient treatment includes both intensive around-the-clock care and residential care.
Benefits of Inpatient Treatment
Advantages of inpatient rehab include a structured environment with access to many services, amenities, skill-building opportunities and support from medical and clinical staff.
- Medical support: Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be life-threatening. Medical staff members are trained to handle these situations and treat what they can. In rare cases, advanced medical treatment might be needed. Inpatient rehab provides access to 24-hour medical support, in most programs.
- Structured programming: Inpatient rehab is a structured environment. Rehab programs have structured days and weeks to help return people to a healthy way of life.
- Nutritional support: Meals in inpatient rehab are designed for the nutritional needs of the person detoxing. Alcohol detox requires a diet high in thiamine and other vitamins. Detox from stimulants may include smaller meals at first to help the stomach readjust to eating healthy portions.
- Forming new healthy habits: One of the real benefits of inpatient rehab is that it helps build new and healthy habits to replace the ineffective ones. Addiction thrives in environments that encourage it, like a group of friends that binge drinks, for example. Rehab helps people build new and healthy relationships and activities without the involvement of the substance.
- Sense of community: Many people in rehab are going through similar experiences of addiction. Group therapy sessions help build support systems that encourage continued recovery.
- Establishing healthy boundaries: Living with a substance use disorder means healthy boundaries may never have been established. Rehab helps to build those boundaries and give a person the tools to maintain them after discharge.
Who Can Inpatient Rehab Help?
Inpatient rehab can help anyone that needs help with drug and alcohol addiction. However, it is designed for people who can benefit from a more intensive approach that removes outside influences and distractions. Overall, inpatient drug rehab can help anyone who has successfully completed or is undergoing medical detox and needs 24-hour care for substance abuse and any co-occurring mental health conditions.
Ultimately, anyone who wants a greater chance at success and a reduced risk of relapse can benefit from inpatient drug rehab. However, it’s important to keep in mind that inpatient rehab centers require a full-time commitment.
Detox centers are intended to treat drug and alcohol addiction. One of the many benefits of detoxing at a rehab facility is that it’s safer than at-home detox. Medical professionals supervise the detox process and can monitor any withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be very distressing.
Some drugs have more dangerous detox periods than others. Inpatient detox is safer than trying to detox cold turkey. For example, alcohol, opioid and sedative withdrawal symptoms can be deadly without medical care and must be taken very seriously. Detoxing from other drugs is less risky, but each type of withdrawal is unique.
Inpatient detox programs typically include personalized care, clinical support and medication management, if necessary, to aid in recovery. Inpatient detox centers provide the highest level of supervision and medical monitoring of any type of detox center.
Inpatient Alcohol Treatment
Inpatient alcohol rehab treatment is intended for men and women who are struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Many people who struggle with alcoholism find the most success with inpatient rehab treatment because it offers added layers of treatment and safety. Clients in this program typically begin with inpatient alcohol detox to rid their bodies of alcohol. Withdrawal from alcohol is slow and takes anywhere from weeks to months, depending on how severe the addiction was.
During inpatient alcohol rehab, the treatment provider may prescribe medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms. If necessary, they may also be prescribed medications to help reduce alcohol cravings or reduce withdrawal symptoms. They might prescribe medications to stop seizures, which are common during withdrawal, or they might prescribe drugs to help with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Some facilities specialize as inpatient alcohol treatment centers. Typically, inpatient alcohol treatment centers are specific to alcohol and focus on detox only for alcohol addiction. Someone who struggles with alcohol abuse may prefer this type of facility.
Inpatient Drug Treatment
Inpatient treatment for drug addiction follows the same model as inpatient alcohol rehab, in most cases. People will usually start with detox and then move on to other forms of inpatient care.
An inpatient drug rehab center will usually specialize in many types of drug detox. Examples of drug addictions that might require a person to attend inpatient drug rehab are:
- Prescription Opioids such as Codeine, Fentanyl, Heroin, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone
- Stimulants such as Adderall, Amphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Ecstasy (MDMA) and Meth
- Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Valium and Xanax
- Sleeping Medications such as Ambien and Halcion
If you or a loved one are considering rehab at an inpatient drug treatment center, make sure to contact the facility and make sure they provide services to help you recover from a specific type of drug addiction.
Inpatient Treatment for Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues
A co-occurring disorder is when one or more mental health disorders occur at the same time as a substance use disorder. An example is a person with schizophrenia who has a cocaine use disorder or other drug addiction. Co-occurring disorders can be addressed simultaneously through dual diagnosis treatment.
Rehab is more difficult for people with co-occurring disorders and inpatient mental health treatment might be the best option. Inpatient dual diagnosis treatment centers handle some of the following mental health diagnoses:
- Depression (e.g., moderate to severe depression, dysthymia)
- Anxiety disorders (e.g., phobias, panic disorder)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Personality disorders (e.g., antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder)
- Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating)
- Bipolar disorder
The Recovery Village is equipped to treat these disorders simultaneously with substance use disorders on an inpatient basis. Treating these conditions together is often the best way to achieve optimum results.
What to Look for in an Inpatient Treatment Center
Setting out to choose an inpatient treatment center for yourself or a loved one can seem overwhelming and confusing. It can help to have questions ready that give clues to what treatment will be like at a specific facility. Some considerations include comfort, credentials and reviews, follow-up support, location and treatment approach.
Feeling relaxed and calm in the environment will let people commit more energy to the treatment process.
- Are the accommodations comfortable?
- Is this a single-gender or all-gender facility?
- Is the staff open and welcoming during a first visit?
- Credentials and Reviews:
Always seek treatment from experienced and licensed experts in the field of addiction and mental health.
- Is this an accredited rehab center in my state?
- Do the staff members hold active licenses in their area of practice?
- Follow-up Support:
The best treatments are less helpful if they do not transition people to continued care.
- Is this facility part of a bigger health system that will help with transitions to outpatient treatment?
- If not, do they have partnerships with local treatment clinics in the area?
- Are there case managers to help with the transition?
Some people will require local services, while others will benefit from the added distance between themselves and their triggers.
- Is the facility close to home?
- Is it better for my recovery to be far away from or close to home?
- Treatment Approach:
The treatment facility should incorporate a broad range of evidence-based treatments that treat the whole person, not just their addiction.
- What is a typical day like in this facility?
- Is the medication provided for medical and psychiatric services?
- Do they offer treatment for co-occurring disorders?
- Do they treat addictions to certain drugs or to all?
How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Cost?
Typically, inpatient rehab is more expensive than outpatient rehab, so take this into consideration when thinking about treatment options.
Treatment facilities range from very basic to luxury, and the costs may vary significantly as well. Inpatient rehab is commonly billed by the day.
In general, inpatient rehab is worth the price and a private health insurance policy may cover all or part of a person’s rehab costs. Individuals without insurance can still attend rehab with payment plans that make rehab more affordable.
Other factors that influence how much inpatient rehab costs include:
- Whether a person needs detox
- Whether they go to an in-state or out-of-state facility
- Whether they transition to further treatment after inpatient care
- Whether a person has a private or public (government-funded) health insurance policy
To help people access life-changing care, The Recovery Village accepts most major private insurance companies. To verify insurance coverage at The Recovery Village, use our free, confidential benefits checker.