What to Expect from Inpatient Drug Rehab

With addiction at epidemic proportions on a global scale, there is an avalanche of questions about what to expect from inpatient drug rehab. While the continuum of care provided at over 4,000 drug rehabilitation facilities in America may vary, recovery addiction and sustainable sobriety is the primary objective of all.

Inpatient drug rehab is one of several treatment options that facilitate rehabilitation from addiction.  Options for drug treatment typically include inpatient/residential treatment, outpatient care, partial hospitalization and non-rehab affiliated recovery support group programs.  Inpatient drug rehab, however, has been validated through various scientific studies supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and other addiction research programs to be the most effective of all treatment options.  Although it is certainly not recommended for everyone, candidates for inpatient treatment typically include:

  1. People in long term drug addiction
  2. Those with multiple addictions
  3. Individuals with comorbid conditions such as mental illness or post-traumatic stress disorders.
  4. Individuals that have participated in one or more short term programs and have relapsed.
  5. People that have only been able to experience temporary periods of abstinence after halting-drug use on their own.  
  6. Patients with the potential to attempt or complete suicide.
  7. Patients with living conditions that facilitate frequent exposure to drug use.
  8. Patients with serious chronic conditions that may hinder the recovery process without residential care.  

What is Inpatient Drug Treatment?

Inpatient treatment is temporarily residing at a drug rehab center in order to stop the progression of addiction and change drug use patterns of behavior.  The term inpatient is also used interchangeable with residential rehab.  The purpose of this care structure is to provide a safe environment and consistent oversight for those whose drug use have impaired their neurological functions to the degree that they engage in obsessive seeking and compulsive consumption of toxic chemical substances.  Inpatient treatment is also important for those individuals that have the potential to inflict harm on themselves or others.  

What to Expect from Inpatient Drug Rehab

  1. Immediate attention if you are experiencing drug withdrawals
  2. Initial and periodic physical, psychiatric and biomedical assessments.  
  3. Freedom to leave the facility anytime during the treatment process.  This also applies to those adjudicated by the criminal justice system with mandates to participate in a drug rehab program. Inpatient rehab is designed to facilitate treatment and recovery not as a form of incarceration.
  4. Around the clock medical supervision during the drug detox process.  
  5. Intensive daily therapy that may include one-on-one as well as group counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy to name a few.  These are designed to address the various issues contributing to and perpetuating addiction.
  6. Social interaction with other recovering patients. One of the primary reasons for using drug or alcohol, especially for teens and young adults is the release of inhibitions that cause discomfort when communicating in mixed gender social environments.  As such, this aspect of residential treatment is designed to help patients learn or relearn how to interact with others in a social environment without the use of drugs or alcohol. These social events can occur in group meetings, daily group activities, at meal times or through planned events.
  7. Ready access to mental, emotional and physical care to stabilize patients without the risk of a relapse.      

The duration of inpatient treatment programs vary based on the treatment needs of the patient. Stays at the treatment facility can be as short as 28 days or as long as 12 months in some instances. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggest that the best known or most successful inpatient treatment is the long term therapeutic community (TC) model.  In this treatment program, patients stay at the treatment facility between six to twelve months.  During these extensive stays, the treatment team pay significant attention to the resocialization of the individual.  The program also utilizes the entire treatment community as components of treatment.

According to the NIDA, the individual in addiction is often viewed in the context of social and psychological deficits.  Therefore, the primary focus of inpatient treatment regimens is to facilitate the development of personal accountability, responsibility and productivity that typically occurs in socially driven environments.  

Scientific research outcomes for inpatient treatment programs have also been shown to have a positive impact relevant to lowered recidivism rates which is usually based on the amount of time the patient stays in the program. According to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry substance abusers who participated in inpatient treatment for 90 days or more had significantly less relapse rates than those who participated in shorter periods or in outpatient recovery programs.  

Get the Help you Need

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.