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What is Inpatient Treatment?

People suffering from a moderate to a high level of substance abuse generally consider inpatient treatment. In this, the individual patient is given 24-hour care at a residential facility. This type of substance abuse recovery includes both the psychiatric and physical health assistant. Usually, the patient stays in the facility for the duration of a month or more. But, before recommending this type of recovery treatment to the patient, the medical professional should thoroughly assess him and completely analyze his problem.

Detoxification is the first step in the recovery treatment of substance abuse, and it is much better done under professional observation in an inpatient facility. A structured and defined atmosphere is provided to the patient in an inpatient treatment center. He forgets about the life distractions for some time and gets a chance to completely focus on his physical as well as psychological healing. After taking this treatment completely, he has lesser chances of relapse and more chances of maintaining a sober life.

On comparing with outpatient treatment, the major difference is in the amount of medical attention that the patient gets in inpatient treatment.

Basic Goals of Inpatient Treatment

There are some basic goals of every inpatient recovery treatment that help in:

  • Evaluation – Comprehending his addiction.
  • Detoxification – Stabilizing him through the painful and dangerous withdrawal and provide the associated medical aid.
  • Rehabilitation – Developing skills in patients that are necessary to stay sober


A comprehensive assessment of the patient is first conducted by a team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, and counselors. The usual assessment services include:

  • Biopsychosocial assessment
  • Development of an initial treatment plan
  • History and physical examination
  • Evaluating for withdrawal, medical, and psychiatric problems


Detoxification is the initial step in any treatment program. In this process, the body of the patient gets rid of the addictive substance. The withdrawal symptoms are immediately taken care of by a team of medical specialists and other staff.

A safe and comfortable environment is provided inside the facility so that the patient can easily get rid of his addiction. Moreover, his medical condition and the drug that caused addiction help depicting the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the length of stay in the facility.


After detoxification, the patient goes to inpatient rehabilitation. In this, the patient is provided a 24X7 safe and structured treatment where he gets help on living a sober lifestyle. Rehab also helps in mending relationships with family and relatives, which is a key to recovery.

Various programs like individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, healthy nutrition tips, support groups, etc. are provided in inpatient rehab.

Components of Inpatient Treatment

The various components of an inpatient treatment center include:

1) Medical Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves medical care, which supports the patient as he takes his initial steps to recover from his addiction.

For instance, withdrawal from alcohol often causes seizures, and therefore taking the process in an inpatient facility is beneficial as there will be team present round the clock that is trained to handle seizures. An intravenous (IV) drug user must be screened and properly checked for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. An inpatient center has a professional medical staff to take care of all this.

2) Withdrawal Management

The symptoms of withdrawal last even when the drug is completely out of the body. The timeline depends on the type of substance used, the duration for which it was overused and other such factors. The inpatient facility has a team of medical experts that can provide clinical care to the patient and mitigate the side effects.

3) Individual Counseling

Individual Counseling is another important component of inpatient treatment, which addresses both symptoms and root causes of substance abuse. The therapist or the counselor incorporates these approaches in the therapy to make it successful:

  • Acceptance: Helping the patient admit that he suffers from addiction.
  • Cravings Management: Teaching strategies to deal with cravings and make healthy decisions.
  • Motivation: Encouraging and motivating the patient about self-discipline by reminding him of his improvement.
4) Group Counseling

In this, the addiction counselor brings a group of patients together who are facing similar issues. They discuss their problems and share their experiences within a safe, controlled therapeutic atmosphere of an inpatient treatment center.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

Patients who opt for an inpatient treatment step forward in their path to recovery within clear borders. Within the facility, they will find no or minimum temptations and distractions. Moreover, they will have round-the-clock support too. They will be spending enough time inside the facility interacting with other patients and other doctors. This will prepare them to not only stay sober but also maintain the sobriety for long.

Let us discuss some benefits of inpatient treatments.

1) Separation from Routine Life

When the patients decide to recover from their substance abuse and takes admission in inpatient treatment, they actually put their trust in the particular center. They wilfully made a decision to give up their unfit ways of living, and step into a calm and serene environment that is surrounded by positive elements. Because the inpatient treatment facility is away from their residential setting, they won’t be able to participate in the drug seeking activities. The rehab facility will offer a peaceful and private atmosphere that will let them focus on themselves and develop some of the best recovery strategies.

2) 24 x 7 Support

As soon as the patients enter an inpatient treatment facility, they immediately adopt a team of specialists (both medical and attendants) who will provide genuine care throughout the day and night. They ensure to monitor the patients throughout the initial pains of withdrawal. Along with providing timely medications (if prescribed), the team will also guide them on coping with the missing elements that led them to substance abuse and replace them with something useful. Moreover, in an inpatient treatment facility, they will be interacting with other people in the same situation as themselves. Thus, they will get motivated on the struggles of addiction.

