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If you are considering going to rehab to help you recover from an addiction, you may be feeling at best daunted or at worst completely terrified. This is completely normal and a very common experience, as this is perhaps the first time in a while that you will be without drugs and alcohol.
It can be helpful to know and remember that everyone with who you are in treatment is in the same boat and will have shared experiences. Inpatient rehabs are kind, caring and judgement-free environments that allow you the time and space to recover from addiction, restoring mental and physical wellbeing.
What is inpatient rehab?
Addiction is a chronic illness and recovery can be a lifelong process. Of all the ways in which addiction is treated, inpatient rehab is probably the approach that offers the greatest chance of preventing relapse.
Inpatient rehabs are secure, peaceful, safe, and substance-free environments where you might stay for between one and three months.
The duration of treatment can vary depending on several factors including the severity and duration of your addiction, the type of treatment best suited to you and any specialist care you may require.
Your experience of addiction is unique and no two inpatient rehabs are the same. As such your addiction treatment will be personalised to you in order to meet your personal needs.
However, some commonalities may be found across inpatient rehab programmes such as 24/7 medical support, therapy, psychoeducation, and a peer group of fellow clients in recovery who can offer advice, support and companionship.
What are the four main benefits of inpatient rehab?
Finding recovery from addiction isn’t easy, but inpatient rehab centres provide a safe environment for you to focus on recovery away from work, life, relationships and other potential stresses. No matter which inpatient rehab you choose, rehab can change your life. Here we outline some of the key benefits.
If you have been struggling with addiction, you may have been isolating or trying to keep your dependence a secret, not wanting family, friends, and employers to know you are struggling.
Inpatient treatment is a confidential environment where you are safe to speak freely about your struggles with addiction, life events that may have adversely affected you, and your thoughts and feelings.
2. Substance free
Inpatient treatment centres are free from mood-altering substances. This helps prevent relapse whilst you unpack your emotional life and protects you from triggers that you may experience outside of a residential setting.
It can be disorientating to be without alcohol or drugs for the first time in a while, or away from family and friends. A successful treatment programme for addictive disease benefits from a daily routine that helps you form new healthy habits.
This provides you with the structure that you may have struggled to implement in your diary life due to the misuse of drugs or alcohol, as this can often dictate what you do on any given day.
4. Therapeutic support
The aim of inpatient rehab is not just to help you stop the use of substances that are harming your health. For long term health and sobriety, it is important to look at the underlying causes of you developing an addiction.
Getting clean and sober is the beginning and allows you to be available for this therapeutic work. Depending on the programme, this may include group sessions, one-to-one counselling, family work, and trauma resolution.
Inpatient rehab vs outpatient
Inpatient treatment programs generally fall into 1 of 2 categories — inpatient or outpatient. While equally focused on your recovery from addiction, each type of programme has its benefits.
The first step in your treatment from addiction, depending on the substances you have been using, may be a physical detox which, for safety, often happens in an inpatient setting. A medical detox in an inpatient setting means you will receive supervision and medication to help you through the withdrawal process.
This is often the best option if you also struggle with dependence on another substance which, if stopped abruptly, could lead to complications or fatalities.
Post-detox (if detox is necessary), you will continue your stay in a treatment centre for the duration of your care which can last anywhere from 30-90 days depending on finances, the treatment programme and recommendations from your care team.
During inpatient treatment, you might participate in a wide range of therapies such as individual counselling, group work, 12-step meetings and holistic treatments like acupuncture or yoga.
If you can’t commit to a stay in an inpatient treatment centre due to personal or professional commitments, outpatient treatment programs may be better suited to you.
Outpatient detox is only usually recommended if your care team expect you to experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms from your drug of choice and will allow you to remain at home during the detox phase.
If you struggle with the physical withdrawal, it may be recommended that you move to an inpatient detox where you can receive 24/7 care.
Following a detox, if needed, outpatient programs work well if you have a strong support network, feel confident you can stop using your drug of choice (or stay sober), and don’t require round the clock care that inpatient rehabs provide.
Outpatient treatments are characterised by the same services offered in inpatient rehabs such as individual counselling and support groups; however, you may only attend once a week or several times per week depending on your needs and the programme.
Because outpatient rehab programmes are less intensive than inpatient programmes with fewer treatment hours each week, they tend to last much longer than inpatient treatment, frequently up to several months.
Contrary to common beliefs, partaking in an inpatient rehab programme does not mean someone is “cured” from addiction. Addiction is a chronic illness that means it is similar to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, for which there are only treatments rather than cures.
As such, recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey so success isn’t measured by the end of substance use but an ongoing improvement in many areas of life people’s lives over time.
You might be looking into rehab options for yourself or a loved one, finding yourself feeling sceptical as to if rehab works. Perhaps you are wanting statistics on the success rates of the numerous treatment programmes on offer, the cold hard facts.
There are no universally accepted criteria for treatment effectiveness, so many inpatient rehabs define success in different ways. However, a Public Health England study found that rehab success rates range from 50% to 400% for treatment that had a residential component.
The same study also notes that the best hospitals see more than 60% of their residence overcome dependence and addiction. According to an independent survey, nearly three-quarters of those who attended treatment at Castle Craig were still abstinent from all drugs after a year.
Rehab does work among those who are committed to the process and finding recovery from addiction.
However, no rehab programme, regardless of its reputation or quality, will be effective in helping you or a loved one find long-term recovery if you or they aren’t 100% committed to achieving and maintaining sobriety.
As such, it cannot be stressed enough how necessary the commitment of the individual addict is in the effectiveness of any rehab programme.
It is important to acknowledge here that relapse does not mean failure and is a very common part of recovery from all chronic diseases. Relapse just suggests that the current treatment plan needs adjusting or further therapeutic work might be needed.
Why Inpatient rehab works
Research-informed inpatient rehab programmes are designed to help those struggling with addiction, giving them the tools to overcome their illness.
If you are struggling with addiction, you may be all too aware of how hard it is to overcome alone, particularly if you feel marginalised, are suffering from the consequences of your addiction and are estranged from family and friends.
Perhaps you have tried reducing use, going cold turkey, different religions, moving countries, fasting, health retreats and the like without results. Addiction is a cunning, baffling and powerful illness that has beaten the most strong-willed, intelligent, and resourced of us.
The non-judgement, caring environment that inpatient rehab provides, offers you the support needed to overcome your illness and find long term freedom.
This includes services that you or your family aren’t equipped to provide you with such as personalised treatment plans, therapeutic support to help you understand any underlying reasons why you are struggling, and a safe place away from life’s triggers where you can rest, recharge and recover.
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