What to Expect From Inpatient Rehab

Entering inpatient rehab for drug or alcohol addiction is a step in the right direction, but it can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Most inpatient rehab programs last from two to three months up to several months. Your chances of a successful recovery go up the longer you stay in the facility. Fortunately, many insurance companies provide coverage options for rehabilitation.

Residential Treatment & Patient Evaluation

The first step in any inpatient rehab program is a patient evaluation. The evaluation lets the treatment team assess the extent of each patient’s physical addiction and identify any mental or physical health issues that need to be addressed. With the evaluation complete, an addiction treatment plan can be put into place. Each patient needs his own treatment plan, tailored to his unique needs.

Drug or Alcohol Detox

Detox happens before addiction treatment really begins. It lasts for five to seven days and occurs under careful supervision. Detoxing from some substances, like alcohol, can present serious risks, so detox often takes place in a detox clinic intended for that purpose alone. Detox removes all traces of drugs or alcohol from the patient’s system, so he can enter rehab clean and sober.

Going Through Inpatient Rehab

Patients in inpatient rehab are kept on a daily therapeutic schedule. The schedule often changes on a weekly basis. Each patient goes through intensive individual addiction therapy with an addiction counselor to address the issues that led to addiction and learn to recognize and avoid substance abuse triggers. There may also be group therapy sessions. Some rehabs use the 12-step model for these group therapy sessions, but many do not. While the 12-step program has been an effective form of addiction recovery support for many people, it’s not for everyone. Many people are uncomfortable with the 12-step program’s emphasis on belief in a Higher Power, or its doctrine that addiction is incurable. Some feel that the retelling of addiction experiences in 12-step groups can trigger substance abuse for many, and others are concerned that the 12-step model doesn’t address the root causes of addiction.

Inpatient rehab programs also encourage patients to go through family therapy. Family therapy sessions help heal the damage that addiction has done to the family’s relationships with one another. In family therapy, loved ones discuss how addiction has affected them and learn how they can support their addicted loved one in his recovery. Family members are often encouraged to join an outside support group, where they can learn from the experiences of others who have helped loved ones recover from addiction.

The first days and weeks of recovery are the hardest, which is why longer inpatient rehab programs tend to be more successful. The intensive daily therapy available to rehab patients is valuable, but so are the many periods of social interaction with other recovering patients. One of the most difficult aspects of recovery for many is learning how to interact in social situations without drugs or alcohol to make them feel more comfortable or sociable. Inpatient rehab programs organize daily group activities and mealtimes so that patients are given ample opportunity to learn social interaction and community-building skills.

Aftercare During the Inpatient Treatment Process

Quality inpatient rehab programs provide aftercare support. Aftercare can include receiving outpatient treatment, moving into a halfway house, taking weekly therapy sessions, or joining a recovery support group. Aftercare is crucial to maintaining recovery in the long term.

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