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What Is Residential Treatment?

Inpatient treatment is a specialized form of care that involves 24-hour supervision in a non-hospital setting.

Navigation: What is Inpatient Drug Rehab?, Is Inpatient Rehab Right for You?, Benefits and Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment over Outpatient Treatment, What to Expect from Inpatient Treatment, Therapies & Treatments Used by Inpatient Rehab Centers, How to Choose an Inpatient Drug Rehab Center, Rehab Is Your Best Chance


There are many different treatment settings under the so-called “continuum of care”. However, the only way to determine which treatment program is right for a patient is to assess their specific condition and find out about their unique treatment needs.

This is a necessary step because some people have co-occurring disorders while others do not. Some addicted individuals have only been using the drug for a short amount of time while others are long term users. Some people may be experiencing severe withdrawal while others are just getting mild symptoms.

This means addiction affects everyone differently, and therefore a personalized approach is always the best way to go.

During the intake process, medical professionals will determine the most appropriate level of care for the addicted individual based on their unique needs and circumstances. Here we will discuss inpatient drug rehab—one of the most common treatment programs for those who are dealing with drug and alcohol addiction.

Also known as residential rehab, inpatient treatment programs are intensive treatments that allow patients to stay in a facility while they receive specialized care. Unlike outpatient programs where patients go home after treatment, inpatient care involves staying in rehab for the duration of the treatment process.

This approach is ideal for patients who need round the clock care from medical professionals as well as those who are living in toxic home environments. Let’s take a closer look at inpatient treatment programs and what you can expect when you check in at an inpatient rehab center for drug abuse.


What is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Inpatient treatment is a specialized form of care that involves 24-hour supervision in a non-hospital setting. Here, healthcare professionals can monitor the condition of their patients and help them deal with their cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Residential rehab offers an intensive therapeutic environment where patients can just focus on getting better.

Without the distractions and triggers of the outside world, they can just concentrate on regaining their sobriety. Once they are sober again, they are taught various ways to maintain their sobriety for the long term. They will learn healthy coping mechanisms that will come in handy once they are back out there, dealing with the challenges of real life. The goal of rehab is to prevent relapse and equip patients with the knowledge and skills that they need to live a long and healthy life.

Inpatient rehab centers often use programs that tackle not only the person’s addiction or substance abuse issues but also their co-occurring health problems, mental health conditions, and other issues that are keeping them addicted.

Residential rehab also offers a variety of activities that are designed to heal the person physically and emotionally. They may try a range of recreational activities alongside their individual and group therapy sessions. These rehab centers help clients develop their emotional stability, learn essential life skills, and improve their overall well-being.

As effective as it is, inpatient drug addiction treatment is not right for everyone. Let’s talk about the various factors that determine whether or not residential rehab programs are right for you.


Is Inpatient Rehab Right for You?

While looking into the addiction treatment process, you may encounter many different treatment programs and facilities. The decision could seem overwhelming, but there are ways to narrow down your choices.

Some patients would be better suited to a structured and intensive treatment program where all their needs could be provided for them. For example, people with moderate to severe cases of drug addiction or alcohol addiction should consider inpatient treatment since they have complex treatment needs.

In an inpatient program, patients reside in a treatment facility, which means healthcare professionals could give them the appropriate level of care any time. Medications could be administered on time and withdrawal symptoms could be managed properly.

There are also patients who do not have a supportive environment at home, which means they may struggle to make significant progress from an outpatient program where they still have to live with toxic family members. It is tough to focus on your recovery when you have to deal with the same challenges every day.

Addiction also tends to bring a lot of chaos in a person’s life. It could ruin their career, their reputation, their relationships, and even their physical and mental health. It could make it difficult to get your life under control. But in an inpatient rehab center, they follow a strict schedule. This restores order and allows the patient to make healthier choices.

Residential rehabs are designed to be comfortable and safe for patients suffering from addiction. It may even be suitable for those who have already tried other rehab programs but did not make significant progress.

Inpatient treatment can serve as a lifeline for those who are dealing with mental health problems on top of their substance use disorder and addiction. These people are in need of additional support for their co-occurring disorders. This is called a dual diagnosis. There are rehab centers out there that specialize in treating dual diagnosis. Mental health disorders and addiction are often treated at the same time.

Benefits and Advantages of Inpatient Addiction Treatment over Outpatient Treatment

When you compare inpatient and outpatient programs, you have to keep in mind that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Some patients respond more to residential treatment while others can make partial hospitalization work for them better. It’s all about the person’s specific needs.

With that out of the way, there are certain reasons why you may choose inpatient treatment over outpatient care. For starters, licensed healthcare professionals can ensure the safety of their patients throughout the duration of an inpatient program. So if safety is a huge concern and a person is at risk of harming themselves or other people around them, they may require inpatient treatment.

Usually the determining factor here is medical detox. Some people have been taking certain drugs or drinking alcohol for such a long time that they have become dependent on the substance. They can no longer function normally without it. If they don’t drink or take drugs for a certain period, they go through withdrawal.

Depending on a person’s condition, withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe. In some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening. This is why it is not recommended to try and quit drugs cold turkey. You need to go through a proper detox process to eliminate the substance from your system safely.

For those who are at risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, an inpatient rehab center may be able to keep you safe while you go through this uncomfortable stage of treatment.

This normally happens when you suddenly reduce your intake or stop taking it altogether.  Withdrawal symptoms and cravings may affect you as your body readjusts to the absence of the drug. This is a painful but necessary step towards sobriety. In an inpatient drug facility, you can receive the support you need. Medical professionals can keep you safe and manage your withdrawal symptoms while gradually lowering your intake. They may administer medications to keep withdrawal symptoms and cravings under control.

