What is Inpatient Drug Rehab Like?

Inpatient drug rehab = residential clinical care for drug problems which will include a combination of psychotherapy and medication assisted treatments. More here.

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Inpatient drug rehab definition

Inpatient drug rehab is residential, sleep-over treatment where patients who have abused or become addicted to drugs come for detox and treatment. Inpatient drug rehab programs provide services for medical detox, psychological treatment and addiction counseling. Inpatient drug rehabs also arrange for aftercare program referral. These facilities provide a structured and supervised environment for drug addiction treatment that allows patients to concentrate on recovery without the added pressures of outside influences.

Inpatient drug rehab goals

1. Quit the drugs. The first and most important drug rehab goal is ending drug abuse. This goal will allow for success in all other goals in the program. Recovery is the most important aspect of drug rehab and drug rehab programs aim to assist you in making positive personal and interpersonal changes. Long-term sobriety is the first goal of drug rehab.

2. Improve your health. Another inpatient drug rehab goal is to improve overall health. When you enter a program after abusing drugs, it is likely that your health is not at an optimal level. Inpatient programs aim to assist you in improving your overall health, which usually continue to increase drastically after you discontinue drug use.

3. Treat the mind. A third incredibly important goal of inpatient drug rehab is to treat psychological problems and psychiatric disorders. After prolonged drug abuse, psychological trauma or other psychiatric disorders can exist. Inpatient programs aim to treat these “co-occuring” disorders in the drug rehab itself or will refer you to a program that will be able to treat your emotional and mental health needs sufficiently.

Here are a few other inpatient drug rehab goals

  • establish a positive support system
  • improve personal circumstances
  • reduce criminal behavior and resolve legal problems

What happens during inpatient drug rehab?

1. Drug Screening and Initial Assessment  

Upon entering an inpatient drug rehab, you will go through a process of intake and assessment. During the first few hours, the drug rehab staff will assess your current condition, define the nature of drug abuse or addiction and determine a specific treatment plan for you as an individual. You can expect, as a formality, an interview, a medical history, and drug testing during this phase of inpatient drug rehab.

2. Medically supervised drug detox  

A standard drug rehab will next provide medical supervision from a doctor or psychiatrist to help you detox, or withdraw, from any drugs in your body. During medical detox from drugs, withdrawal symptoms are monitored by inpatient rehab staff. Medications may or may not be given to assist you with detox and withdrawal symptoms. Drug rehab program staff will monitor and stabilize you during the process of detox and encourage you emotionally during this phase of rehab.

3. Psychotherapy  

Counseling is one of the most important phases of inpatient drug rehab. During individual and group sessions, you begin to discover your mental and emotional triggers for drug use, and begin to learn how to control them. The goal of psychotherapy interventions during drug rehab is to make positive mental changes that will help you remain abstinent from drugs and/or prevent future relapse.

4. Administration of medications

Pharmacotherapy, or the use of prescription medications to treat drug addiction, is largely dependent upon the drug abused. At the moment, medications have been specifically created to treat opiate and alcohol addiction. For example, medications are typically available for opiate/opioid substitution as maintenance therapies, with the intention of reducing craving and interrupting physical dependence.

Sometimes, antidepressants or anti anxiety medications can be helpful for treating underlying mood disorders. Medications may be administered during inpatient drug rehab, and will be prescribed by the center’s psychiatrist or physician on duty.

5. Education about addiction  

Education is an important step during inpatient drug rehab, as it gives clients knowledge about drug use and its effects. Education empowers you to stay clean and maintain long-term sobriety. Curriculum vary, but many inpatient drug rehabs will at least teach about the cycle of addiction, addiction as a brain disease, and physical effects of drugs on the central nervous system.

6. Support services

Inpatient drug rehabs also connect you with local or regional social services you may need. Housing, education, and vocational skills training may be a part of inpatient drug rehab. The aim here is to empower you to seek services outside the inpatient facility in order to create a support network that will last after you leave.

What happens after inpatient drug rehab?

After inpatient drug rehab, you will be prompted to enter back in to every day life. It is important to establish new trends after treatment and not return to the lifestyle that you were leading before inpatient drug rehab. This is why inpatient drug rehab facilities create a customized aftercare program for you: to give you the best chance at success in your reintegration.

A typical aftercare program usually includes:

  • a sober living facility
  • continued addiction counseling
  • support group involvement

Leaving inpatient drug rehab can sometimes be difficult and frightening. Creating an aftercare program allows you to leave drug rehab with a plan to maintain long-term sobriety.

Inpatient drug rehab questions

Still have questions about staying in a drug rehab? Please leave us your questions in the comments section. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Refrence Sources: SAMHSA: Substance Abuse Treatment Tip 51 Chapter 4: Screening and Assessment
NIDA: DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
NIDA: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
SAMHSA Tip 45: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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