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Inpatient Rehab for Drug & Alcohol Abuse

In 2019 a national survey on drug use and health was conducted indicating that 21.7 million individuals (8.1%) twelve years or older needed treatment for substance abuse in the previous year. However, only an estimated 2.3 million actually received appropriate treatment. Among those in the survey classified as needing treatment, about 95.4 percent believed they did not need treatment.

Clearly, there is an issue; many individuals are not getting the care that they need. Especially for those with more severe addiction, treatments like inpatient rehab are of great importance.

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is a form of treatment in which individuals are provided 24/7 medical care by doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers. Inpatient rehab can sometimes have a hospital feel and provides a structured and supervised environment for patients to recover from addiction.

The level of one-on-one care and safety provided by inpatient rehab allows patients to have space to recover after detoxification and begin learning how to live without the substances they have been addicted to.

Components of Inpatient Rehab

Several components are common to Inpatient Rehab:

  • Begins after detoxification
  • It lasts one to three months.
  • Provides 24/7 professional supervision
  • It consists of comprehensive care, including evaluation and treatment planning.
  • Designed with recovery from addiction in mind
  • Involves various treatments, including individual therapy, group therapy, case management, and support groups

Inpatient vs. Residential Rehab

In contrast to inpatient rehab, residential rehab is often less strict and feels less like a hospital. Inpatient rehab focuses on helping the patient recover from their addiction; residential rehab focuses on helping the patient re-integrate into society without substance usage. With inpatient rehab, the schedule is often strict, and the time in recovery can be intense because of all the changes being made. With residential rehab, the patient has often progressed past some of the earlier difficulties immediately the following detoxification and is now learning to practice new habits and ways of viewing the world.

Distinctions of Residential Rehab:

  • Designed for a more extended stay
  • It lasts six to twelve months.
  • Less intense than Inpatient Rehab
  • Designed to assist in reintegration into society without substance usage
  • Involves individual and group therapy, employment assistance, medical care, and other services

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

While inpatient treatment may sometimes feel restrictive to the patient, this treatment provides a safety and accountability level that other treatment forms cannot match. With inpatient rehab, the patient is removed from all potential temptation sources and has medical professionals on hand to monitor any issues that might arise. The patient additionally has access to consistent, individualized treatment to a greater degree than in most other forms of treatment. Inpatient treatment is also designed with recovery from addiction in mind, so there is a large focus on developing new habits, positive community, and appropriate boundaries.

It is important to stress that often the benefits of inpatient treatment are minimized, as the statistics at the beginning show. According to the survey referenced above, 95% of those in need of treatment did not think they needed treatment at all. While it may be tempting for those struggling to minimize their problems out of fear or denial, it is important to face reality and substance abuse’s seriousness. Loved ones also have a part to play in coming alongside those struggling with substance abuse to encourage them in the right direction.

Inpatient treatment provides:

  • Unmatched safety and accountability
  • Removal of temptations
  • Constant access to medical professionals
  • Individualized treatment
  • Development of new habits
  • Opportunities for community
  • Establishment of boundaries

Who Can Inpatient Rehab Help?

Inpatient rehab can be useful for anyone struggling with addiction; however, it is best suited for those who need the additional support and accountability this treatment provides. Inpatient rehab is suitable for alcoholic or narcotics substance abuse recovery. It is particularly recommended when there are co-occurring mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and so forth. The combination of substance abuse and mental illness often requires a greater level of care and intentionality provided by inpatient rehab.

Even in cases that do not seem as serious, inpatient rehab can be a great idea as it provides a safe place for patients to develop the habits for success that are critical for sobriety.

What to Look for in an Inpatient Treatment Center

When searching for an Inpatient Treatment Center, there are certain things to look for:

  • Individualized care
  • Easily available treatment
  • Holistic approaches that consider all relevant issues
  • Facilities capable of at least 1-3 months of care
  • Therapists and medical specialists to develop and implement treatments
  • Community support
  • Positive reviews and reports of the staff and facilities

How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Cost?

Inpatient Rehab costs can vary significantly depending on the facility’s nature and the extent of the amenities it offers. Due to inpatient rehab’s comprehensive nature, it is a more expensive option than outpatient rehab, but it is worth the cost. In some cases, health insurance policies may cover the costs, and most facilities can also work with patients and their loved ones to establish payment plans if needed. Additionally, the nature and extent of the care needed may affect the cost.

Getting care can sometimes be an expensive endeavor, but it is almost always a better alternative than not getting the necessary care. Substance abuse can have damaging effects on the addict’s life and the lives of those around them. Getting the appropriate care allows an opportunity to stop cycles of destruction.

How Long Is Inpatient Rehab?

The length of inpatient rehab, like the cost, can vary. Most inpatient treatment programs last from one to three months. As a general rule, the longer the patient can stay in the treatment program, the better the results will be. Breaking addiction, recovering, forming new and healthy habits, and transitioning back to regular life is rewarding, beautiful, challenging, and sometimes slow. A good inpatient rehab facility will have specialists and medical personnel who can evaluate each patient’s situation independently to determine the best treatment length.

Does Your Insurance Cover Rehab?

In some cases, finding the right rehab center can be difficult. It is important to be patient and willing to take time to investigate to find the right option. Often by using your insurance card, searching online, or visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s directory here, you can find some good options.


  1. Lipari, Rachel N., Eunice Park-Lee, and Struther Van Horn, “America’s Need for and Receipt of Substance Use Treatment in 2015,” https://www.samhsa.gov/.
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/