patient wearing an ID tag

Pros and Cons of Inpatient Rehab


Sober Recovery Expert Author

patient wearing an ID tag

When hitting rock bottom, the two most common options for addicts are: going to a rehab treatment facility or not. The decision is easier in some cases than others, depending on the patient’s circumstances, environmental factors, and support.

But, why would anyone WANT to go to a rehab facility? What would anyone NOT want to go?

There are several options available when considering rehab, including residential inpatient treatment.

Residential Inpatient Rehab

There are several options available when considering rehab, including residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization treatment and intensive outpatient treatment. For the purposes of this article, the focus will be on residential inpatient treatment, where patients live on-site. These facilities offer a variety of programs designed to provide tools to assist patients in sustaining long-term recovery. There are many benefits to residential inpatient treatment from detox to assisting with finding a sober living environment after rehab. Most residential programs range from a 30-90 day stay, with many other programs extending to up to a year.

The Pros

From the day a person checks in to residential treatment, they are put under medical supervision. Patients are assisted with anything from withdrawal symptoms to medication needs for potential dual diagnosis awareness and maintenance. Depending on the substance the person is detoxing from, the withdrawal symptoms may be extremely painful and even deadly and the medical supervision can often assist with providing measures to ease the discomfort associated with it. Another huge benefit of going to rehab is around the clock care, not only from a medical standpoint, but from an accountability perspective to ensure the person, or client as many refer to their residents, is attending the scheduled sessions, groups and counseling appointments. They also experience the physical feeling of never being alone.

The environment is typically structured, as there are expectations on attendance, an eating and sleeping schedule and even chores. This can allow clients to prepare themselves for when they get out and have a routine they are familiar with. Another key benefit is the aftercare plan the counselors at these facilities are able to assist with. This includes setting up additional treatment resources like where to find meetings, support groups, and outpatient treatment in their area.

The Cons

While there are many benefits that come with going to rehab, some aspects may not make it a feasible option. Often times, the most glaring problem with going to rehab lies solely on the cost of drug rehab. If an addict does not have insurance or the financial means, they may not be able to go to rehab. And, even if they get into rehab, a patient may suffer from financial hardship once discharging from the program. That in itself can be a enough to push a person back into the cycle of addiction.

There are several other things to consider that may be a detriment by attending a rehab. A client in a rehab essentially has every hour of every day planned out for them. Life after rehab is extremely challenging, as patients reassimilate into an unstructured environment. The longer a person is in rehab increases the likelihood of complacency— being too comfortable, halting growth and regressing.

Another area that can impair recovery and growth experiences is the mix of other clients. Most times there are many people of different ages, personalities, experiences and backgrounds that can and will clash. These clashes can be very disruptive to someone not only trying to get clean and sober, but also in a vulnerable state. Many of us in recovery have been in a fight or flight pattern for such a long time, it has become our only defense. These experiences may distract from the main purpose of rehab — getting clean, sober and maintaining your new sober lifestyle.

Put a Plan Into Action

There is not consistent, supportive data to determine which treatment option is most effective. Although tools can be acquired in any environment, success is determined by the desire and actions taken towards long-term sobriety.

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 road to recovery.

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