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.
There are several types of inpatient treatment available, ranging from inexpensive and short-term residential treatment to luxury programs. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, plans should be tailored to fit the specific needs of each client in treatment. Ensure any chosen treatment program has the ability to adjust treatment plans as needed as clients progress in recovery.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends remaining in a drug rehabilitation program, either inpatient or outpatient, for at least 90 days. While most insurance companies only cover one month of inpatient treatment, clients usually receive long-term follow-up care once they exit the inpatient program regardless of how long they have stayed. Many people also transition from inpatient treatment into less intensive outpatient treatment, resulting in total treatment time that exceeds 90 days.
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.
There are several other governing bodies, such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International), that award accreditation when programs meet their specific compliance rules. While it is not mandatory for an inpatient rehabilitation program to file for these credentials, they mean that the program has agreed to meet additional standards of excellence in their treatment.
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.
That being said, many people struggle with addiction due to high stress levels, so a residential facility that offers relaxing amenities can be psychologically beneficial. The specific amenities that are important depend on the individual entering treatment, but they may include access to exercise programs, healthy meal options, spiritual counselors, meditation programs, acupuncture, massage, or other holistic approaches to treatment.
The point of a rehabilitation program to overcome drug or alcohol addiction is to understand the cause of the addiction, to acquire new behaviors related to addictive substances, and to avoid relapse. When a person leaves a rehabilitation program, they should have the tools they need to understand how their addiction may resurface if triggered, and this helps them to lead a healthy, sober life. In all instances, therapy is the backbone of treatment so that should be the primary focus of care.
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.