When you first consider your treatment options for an alcohol or drug addiction, the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether to pursue outpatient or inpatient rehab. Many people become intimidated at the thought of inpatient treatment. When you’re not sure what to expect, how treatment will affect your life, and whether you can cope with withdrawal, you don’t want to uproot yourself. But these are the exact reasons why it is important to include inpatient treatment into your rehab stay.
An inpatient rehab facility provides intensive programs to help you learn the coping skills to go on. You’re also removed from potential environmental triggers in your home setting. The controlled environment becomes a safe place to explore the root of your addiction. If you want to minimize your chances of relapse, long-term inpatient care has a long history of being the most effective treatment for substance abuse recovery.
The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab for Long-Term Recovery
Inpatient rehab provides the following advantages and experiences over outpatient treatment:
- Removal from stressful environmental triggers
- Medically-supervised withdrawal
- Around-the-clock care
- Intensive therapy programs and classes of many varieties
- Community connection
- Weeks focused solely on healing, not the chaos of the world around you
Let’s explore these a bit more in-depth.
When you have a substance use disorder, stressful situations can trigger your desire to use. Proximity to the substance or to people using the substance can also pose a problem. If you have friends or family members who expose you to alcohol or drugs, inpatient rehab will remove you from the potential for an environmental-induced relapse.
Staying in your home environment during recovery means that you have to deal with any stresses that exist there, plus the stress of withdrawal, plus the stress of outpatient scheduling, plus there’s easier access to your substance of choice. Chances are, you can get it more easily at home than you can in a rehab center. All of these combined factors mean that your likelihood of suffering a relapse is much higher if you solely use outpatient services. This is especially true if your environment causes you frequent stress.
The initial detox from the drugs or alcohol can pose dangers to your physical health. Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes even be life-threatening. It’s important to have a medically-supervised detox in a detox center. This inpatient program will last about a week. You’ll be given medication and support to get through the withdrawal symptoms.
When the physical symptoms subside, it’s a great idea to graduate to inpatient care in a rehabilitation facility. But if you’re leaning against a full-fledged rehab program, please at least check into a detox center for a safe physical detox.
Rehab centers are designed to help you find a healthy version of yourself. They give you the tools that you need to make positive life changes and keep from using. Learning all of this can be a messy process, though. You’ll have to deal with physical cravings, emotional instability, and getting reacquainted with yourself. In outpatient care, sometimes overwhelmed patients will relapse because it seems easier. In inpatient care, though, there are medical and mental health professionals available at all times to help talk you through your issues.
Therapy Programs and Classes
Each day will be structured with a variety of these enrichment programs. You’ll be kept so busy that you won’t have time to think about using. Potential forms of therapy include:
- Individual therapy and counseling
- Psychiatric consultation with prescription of mental health medication
- Group therapy
- Family therapy with loved ones
- Art, music, and other creative therapies
- Communing with nature
- Yoga and meditation classes
- Classes to teach coping skills
- Classes teaching about mindfulness
- Classes teaching you about your addiction
Outpatient care, even intensive outpatient care, can’t provide you with the same level of resources that inpatient care does. And let’s face it — most outpatient programs aren’t intensive. You fit them in around the edges of your life instead of making them your sole focus. When you go inpatient, your world shrinks until you focus on what really matters: yourself.
The connections you make with other residents will impact you for a lifetime. People are encouraged to strike up friendships with each other, encourage each other, and exchange their life experiences. There’s always something new to learn from the people around you, especially when they’re struggling with the same tough thoughts and feelings that you are.
At an inpatient rehab facility, you don’t feel so alone. You’re not isolated. You don’t have to hide your treatment and compromise your medical care. You can just exist as you are, and that’s enough.
There are definitely ways to connect with the community through outpatient services as well. Group therapy, 12-step programs, other support groups, and internet forums come to mind. But that’s not quite the same as being immersed in the community 24/7.
Sole Focus on Healing
One of the biggest mistakes people make during treatment is not prioritizing it enough. Addiction is a rough beast, and you have to fight it with everything you have. It’s going to take all of your concentration and willpower. You don’t have energy left to spare on petty familial squabbles, drama with your friends, stress in the workplace, and untold other issues.
You can’t shove recovery around the edges of your day-to-day life and expect a roaring success. You need to prioritize it. If you complete an inpatient program, you’ll have weeks to focus on nothing but taking care of yourself. That’s exactly the kind of self-love and self-support that you need for successful treatment.
If you’re ready to take the next step toward recovery, give one of our trained counselors a call at 866-802-9113