When an individual finally hits rock bottom in their struggle with addiction, they may feel that they have very few places to turn for help. Fortunately, they do have access to drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers. Realistically, it’s the only viable option they have. All of the Internet self-help solutions offer advice about how to stop drinking or using, but they leave out one very important part of recovery, addressing the problems that caused the addiction. That’s a formula for a lifetime of relapses.
Addiction Treatment Options
Upon entering an addiction treatment program, the patient faces a lot of choices, some dictated by circumstances. The first decision usually falls on the shoulders of the treatment facility’s clinicians. That decision is whether or not the patient needs a detox program. When a moderate to severe addiction is indicated, the answer is usually yes.
While in a detox program, the patient gets an opportunity to address potential withdrawal symptoms and residual cravings with the help of the facility’s medical staff. The goal is to keep the patient comfortable as they pass through the detox process. If successful without deterring the patient from continuing treatment, the patient should be ready to focus and commit to the next step in the treatment process.
After an in-depth consultation with staff members where the patient’s circumstance are taken into account, the facility’s clinicians with the patient’s input can select from one of the following treatment options:
- Outpatient – Patient reports for periodic counseling sessions while maintaining sobriety
- Intensive Outpatient – Patient spends significant time in outpatient counseling while still free to handle responsibilities
- Partial Hospitalization – Patient spends some time in a residential program until able to handle outpatient treatment
- Inpatient (primary) – Patient spends 24/7 in intensive treatment for a period of usually 30-90 days
- Inpatient (extended care) – Patient spends 24/7 in intensive treatment, usually for a period of over 90 days
The following discussion will focus on inpatient care in an inpatient facility.
What is Inpatient Treatment?
When a patient is dealing with a severe addiction that has created significant problems in their life, they are very likely going to have difficulty handling treatment without a lot of help. Under this scenario, residential or inpatient treatment offers the best option.
As the name implies, residential treatment requires that the patient is confined to the treatment facility during treatment. The normal residential treatment program will run approximately 30 days, though it can be extended to up to 90 days when necessary. This kind of program includes daily intensive therapy sessions (individual and group) as well as psychological counseling and holistic interaction when needed. During the patient’s downtime, they get access to recreational amenities and exposure to nutritional and exercise programs. Clinicians built the entire treatment process around the objective of addressing every aspect of the patient’s life.
The Benefits of Inpatient Care
It’s a significant burden for a patient to take time from their families and responsibilities to get treatment. However, it’s absolutely necessary in order to get the patient securely on the road to recovery. With that in mind, there are some significant benefits the patient will realize from the time spent in an inpatient facility. Here are five of the most important benefits.
1. No Access to Drugs/Alcohol – Sobriety is an absolute during treatment. The best way to keep someone from using drugs or alcohol is to make sure they have no access to the harmful substance. That’s why patients are limited to monitored visits and very little interaction with the outside world. No drug dealers, no drugs.
2. Structure – Almost all individuals enter rehab with their lives in disarray. What they have lost is the structure needed to keep things under control so responsibilities don’t fall through the cracks and personal issues are not created. Inpatient rehab offers the needed structure to get through treatment while reinforcing the need for structure in the patient’s everyday life outside of rehab.
3. Building Support and New Friendships – After breaking down and sometimes destroying important personal relationships, patients can truly benefit by building new relationships with people who have common problems and goals. Group therapy during treatment provides an excellent basis for the kind of sharing and caring that can carry over into the outside world. The time in inpatient rehab also gives loved ones an opportunity to heal from problems created by their loved one’s addiction. Since a majority of rehabs offer family therapy, there’s also a chance old broken relationships can be mended, turning them into good relationships.
4. Focus on Self-Improvement – By the time an individual enters rehab, they have usually fallen into other bad habits related to self-caring. Residential treatment programs put a lot of emphasis on self-improvement. That includes learning about the value of good nutrition, learning to exercise for better health, and coming into contact with new potential hobbies and interests.
5. More Focus on Relapse Prevention – Getting clean is only half the issue at hand. The recovering addict also needs to learn how to stay clean from one day to the next. While outpatient programs will touch on developing coping skills and learning to avoid triggers and temptation, an inpatient program allows the patient to spend much more time on this part of the treatment process. Aside from obtaining the tools needed to prevent relapse, clients are able to practice using these tools.
Aside from potential financial issues and the inability to get away from certain responsibilities, there’s very little reason for an addict to avoid inpatient treatment. In a situation where maximum effort creates maximum benefits, inpatient care is by far the best available addiction treatment option.