Inpatient, or residential, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs can vary dramatically in length, intensity, luxury, and amenities. This fact can make choosing the right inpatient rehab program feel overwhelming. When it comes to selecting a drug rehabilitation program that is right for yourself or a loved one, it is important to identify the wants and needs that apply most to the patient.
Some patients have families or jobs that they cannot leave for an extended period of time. For these patients, a short-term inpatient or outpatient program may work best for their needs because it allows them to be home sooner to tend to their responsibilities. Other patients suffering from long-term or severe addiction may benefit the most from a more intensive, long-term inpatient rehabilitation program.
Choosing the right program for your needs is essential to the success of your recovery. Learn the basics before beginning your search. Be sure to ask the questions:
- What types of drug rehab centers are out there?
- What will my insurance plan cover?
- What type of environment will help facilitate my recovery?
- How much time can I take off from work?What is my plan following rehab?
- What amenities are important to my recovery?
- What has/hasn’t worked for me in the past?
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Types Of Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers
Drug and Alcohol Detox Centers
A supervised medical detoxification is often a recommended first step for individuals suffering from especially severe or long-term addiction. It is most commonly offered to patients who suffer from addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepines, or some types of opioids. For these types of drugs, quitting the drug cold turkey can result in life-threatening symptoms.
A medical detox focuses on treating the physical components of addiction, specifically the withdrawal symptoms that come along with getting clean. While a medical detox can be the essential step needed for an individual to begin their journey to recovery, it is important to remember that ridding your system of the drug is only the first step to a lifelong recovery from addiction. A stay at an inpatient drug rehab center is almost always recommended immediately following detox.
Short-Term Inpatient Rehab Centers
Short-term inpatient rehab programs generally vary from 5-30 days in length. This is the most common type of inpatient addiction treatment as most rehab centers structure their programs 28-30 days. Short-term inpatient programs will often include a detox at the beginning, followed by general counseling and group therapy.
One of the downsides is that short-term rehab programs tend to have a higher rate of relapse for previous clients, but this does not mean they do not benefit some individuals. Short-term rehab is a good option for individuals who cannot take more than a week or two off from work or their family life. Individuals who are suffering from the early stages of addiction, or who do not have severe or long-term addiction, may also be good candidates for short-term rehab.
Long-Term Inpatient Rehab Programs
Often regarded as one of the most successful types of rehab, long-term inpatient rehabilitation programs tend to have the lowest number of relapses for past clients. The key to success for long-term rehab is providing clients with progressive and focused therapy to help identify the root cause of the addiction.
Length of stays at a long-term inpatient drug rehab center include:
- 30+ Day
- 60-Day Inpatient Rehab Centers
- 90-Day Inpatient Rehab Centers
- 120-Day Inpatient Rehab Centers
- 6-Month Inpatient Rehab Centers
- Year-Long (12-month) Inpatient Rehab Centers
Through identifying the root cause of an individual’s addiction, therapists and counselors are better able to customize that patient’s treatment to better meet their needs. Coping skills and mechanisms are often taught in inpatient rehab for use once the individual is back in the real world. Long-term rehab programs can vary in length from 60-90 days, and can go as long as 12 months, but are almost always worth the time and money.
Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs
Outpatient rehab is generally utilized as an extension of a comprehensive inpatient rehab program, however can stand as a program alone as well. Individuals who participate in an outpatient rehabilitation program will often have access to group meetings, alumni events, sponsorship from previous graduates, and one-on-one counseling.
A typical outpatient rehab program will meet 1-2 times/week for a few months. The benefits of outpatient rehab include the real-world application of the coping skills learned during inpatient rehab, as well as the opportunity to participate in and build a network of support for the tough days ahead.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial hospitalization programs are similar to outpatient rehab programs in the sense that they still allow patients to reside in their own homes while they are receiving treatment. However, partial hospitalization programs are often far more intensive than traditional outpatient programs. Patients who are participating in a partial hospitalization program will often meet 4-6 days per week for 6-8 hours per day.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) will offer:
- Extensive counseling
- Group therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Different psychological approaches and modalities
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (I.E Suboxone for Opioid Addiction)
Individuals who require more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient programs but cannot live away from their homes to participate in an inpatient program would be well suited for most partial hospitalization programs.
Inpatient Drug Rehab Treatment Programs
Just as personalities and motivational tools can vary from individual to individual, the effectiveness of treatment methods can also vary from patient to patient. What this means is not everyone responds to the same treatment in the same way.
