When choosing addiction treatment, prospective patients will have one major decision to make. Treatment programs can be inpatient, which is a 24/7 program, or outpatient. While there are pros and cons to both, an inpatient treatment program is often the best choice. Take a closer look at exactly what patients can expect in inpatient treatment for addiction.
Around-the-Clock Medical Supervision
While there are plenty of reasons to choose inpatient addiction treatment, one of the most important is 24/7 medical supervision. Even after detox is over, patients in recovery can struggle with a number of health concerns. Everything from minor dehydration to serious cardiac problems can need attention.
In an outpatient facility, patients will get medical care during the day as needed. However, medical emergencies can crop up at night or while patients are in transit. This could mean that patients don’t get help quickly.
Recovering from addiction is stressful on the body. While many people make it through treatment without any serious health issues, they are always possible. Inpatient program staff understand that and provide around-the-clock monitoring and support. That’s one reason why at-risk patients will especially benefit from 24/7 programs.
Of course, not all emergencies are medical in nature. Sometimes, patients simply need someone to talk to. It may be midnight, but that doesn’t erase feelings of loneliness, worry, anxiety or depression. At inpatient facilities, there is always support available for patients who need it.
Enrolling in an addiction treatment program is a promising and vital first step. However, it is far from the end of the road. Many patients still stumble, and relapse is possible even during treatment. That’s why the secure premises of an inpatient facility can be such a tremendous advantage.
In an inpatient program, patients aren’t given the opportunity to leave on a regular basis. Meals, treatment, and social activities are all available right on the premises. If family members or friends come to visit, that also happens right on the premises.
In short, inpatient programs are closed facilities. This is entirely to the benefit of the patients. With a secure program, there is no risk of drugs or alcohol coming in or out. This makes it much easier to resist cravings since there are no visible or potential temptations to worry about.
Support and Companionship From Peers
Recovery from addiction can feel very isolating. Even if patients are surrounded by their family members or close friends, feeling misunderstood is common. Those struggling with addiction may not believe that others can truly understand what they are going through.
Inpatient programs ensure that all participants are surrounded by people in a similar situation. The group environment means that no one needs to feel lonely or isolated. Patients are all working through the same disease–addiction.
In residential treatment, patients interact with one another throughout the day. They might begin the day with a communal breakfast and then head to life skills training with different peers. Meals, educational courses and group therapies all involve a wide range of patients. Plus, there can be a social aspect to rehab that develops communication and friendship.
Structure and Routine to Encourage Healthy Habit Building
One of the things that all patients can expect from inpatient treatment programs is routine. Adding structure to life is one of the keys to successful recovery from addiction. In outpatient programs, there is no guarantee of routine once the daily treatment is over. During inpatient programs, structure is a part of every day.
Patients will typically have a set schedule for each day in inpatient treatment. This schedule might include blocks of time for exercise, individual therapy, group meetings, and meals. There might also be time set aside for outings, chores or special family events.
Patients shouldn’t fear the structure of addiction treatment. In virtually all programs, patients will still get plenty of free time for reading, relaxing or just being alone. However, there won’t be extended periods of time with nothing to do. It is in these long stretches of nothingness that cravings and temptations hit the hardest, so they are best avoided.
Establishing routines in rehab is relatively easy. Back in the real world of independent living, it can be tougher. By setting the tone and intention during inpatient treatment, patients will find it easier to stick with the plan for the months and years to come.
Comprehensive Range of Addiction Treatment Therapies
The exact treatment options will vary from one inpatient addiction treatment program to the next. Nonetheless, patients should expect a wide range of treatment methods. During every single day of addiction treatment, inpatient programs will provide patients with several options for recovery.
Individual counseling or therapy is often the foundation for treatment. This might include behavioral therapy such as dialectical behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Talk therapy is a major part of recovery, and mental health will remain a high priority throughout treatment.
Group therapy is also very common during inpatient treatment. This allows patients to share experiences and emotions with others who are going through the same thing. In some cases, 12-Step meetings will be a part of the treatment plan.
Other holistic or alternative types of treatment can also be effective. This might include approaches like nutritional counseling or fitness therapy, among many other options.
Focus on Relapse Prevention and Ongoing Sobriety
Patients should not expect addiction to be a problem with a short-term solution. Inpatient treatment programs can be a highly effective means to recovery. However, the work isn’t over on the last day of treatment. In treatment, patients will learn how to commit to ongoing sobriety and relapse prevention.
Relapse is a serious concern for many patients both during and after inpatient treatment. Relapse education can be a great way to learn more about triggers and coping mechanisms. Patients can learn the critical importance of sobriety as well as the myth of moderate drug or alcohol use.
Knowing what to expect from inpatient treatment can help prepare prospective patients. Through rehab, patients can gain access to the tools and resources needed to begin their own journey to recovery.