While detox can be done even in an outpatient setting, this is only for patients who are not at risk of life-threatening withdrawal.

Other than that, there’s also a benefit that comes from being separated from your usual environment—and it’s something you can get in an inpatient drug rehab. You get to distance yourself from the people and situations that are keeping you addicted while also learning to deal with these triggers in rehab. By removing external influences, patients can focus on what really matters: their health and safety.

Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab provides a safe and comfortable environment where everyone is supportive of each other’s journey towards long-lasting sobriety.

That said, no treatment program is perfect and you still have to consider the potential drawbacks of this type of treatment. Inpatient rehab is costly and it is ideal if you have health insurance. Since the rehab center provides food, accommodations, medications, and therapy services for the duration of the program, these facilities tend to be expensive.

The good news is that you can check your insurance provider about their addiction coverage. A lot of rehab facilities also offer payment plans, scholarships, etc.

Another obvious drawback is that you are going to spend a lot of time away from your family. This will also prevent you from going to work, so this may further affect your finances.

But because addiction medicine can potentially change the course of your life for the better, this is an investment that is worth taking.

What to Expect from Inpatient Treatment

If inpatient rehab is the right choice for you, you’re gonna want to know what to expect from this type of addiction treatment program.

First of all, you can expect a supportive environment full of people who genuinely want to help. This is great because a lot of people who suffer from substance use disorders do not have strong support systems. Perhaps they have a rocky relationship with their family or they have a toxic home environment. In any case, rehab seeks to change that by offering genuine care and emotional support.

This therapeutic environment will help patients build their self-esteem, learn responsibility, and create more positive relationships. The intensive nature of inpatient rehab means that patients should expect a greater degree of structure. This can benefit patients who are impulsive or have problems with compliance.

In rehab, your days will follow a strict schedule: there is no sleeping in, so you have to wake up on time and go to bed early to make sure you have plenty of rest. Another priority of inpatient rehab is to help clients build healthier habits. If the body is healthy, it is easier for the mind to learn new skills such as coping mechanisms.

So a typical day in rehab may involve breakfast at 7:00 am followed by a period of meditation, and some physical wellness training before the morning group therapy sessions at 10:00 am. Lunch will be served at around 12:00 pm, followed by individual and group therapy sessions throughout the day. There are also scheduled breaks where patients can try various recreational activities or just reflect and center themselves. Dinner is served a few hours before lights out.

Different rehab facilities will have different schedules, but the general idea is the same.

Residential programs usually combine traditional treatment methods with alternative treatments while administering medications. They use a combination of behavioral therapy and medically supervised detoxification to help their patients get sober and maintain their sobriety.

Your inpatient rehab experience will depend on the type of program you attend. Patients usually remain at the facility throughout the duration of the treatment, but they are actually free to leave at any time. Inpatient treatment is not a prison. One of the key factors in a successful treatment is the cooperation of the addicted individual. They need to want to be there. They need to put in the work so that they can make significant progress towards sobriety. This willingness to receive help is something you cannot force.

Inpatient treatment facilities may have different approaches, but the most common programs last for 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. The duration of treatment depends on a number of factors including how much progress the person is making and whether or not residential rehab is benefiting them.

Therapies & Treatments Used by Inpatient Rehab Centers

As we mentioned, your stay in residential rehab will involve plenty of counseling and therapy sessions sprinkled throughout the day. There are one-on-one therapy sessions, group therapy, and family therapy sessions as well. During these sessions, a therapist will guide you so that you can begin to recognize triggers, temptations, and unhealthy thought patterns that are keeping you addicted.

This is all done in a safe and comfortable environment where you are free to share all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Some inpatient drug and alcohol rehab facilities use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is a type of psychotherapy wherein the clients are encouraged to examine their recurring thoughts so they can phase out negative and unhealthy ones.

Another option is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT. This approach teaches addicted individuals how to regulate their emotions properly so they don’t resort to self-destructive behavioral patterns.

Other commonly used treatment programs include: Motivational Interviewing (MI), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

These traditional treatments are oftentimes used alongside alternative treatments like experiential therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc. This is where most rehabs differ in their approach. Rehab facilities will also differ in terms of the quality of amenities that are available to their clients.

How to Choose an Inpatient Drug Rehab Center

At first you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options that are available out there when it comes to inpatient treatment. But you can easily narrow down the list and pick the right inpatient treatment center for you or your loved one by considering a few important factors.

Location is one of the most important things to consider. Some patients go to a faraway rehabilitation facility so they can get away from their usual environment and just concentrate on getting their sobriety back. Others prefer to go to a closer rehab center so their loved ones can visit more often.

From there you can choose based on the type of programs offered, the facility’s success rate, the qualifications of the staff, the online reviews, the accreditations, and the therapies used.

You can also contact your health insurance provider to find out what programs they cover. This may affect your decision because treatment cost is a huge factor. Your choice may ultimately depend on your budget, what payment plans are available, and whether or not you can secure a scholarship for your addiction treatment.

Different people have different reasons for getting addicted. But getting yourself out of this situation is important, regardless of the reason you got addicted in the first place. Think of rehab as a long term investment towards a healthy and happy future.

Now that you know whether inpatient rehab treatment is right for you or not, your journey towards sobriety can begin. Look for a residential treatment center near you today and find out more about inpatient rehab programs. Get started on the road to recovery.

Rehab is Your Best Chance

Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs or alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.


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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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