For some patients, motivational conversations that boost confidence and self-image can be a helpful tool in facilitating recovery. Other patients, however, may benefit more from behavioral counseling that revolves around their thoughts and actions surrounding drug use and their addiction. Some rehab centers may offer multiple treatment methods (such as Music Therapy) to their patients to provide well-rounded treatment options. Common treatment modalities utilized in rehab centers across the country include:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Commonly used to aid in the treatment for self-injury/self-loathing, eating disorders, severe social anxieties, anger issues, and substance addiction, DBT is a valuable tool that assists patients in building the skills necessary to achieve recovery. DBT works with patients to help them regulate and control their emotions in a way that can facilitate healing and recovery.
The four key skill sets taught by Dialectical Behavior Therapy include:
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Emotional regulation
- Tolerance to stressful situations
It has been said that when taught properly, these skill sets can remain with a patient for life and help them through tough times in the years ahead.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational interviewing is a valuable tool to help a patient realize and reach for their full potential. Counselors and therapists can help facilitate MI by meeting a patient where their thought process currently stands. Once there, they can build upon the foundation the patient currently has, and facilitate behavioral change through this foundation. MI is not a confrontational tool, but rather a motivational tool that works to improve patients’ perception of self-worth and ability to make positive changes in their own lives.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Similar in some ways to dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses entirely on thought patterns, specifically destructive thought patterns. Using some of the same skill sets taught by DBT, such as mindfulness, CBT works with patients to identify their thought process surrounding substance abuse and addiction. Once their thought process is defined, therapists and counselors can work with a patient on phasing out repeating thoughts that could be detrimental to their recovery.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
While not as common as some of the other treatment modalities mentioned above, EMDR is specifically intended for patients who have experienced traumatic or distressful events in the past. Dual stimulation, or stimulating multiple parts of the brain at once, can help redirect the processing system of the brain. Dual stimulation is achieved through utilizing bilateral eye tones, taps, or movements. This can help patients to feel more emotionally stable during times of stress or anger, as well as help them to tackle the thoughts of their traumatic past in a way that is healthy and promotes healing.
Short-Term vs Long-Term Rehab Programs
It is tempting to define long-term rehab by the length of the program, however a more accurate definition would be the steps or stages of recovery that it can offer to its patients. For some patients, this means they will need to participate in a 30 or 60 day program to successfully make it to the point of being able to live at home and resist the temptations and stressors of the real world. For other patients suffering from severe addiction or multiple relapses, this may mean six months to a year of inpatient treatment.
Long-term rehab usually begins with a detoxification period, where individuals will participate in medical or non-medical detox and will have access to clinical supervision around the clock. Detox is an important stage in the recovery process, especially for individuals suffering from severe or long-term addiction. Detox facilities or wards can often have a hospital-like atmosphere, as it tends to be a clinical step in the recovery process.
Once a patient has detoxed their body and is no longer suffering from the physical symptoms of withdrawal, they will usually be moved into a residential hall for the remainder of their program. A residential hall will have more of a ‘homey’ atmosphere than most detox facilities, and are intended to make patients feel as comfortable as possible.
Long-term rehab will utilize various treatment modalities and approaches, and can even customize these approaches to the specific needs of a patient in some cases. Often times these modalities will focus on behavioral therapy and psychosocial therapies that can help to identify and treat different factors of addiction.
Why Are Long-Term Inpatient Rehab Programs Successful?
Addiction is not formed overnight. Instead, it is often the result of years of hardship, abuse, neglect, or trauma. Over long periods of time, mental anguish can prove to be too much for the human mind, which can quickly cause someone to turn to drugs.
Addiction treatment should be treated in a similar manner. Addiction cannot be treated overnight. Instead, the circumstances leading to the addiction must be identified and addressed layer by layer, until the mental anguish can begin to be treated. Even weeks after the drugs have been cleansed from someone’s body, their mind still needs time and patience to heal.
For this reason, long-term rehab programs have begun to make a name for themselves as being one of the most successful types of rehabilitation program that an individual can participate in. Through long-term rehab, individuals suffering from addiction will have access to dedicated and skilled counselors and therapists who can help them identify the layers of emotional and mental trauma an individual has suffered over the years.
In addition to these counselors and therapists, patients of a long-term rehab program begin to build a network of support and positivity with their peers who are also going through the program. This support network can help individuals suffering from addiction learn to participate in a community of their own before going back into the real world. This sense of comradery can also help individuals feel like they are not alone, and that they can make it to recovery alongside their peers.
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