Substance use disorder is rampant in the U.S., impacting tens of millions of Americans. This disease can be difficult to beat without professional assistance of some sort. Thankfully, a variety of treatment options have been developed in order to assist people in overcoming these debilitating disorders. This includes one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medication, family therapy, and more.
In some instances, a person may need all of these services in order to fully overcome these issues. They may also need to temporarily live in a facility in order to receive these services and step away from the pressures of the real world. Thankfully, numerous types of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities now exist that can provide people with the services they need to treat their drug or alcohol problems and resume their regular lives.
What Is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation?
Inpatient rehabilitation is a method of treatment that involves the patient residing at the facility. Inpatient treatment often takes place in a hospital-like setting, but some facilities achieve a more home-like environment. Treatment programs are specifically designed to help someone overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Each rehabilitation facility varies and has different operating philosophies, but there are a few characteristics that typically are shared by all inpatient rehabilitation programs.
People who are participants in an inpatient program cannot come and go as they please. Individuals will stay in the facility for a set period of time, usually somewhere between 28 and 90 days. Treatment facilities often include a detox program where the patient goes through withdrawal from the substance. When someone stops drinking or using drugs after a long period of addiction, they may develop a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, including anxiety, delirium tremens (DT), depression, tremors, overwhelming cravings, and more. A dependency on some substances, such as alcohol or opioids, carries substantial risks when detoxing, even including death, so often requires medical intervention.
Therapy, whether conducted by psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, or someone else trained in addiction treatment, is almost always part of any treatment plan. Therapy may be a combination of one-on-one and group therapy. It might also involve family therapy with those close to the individual who is suffering from a substance use disorder.
A variety of other services, including physical care, exercise, recreational opportunities, and life planning are often included. Some facilities also offer holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation. The primary objective is to ensure that the patients can get their life back on track once they leave the facility.
How Can You Tell If You Need Inpatient Rehabilitation?
In some instances, a person suffering from drug or alcohol abuse may not need inpatient therapy. Outpatient therapy, whereby someone can remain in their home and fulfill school, work, or home responsibilities while seeking treatment, is a proven method of success for substance use disorder. Outpatient treatment usually works best for people who are highly motivated to quit using drugs and alcohol and who have a stable, safe, and supportive home environment.
Everyone’s situation is unique. While a full evaluation by a qualified medical provider will determine the best placement, there are certain situations where inpatient therapy becomes necessary. These include:
• Crisis situations: Crisis situation as a result of addiction, such as an overdose, car accident, or other injuries, typically indicates that intensive, inpatient experience may be required.
• Co-occurring mental health disorders: The existence of other mental health disorders, such as personality disorders or schizophrenia, may be best addressed in an inpatient facility.
• Prior failed attempts: If previous efforts at treatment have failed, many medical professionals feel that the individual in question would benefit from the intensive treatment offered by an inpatient facility.
• Inability to stop using: When the addiction has become so significant that someone cannot physically stop themselves from using or abusing substances without constant monitoring, inpatient treatment is often encouraged.
What Types of Therapy Are Practiced at Inpatient Rehabilitation Centers?
There are many types of therapy that have proven records of success when it comes to battling substance use disorder. These include:
• Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps people with a substance use disorder identify faulty ways of thinking and the behavior that this thinking then inspires. In a sense, CBT involves the “rewiring” of someone’s brain to help them function better.
• Dialectical behavioral therapy: This type of therapy is a specific cognitive behavioral therapy that helps people identify challenging situations and better manage their thoughts, stressors, and emotions. Substance use disorders can be tied to stress and inappropriate coping skills. DBT has shown a tremendous ability to help people learn and employ healthy coping strategies instead of relying on drugs or alcohol.
• Family and relationship therapy: There is ample evidence to suggest that relationships with family members can have a major impact on a person’s chances of recovering from substance use disorders. Conversely, addictions can negatively impact the loved ones of someone who has a substance use disorder. Intensive family therapy can help people identify the challenges in their relationships and find new ways to work together and communicate in order to address major relationship challenges.
What Should You Look for in a Rehabilitation Facility?
All inpatient therapy programs are not created equal. Indeed, there is quite a bit of variance among then. Because of this, you should ensure that the inpatient program you enroll in is of the highest quality and can give you the best results. There are a few ways to determine this. These include:
• Certification: Inpatient facilities are regulated by state and local governments. Before enrolling in any facility, contact that facility and make sure they are appropriately licensed by the government. This ensures that they are meeting appropriate minimum standards of care.
• Professional accreditation: Some facilities are licensed by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) or the Joint Commission. If a facility has been accredited by one or both of these organizations, you know that they offer high-quality programming that has a track record of success.
• Treatment philosophy: Different inpatient programs offer different treatment philosophies. Some programs emphasize a spiritual component while others are exclusive to one gender. Some programs don’t offer group therapy while other programs place a very heavy emphasis on them. Many programs use a 12-step approach to treatment. When it comes to treatment philosophies, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer – just an answer that works best for you. Investigate the philosophies of any program you enroll in and make sure it fits your needs.
• Qualified personnel: It is not simply enough for a facility to have a doctor or two on their staff. All professional rehabilitation programs should have experienced medical staff who are specifically trained in addiction services. There are a variety of certifications that would qualify a person for that, including Certified Addiction Counselor or Licensed Professional Counselor. Regardless, when determining a possible rehabilitation facility, you may want to inquire about the professional training of the staff.
What Happens After You Leave Therapy?
Inpatient therapy has many goals, including helping a patient detox and providing intensive therapy to discover the root of the substance use. All of this will help the individual identify strategies for how to end their dependence on drugs or alcohol. However, at its core, a good inpatient therapy program will seek to teach a patient how to live in the real world without relapsing.
At the conclusion of therapy, patients will have hopefully developed new coping and behavioral strategies that will help them learn how to better cope with their real-world stressors without resorting to drug or alcohol use. They will also have been taught better relationship patterns in order to learn which relationships should be continued and nurtured and which relationships are unhealthy.
Services and support after a patient completes an inpatient program are critical. Most inpatient treatment programs provide continuing care. This may mean regular appointments with a licensed counselor, group therapy, a peer-to-peer mentorship program, or continued use of medication in order to prevent a relapse.
Fortunately, there are a variety of high-quality rehabilitation facilities throughout the United States that can give people who suffer from substance use disorder a second chance at life. One such example is The Granite House, located in Derry, New Hampshire. The Granite House offers a variety of treatment options for substance use, including individualized treatment plans, a 12-step approach to recovery, and a comprehensive recovery program. Additionally, The Granite House offers a unique client-to-client program that pairs a newly discharged individual with other clients who are further along in their recovery. This way, clients are always guaranteed access to a peer who can give them the support they need.
The most important point is this: While drug and alcohol abuse is highly prevalent in our society, ample evidence indicates that it can be treated. Recovery is possible. You just have to take the first step and reach out.