Inpatient drug rehabilitation involves clients residing at a specific facility on a fulltime basis. A person entering this type of rehabilitation becomes a resident of the program and receives specific care and support 24 hours per day. They live in an assigned room, eat meals at the facility, and go to structured therapy sessions several times per day. There are often other scheduled activities, such as art therapy or fitness sessions, although these vary greatly, depending on the offerings of specific facilities and the overall length of stay.
The primary focus of inpatient drug rehab is to remove clients from their original environments, which could trigger substance abuse or could give them repeated opportunities to abuse drugs. Once they are out of those environments, their focus can turn fully to recovery.
While each state varies in details, most inpatient rehabilitation facilities will only receive a license to operate if they have followed the full approval process. Typical steps in this process include the following:
Inpatient rehabilitation programs that receive a state license to operate agree to consistent inspections over the course of the year. These inspections ensure facility safety and cleanliness.
It is also important for these groups to have licensed therapists and professionals on staff. If the inpatient treatment facility does not feature information on their website or in brochures about staff members, contact them directly to ask questions.
The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) requires that their members meet standards laid out in their Ethical Standards and Practices. Each state also has specific requirements for doctors and therapists who participate in substance abuse treatment. For example, the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators lists requirements to become a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor, while the Hawai’i State Department of Health licenses addiction counselors and provides a Code of Ethics for Certified Substance Abuse Counselors (CSAC).
Inpatient rehabilitation programs are likely to offer additional treatment programs, such as yoga classes, vocational classes, art therapy, meditation sessions, journaling time, and outdoor activities. Experimental or complementary therapies are also more likely to be offered in inpatient treatment programs; these therapies are offered in addition to traditional, evidence-based treatment.
What makes a program “the best” is subjective, depending on what a particular client needs and taking their situation into account. Specifics like whether insurance will partially cover the cost of care and distance from one’s home environment and family also need to be taken into account. Ultimately, prospective clients and their families need to weigh the pros and cons of a given facility to determine which option is the best choice for them.