recovering addict participating in group therapy

The Pros and Cons of Inpatient Rehab


Sober Recovery Expert Author

recovering addict participating in group therapy

Inpatient rehab is a type of treatment in which the recovering addict stays in the facility for a time. It includes detox and support for the addict through the acute phase of treatment and recovery.

Rehab Basics

Inpatient rehab is offered as part of a hospital program or in a specialized, independent clinic setting. It allows the addict to focus solely on their recovery without outside pressures.

Is inpatient rehab really worth it? Take a look at the most common arguments for and against.

Addicts who have been unsuccessful in recovery with an outpatient program often enter and succeed in an inpatient rehab setting.

Inpatient rehab usually follows a 12-Step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). lt includes daily sessions of some or all of the following:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Drug or alcohol education
  • Medical care, including medications to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Family therapy

How Long Do Inpatient Programs Last?

Most inpatient programs run for at least 30 days. Some programs run as long as 90 days. Some programs require an initial 30-day commitment. A client’s further extended stay is determined by their recovery progress and the additional benefit of staying longer, as needed.

After discharge, inpatient rehab is followed-up with an outpatient program, which continues counseling and group therapy sessions. Aftercare is an important part of recovery and maintenance.

Some people choose to enter a residential program after leaving an acute inpatient rehab. A residential program is where the recovering addict lives in a safe, protected, structured facility for several months.

Pros and Cons

There are many pros to inpatient rehab, including:

  • Protection from outside drug and alcohol temptations while in the facility
  • A structured daily schedule, which distracts the user from their constant thoughts of drugs or alcohol
  • Access to 24-hour team support, in addition to scheduled daily therapy sessions
  • Multi-tiered treatment by physicians, counselors and other health care staff members
  • Peer support by other recovering addicts who are experiencing the same or similar addiction issues
  • Healthy diet is served to enhance recovery because alcoholics are often vitamin and nutrient deficient
  • Most medical insurance plans cover at least some portion of inpatient rehab

The most important benefit of inpatient rehab is the fact that it has the highest recovery success rate for long-term sobriety. Those who have gone through inpatient rehab also have a lower likelihood of transient relapse.

Some cons of inpatient rehab might be:

  • Living at a facility instead of home for an extended period of time
  • Probably having to take a leave of absence from job or school
  • Seeing family on only designated visiting days

Some people choose to go to inpatient rehab and follow up with an outpatient program for extended support. The type of rehab an individual chooses will be based upon a person’s specific addiction recovery and needs.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to start the path to recovery today.

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