What Is Inpatient Rehab?
Inpatient rehabilitation facilities are centers that someone seeking help for a drug or alcohol problem lives at full time. This is in comparison to outpatient rehab when someone attends treatment during the day but goes home at night. Inpatient rehab, also called residential treatment, is appropriate for severe addictions and offers care 24 hours a day. This is typically a non-hospital setting and provides a community of support for recovering addicts, who stay anywhere from 30 days to 12 months. Depending on the severity of an individual’s addiction, they may attend long-term residential treatment or short-term residential treatment. While it is not appropriate for everyone, there are many benefits of inpatient rehab.
What Are the Benefits of Inpatient Rehab?
Compared to outpatient rehab, there are many advantages, including safety and a higher success rate. From the moment an addict decides to seek treatment, they are preparing to go through a drastic change in their life. While this change is for the better, it comes with its own set of challenges to face, starting with detoxification.
For someone who has been abusing drugs or alcohol, the process of going through withdrawal and detoxing can be very unpleasant, and many try to avoid it for as long as possible. Alcohol withdrawal is often associated with symptoms like anxiety, depression, and fatigue. In severe cases, users can also experience psychosis, where they experience hallucinations and delusions. Other withdrawal symptoms include body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, high blood pressure, and shaking. Left unsupervised, withdrawal symptoms can be potentially deadly. For example, delirium tremens can result in reduced blood flow to the brain. Trying to detox on your own is very dangerous and not recommended.
One of the benefits of inpatient rehab is that they provide a safe place to detox where medical professionals can monitor vitals and ease some of the unpleasant symptoms. Depending on the substance and severity of the addiction, withdrawal symptoms usually start a few hours after the last dose of the drug. For alcohol detox is similar, withdrawal symptoms usually start within 6 hours and are the most severe at around 72 hours. There have been reports of symptoms lasting for a month, and feelings of anxiety and depression may last for months to come. Being in an inpatient rehab facility means patients have constant access to help for their withdrawal symptoms and can be provided with medications to ease their detox.
When someone with an alcohol use disorder attends outpatient rehab, they can go straight to the liquor store or bar when they feel like giving up. Returning home each evening places them back in the environment where they abused alcohol, which makes it much more challenging to resist the temptation of relapse. One of the benefits of inpatient rehab is that patients do not have access to alcohol or other substances, and while they have the freedom to leave at any time, they will likely not come back if they exit rehab and relapse.
Studies have shown that more inpatients complete detox compared to people in outpatient treatment. Those who attend and remain in treatment have increased occupational, psychological, and social functioning, as well as decreased criminal activity. Those who overcome a substance use disorder learn the tools to prevent relapse and may be at a decreased risk for developing another substance use disorder, according to a study published in JAMA, which said, “As compared with those who do not recover from an SUD, people who recover have less than half the risk of developing a new SUD. Contrary to clinical lore, achieving remission does not typically lead to drug substitution, but rather is associated with a lower risk of new SUD onset.”
One of the main components of alcohol abuse treatment is the fellowship that is created between staff, counselors, and fellow recovering addicts. That is one of the reasons 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous have success. Having a support system of people who understand the struggles of addiction and can be a shoulder to lean on is extremely beneficial, and it may be impossible for some to ever recover without it. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that having social networks and relationships that provide love, hope, friendship, and support are an essential part of recovery.
Living in an inpatient rehab facility surrounds the recovering addict with the social resources they need 24/7. In outpatient rehab, it may be more difficult or take more time to form those bonds. Treatment facilities also provide resources to transition into normal life, such as creating an aftercare plan that may include sober living homes. Recovering alcoholics may also receive guidance on pursuing new employment once they graduate from treatment.
Are the Benefits of Inpatient Rehab Worth It?
Because of the demand for 24/7 staff, medical care, food, and housing that is required for inpatient rehab, the cost is higher compared to outpatient rehab. Some may believe that alcohol addiction treatment is not worth the price, but in reality, an addiction costs far more than treatment. Substance abuse costs America over $600 billion each year, but treatment has been shown to reduce costs.
Get Help Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcoholism, know that there are options that work. Overcoming an addiction is daunting, but a compassionate treatment provider can provide you with the information on which treatment will be most beneficial for your needs. Reach out to a treatment professional today, and take the steps towards a more fulfilling life.
Author: Hayley Hudson | Last Edited: March 31, 2021