According to statistics, the number of reported substance abuse cases keeps increasing. While there’s a growing need for rehabilitation centers due to this increase, the dynamics of every substance use disorder have to be considered before treatment can be administered effectively.

The mode of treatment can differ from one patient to the other depending on a variety of factors. Compared to a mild case of alcohol abuse, for instance, an entirely different form of therapy will probably be used to treat a severe case of alcohol addiction. For this reason, the best facilities will provide customized programs designed to meet the varying needs of each patient.

What is inpatient rehab?

As a form of individualized therapy, inpatient rehab is probably the most intensive treatment program. In the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, inpatient rehab usually follows medical detoxification. However, a medical professional has to evaluate the patient thoroughly before this transition occurs.

Patients typically receive inpatient treatment when they are having trouble with cravings, which is why round-the-clock monitoring might be required to prevent relapses. This type of care is particularly important for patients who are incapable of going a few hours without a given substance. Inpatient rehab is designed to accommodate both the psychological and physical needs of the patients in recovery. It also involves full-time treatment at a rehabilitation facility. While enrolled in this program, patients will be monitored by the nursing staff 24/7. Typically, inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities focus on intensive medical care. However, these centers can make appropriate accommodations whenever necessary.


In the guidelines recently provided by the National Drug Control Policy for effective treatment, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction. As such, clients and their families need to decide which rehabilitation program will be the best fit for their case when considering treatment. Unfortunately, some can feel that they’re insufficiently equipped to choose between the programs, particularly if that choice means picking between a generally more expensive inpatient alcohol rehab program and an outpatient rehab program. To help ensure clients make well-informed decisions, here are the benefits of inpatient rehabilitation.

The absence of former triggers

Substance abuse triggers can be quite troublesome, especially during the early stages of recovery. Triggers can include stressful environments, social isolation, sexual and interpersonal relationships, and proximity to the abused substance. Inpatient settings help eliminate the presence of these high-risk factors, extending abstinence periods and promoting long-term recovery.

A supportive community of peers

Unlike their outpatient counterparts, inpatient settings allow patients to live as members of a supportive residential community. Patients can, therefore, build safe and supportive peer relationships that can strengthen their chances of long-term recovery.

Studies have shown that therapeutic communities, where recovering patients live together for extended periods of residential treatment, can mean better outcomes. Although inpatient programs usually involve short stays, the strong and supportive peer community featured promotes long-term recovery.

24-hour supervision

The 24-hour medical and clinical supervision characteristic of any inpatient setting is also an important benefit. For patients undergoing early inpatient alcohol rehab, particularly those suffering from severe addiction, constant supervision can be vital to their recovery. The following points of reference for inpatient alcohol rehab can be helpful in determining which patients stand to gain the most from 24-hour supervision.

  • Patients lacking a network of support
  • Patients experiencing mild to severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Patients with a known history of alcohol withdrawal seizures, delirium tremens, or any other severe reaction related to drug withdrawal
  • Patients likely to cause self-harm
  • Patients who have undergone several detoxifications or attempted multiple treatments in the past
  • Patients with one or more co-occurring disorders
  • Patients who’ve previously suffered grave cognitive impairment or those in active psychosis
  • Patients who are not likely to complete outpatient detoxification programs
  • Pregnant patients

Intensive care

Treatment protocol effectiveness studies cite intensive care as another important benefit of an inpatient setting. With regard to substance abuse treatment, intensive care is listed as a hallmark of necessary improvements. In fact, evidence shows that intensive care plays a vital role in the achievement of long-term recovery. Compared to every other program, inpatient programs are better positioned to provide this level of care.

Access to evidence-based therapies

When attempting to remain abstinent, detoxification from alcohol and drugs can never be enough. Without evidence-based therapy, newly sober patients are merely going through the motions. Such patients are less likely to maintain sobriety. Inpatient settings offer ready access to evidence-based treatments like behavioral therapies, some of which can be especially beneficial to those who genuinely want to lead substance-free lives. According to research, such treatments encourage a change in attitude and the practice of healthy behaviors. As a result, patients are more likely to sustain abstinence after treatment.

Immediate transition from detoxification to inpatient services

Typically, inpatient programs allow patients to transition more quickly from detoxification to follow-up behavioral and psychosocial care. Inpatient programs encourage participation even during medically supervised detoxification. Studies show that these interventions can improve the chances of long-term recovery when introduced quickly.

Better detox completion rates

Studies have shown that inpatient programs have higher detox completion rates than their outpatient counterparts. Statistically, 95 percent of inpatient clients complete detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, meaning patients who lack medical supervision when treating addiction are at higher risk of relapsing. In the absence of timely follow-up therapy, however, supervised treatment cannot guarantee a positive outcome. A program that involves integrated follow-up care following detoxification might, therefore, be the best option.

Higher treatment completion rates

Inpatient programs correlate with higher treatment completion rates and, consequently, better long-term recovery outcomes. According to studies, up to 75 percent of inpatient clients complete the treatment while only 18 percent of outpatient clients achieve the same.

Components of inpatient drug and alcohol programs

Patients will usually develop recovery and life skills during inpatient care, as a result of which they can start to improve their lives. Inpatient drug and alcohol programs can include the following features:

  • Comprehensive evaluations and treatment
  • Medication management services
  • One or more meetings with a psychiatric provider every week
  • 24-hour supervision
  • Community group sessions
  • Ongoing reviews of the treatment goals
  • Customized, individualized therapy
  • Recreational therapies like yoga and meditation
  • Aftercare and discharge planning, both of which are necessary at this level of care.
  • Group therapy sessions conducted on a daily basis. The topics discussed can include grief and loss, substance abuse, surviving trauma, family, interpersonal relationships, sexuality, self-esteem, the 12-step program and assertiveness.

Who inpatient drug rehab can help

Inpatient drug rehab can help patients who’ve completed medical detoxification successfully but still require constant care for substance abuse or any other co-occurring disorder.

For some patients, their addictions may have gone on for years before they sought help. Others may have been dependent on a given substance for a while and as a result, are battling with cravings. Even so, anyone can benefit from inpatient drug rehab. Although inpatient settings offer a greater chance at success as well as a significantly lower risk of relapse, full-time commitment to the program remains a vital requirement.

Along with a change in scenery, receiving intensive care, 24-hour supervision and having round-the-clock access to treatment increase the likelihood of achieving long-term recovery. In addition to this, inpatient clients will often receive comprehensive, 24-hour evaluations and treatment as well as follow-up therapies.