What is inpatient treatment?

Inpatient, or residential, drug treatment requires that the person receiving treatment for addictions or substance abuse, residing in a facility for a designated length of time. Inpatient treatment may be either short or long term depending on the needs and situation of the individual. Both frameworks involve similar therapies. Inpatient treatment does not include detoxification, as that usually occurs in a hospital environment.

Although inpatient therapy can take place in a hospital environment, for the most part, a residential setting is typical, offering 24-hour care and supervision. The most common method of treatment is a therapeutic community, involving the staff and other patients, focusing on helping the individual identify the sources and conditions that lead to substance abuse. Medical care is also available.

Benefits of inpatient rehab

The main benefit of inpatient therapy is access to the therapeutic community. Patients are immersed in a recovery environment in which all are dedicated to breaking the addiction. The most successful programs that do not have a set time for release, and create treatment programs that are customized to the needs of the client.

Types of therapy used

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

  • This is therapy designed to enhance and understand the motivation that exists in a patient’s interaction with an object of addiction. There are two principal categories:
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Resistance Reduction

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing involves the therapist asking pointed questions in order to help the patient understand the value he or she has placed in the object of addiction, and how dependence and abuse have affected the patient’s life. The expected result is an increased understanding of the patient’s uncertainty concerning rehabilitation, an increased motivation to stop using, and a desire to develop a recovery plan.

Resistance Reduction

Instead of focusing on the mixed feelings a patient has towards changing his or her behavior, acknowledges the uncertainty, but does require the client to change. Through this process, the patient increases his or her tolerance for these thoughts and feelings, reducing opposition to therapy and the changes it brings. This is accomplished through an intensive exploration of how behavior patterns operate, and the validity that any number of possible outcomes may have. Resistance Reduction does not require patients to want to change in order for therapy to move forward.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy centers are anchored in the premise that individuals can and will monitor and control their behavior if they have the proper skill-sets. The therapy involves changing how the patient thinks about conditions and circumstances by teaching and reinforcing rational processes to control the processes that contribute to substance abuse. This therapeutic approach also works to eliminate the patient’s belief that he or she cannot function without the object of addiction.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a specialized form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy focusing on the patients developing skills for tolerating stress and emotional discomfort, helping them to understand and accept difficult situations while at the same time developing ways to change the behaviors that contribute to those situations.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy is essentially a Freudian approach that seeks to have patients delve into their subconscious and understand how this influences behavior. Therapy involves exploring unresolved conflicts and unsuccessful relationships with the underlying belief that resolving the attendant issues eliminates the need for the substance or behavior on which the patient has become dependent.

12-Step Counseling

Related to the approach developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), 12-step counseling involves working with a therapist, while at the same time attending AA (or appropriately themed groups) meeting. This differs from the traditional AA approach which does not rely on mental health professionals in its process. Like AA, however, 12-Step Counseling does follow three critical beliefs and principles:

  1. People who are addicted have lost the ability to control the substance or behavior identified.
  2. No effective cure for addiction exists – abstinence must be total and ongoing.
  3. Hope for recovery rests in accepting the loss of control and placing faith in a higher power.

Working with the therapist is not a permanent situation, and gradually the patient begins regular and exclusive attendance at 12-step meetings.

Where to Find an Inpatient Drug Rehab

Most major metropolitan areas have inpatient drug rehab facilities within a short distance, though few are within the urban confines. Many courts, hospitals, and municipalities have access to databases that will provide information. In addition, there are many online referral services that will take an individual’s personal data and use it to deliver a list of inpatient sites that best meet his or her requirements.

Residential treatment centers such as Burning Tree, have been established throughout the United States as a means of helping people struggling with substance or alcohol abuse overcome their addictions and restart their lives free from the burden of the problems that come with that abuse.

Residential Treatment Defined

Residential treatment is a type of substance abuse treatment program where the patient lives in a rehabilitation facility twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week while receiving alcohol or drug abuse treatment and, if necessary, mental health treatment as well. Other forms of treatment such as sober living facilities and halfway houses are not considered residential treatment, because of the differences in treatment types or living hours that these facilities offer. Residential treatment facilities are less intensive than inpatient facilities such as hospitals, due to the longer period of time in which a patient stays at a residential treatment facility.

Benefits of Using Residential Treatment

Residential treatment centers employ a large staff of licensed and qualified doctors who frequently interact with patients on a one-on-one basis, as well as in various group settings, allowing them to design a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s specific needs and situation. Because patients stay in the treatment facility all day and week long, the centers provide food and room and board as well as a variety of recreational areas such as exercise rooms or tennis courts.

Therapies and Techniques Used in Residential Treatment

The types of therapies and techniques used in residential treatment centers can vary greatly from one place to the next; however, there are common ideas that run through any facility’s programs. The programs generally provide both individual- and group-based care, from one-on-one meetings with rehab doctors to group lectures concerning relapse prevention and other topics. Other “extracurricular” activities are often provided as well, which may range from light sports to yoga therapy and even to horse riding or hiking.

Where to Find a Residential Treatment Center

It is possible to find a residential treatment center located near almost any major city in the United States simply by searching on the internet. Most treatment facilities are located near, but not in, large cities, as many find that a country setting is a more relaxing and calming location than directly in the heart of a city. Depending on the state in which it is located, a facility may even be at the base of a mountain or along a river.

Which is Right for Me? Long-term vs. Short-term Inpatient Treatment

Most drug and alcohol treatment facilities offer their patients a choice between long-term and short-term inpatient treatment. Short-term treatment is generally about four to six weeks in length, while long-term treatment runs for at least ninety days and in some cases, longer.

What is Long-term Rehabilitation?

Long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are those addiction recovery programs that run ninety days or longer. The extended length is directly related to the nature of the addiction and how well the patient is responding to treatment. The patient may have an addiction to drugs that have long and painful withdrawal times, or they may have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder that needs to be addressed as well in order for recovery to be effective.

Many long-term rehab programs began as short-term programs, but how the patient responded to treatment necessitated extending the treatment to the longer. Also, some patients were in short-term rehabilitation, but after discharge relapsed into the old behaviors to such an extent that long-treatment became necessary.

I Relapsed but I Think All in Need Is a Tune-up

If a relapse occurred, something went wrong somewhere. Either the initial program was not effective, or the outpatient program instituted did not work. In either case, it is best to return to the facility from which you were discharged for a new assessment and recommendations. It may be that short-term treatment is all that is needed. However, there may be other issues in play. Because of that, the facility you are in should be flexible in adjusting the length of time needed to complete successfully the program. In addition, the post-discharge recovery support may need to be reassessed and redesigned.

My First Time Getting Help

If it is your first time getting help, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. In doing this, you are assured of a competent assessment of the nature of your addiction and what type of program will best meet your needs. As an added protection, seek advice from two or more sources to get a complete picture of your addiction and to get their recommendations as to what type of therapy will have the greatest chance of success.

How to Prepare for Discharge: Short Term Vs. Long Term

When it comes time to leave drug and alcohol addiction treatment, there are some similarities between short and long-term addiction treatment. You should receive a complete evaluation of your condition and comprehensive recommendations from the treatment staff. Additionally, your treatment team should have developed a complete post-treatment program, with recommendations for outpatient individual and group therapy, participation in support groups, and suggested lifestyle changes. A good facility that offers both short and long-term treatment has the flexibility to adjust your therapy and extend your stay. Shortening of a long-term treatment plan rarely happens.

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