3) Multilayered Treatment

An inpatient treatment center offers a multilayered cure for treating the addicted persons completely. The process of detoxification is the first step to recovery, in which the toxins are completely removed from their body and mind. Moreover, during this step, their body must return to normal functionality, and their emotions must also calm down. After detoxification, the patients become strong enough to handle the changes in their life. They would go through individual counseling and group therapies where they are taught the importance of living sober and how to maintain sobriety in their everyday life.

4) Guidance and Group Meetings

After detoxification, the staff members interact with the addicted person and figure out the causes that led to substance abuse. The crooked way of thinking and irregular brain activities are some of the causes of addiction. The psychiatric experts and specialists help the person to alter his way of thinking and also teach them self control. Group meetings, on the other hand, allow all the members of the facility to share their experiences and beliefs. The inpatient treatment facility includes courageous and like-individuals with a compassionate team of supporters in order to help the patient recover from his addiction.

The patient can leave the inpatient treatment facility with confidence and the ability to control his cravings. The follow-up group sessions and meetings will support him further to continue living sober.

Inpatient Rehab vs Outpatient Rehab: What’s the Difference?

Differentiating Factors Inpatient Treatment Outpatient Treatment



Not expensive


28 days to 6 months and above

3 months to over a year

Success rate



Staying in the facility

Yes, staying in the rehab for as long as the program lasts

Doesn’t require the patient to stay in the center but he must visit the facility every day

Daily life routine

Disruptive to daily life

Since the patient returns home every night, he can maintain a daily life routine

24 hour medical and emotional support



Type of addiction treated

Designed to cure patients with serious addictions

Good for patients with moderate addictions

Everyday distractions faced

No distractions

Patients are required to visit the facility 10-12 hours a week

Timeline of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment can last for either a period of 28 days or may take over 5 months to recover fully. Many factors like the type of substance abused, the duration for which it was used and other such things affect the length of the stay.

Generally, it is noticed that the longer a person stays in the rehab, the better he gets prepared to handle life outside the facility and maintains his sobriety.

Family Support during Inpatient Treatment

Family involvement is quite important to recover in an inpatient treatment facility. Therefore, most of the treatment facilities allow their members to contact their loved ones who can support and encourage the patients.

Every inpatient facility has a different policy on how the family members of the patient can communicate with him. Some facilities also offer family counseling programs for the patient and his family.

Daily Life during Inpatient Treatment

An inpatient treatment center provides the patient with a caring environment throughout the day. He can fully concentrate on himself during his stay without the distractions of everyday life. He gets to meet with psychologists, counselors, and psychiatrists individually and in group settings also. Typically an inpatient treatment program lasts for 28 days and can also go beyond 5-6 months.

The detoxification process that usually is medically assisted is the first step of the treatment. During this procedure, the substance is removed and washed away from the body and brain of the patient. Drug cravings, that often lead to relapse, are quite common during detoxification. This is why inpatient treatment is much beneficial as it provides constant care and support by experts.

After detox, various other types of therapies and counseling are provided to the patient so that his negative thoughts subside and he becomes productive living a better life.

Preparing for an Inpatient Treatment

If you want to participate in an inpatient treatment rehab, then you must first properly prepare for it. It might not take much of your time, but, it is important to figure out the date of getting admitted into the rehab. This is necessary so that you can settle all your affairs and important issues before that. Here, are some preparatory tips for the inpatient treatment center.

  • Talk to your employer if you are into a job.
  • Make living arrangements for your kids and other members of the family if they are dependent upon you.
  • Find out what personal items can you carry to the treatment center.

FAQs related to Inpatient Rehab

What inpatient rehab is like?

Inpatient rehab facilities are often the first step to living a sober life and getting rid of any addiction. The patient is required to stay in the center for as long as the program lasts. Moreover, he gets a 24×7 support and care from the doctors and staff members.

How long is inpatient rehab?

The duration depends on the condition of the patient that includes the kind of drug he is addicted to, the length of his addiction and other such. Generally speaking, the length of this treatment is from 28 days to over 6 months.

What are inpatient rehabilitation services?

The major services include detoxification, individual and group counseling, therapies like mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, music, etc., family care programs, relapse prevention training.

Does inpatient rehab work?

When it comes to the success rate of inpatient treatment, then as compared to other addiction recovery treatment options, this one is more successful.

What is an inpatient rehabilitation center?

An inpatient rehabilitation center is a facility which provides shelter for all those people who want to recover from their substance addiction. This rehab offers them a combination of medical and psychological care, skills development, and isolation from drugs.

When should I consider inpatient rehab?

You don’t have to be at rock bottom to need addiction recovery treatment. However, if your addiction is quite severe then you must seek for good inpatient rehab.

Where to live after rehab: Sober living or Home?

Of course, a sober living or a transitional living is recommended after completing an inpatient treatment before returning to your home.

What is the cost of inpatient treatment?

When it comes to the cost required for the inpatient treatment for recovery of substance abuse, it varies from center to center depending on what kind of services it offers and the timeline of treatment. The price ranges from $12,000 to $20,000. Medically assisted treatment is usually pricier.

Generally speaking, the cost of the inpatient treatment center is quite worth the price and can be usually covered by a private health insurance policy.