When seeking help for a substance use disorder (SUD), you will discover that there are different levels of care available. These levels of care fall into two basic categories, outpatient treatment and inpatient, or residential, treatment. As the terms imply, outpatient treatment programs provide services at an outpatient center, allowing the person to continue residing at home, where inpatient treatment provides housing for the individual at the treatment center.
The intensity of the type of treatment program needed will mostly depend on the severity of the SUD. For an emerging or mild SUD the outpatient setting is an excellent option. For those with a moderate to severe SUD, the inpatient setting is preferable. Read on to learn about the benefits of inpatient treatment programs.
What Is Inpatient Treatment?
An inpatient treatment program provides the highest level of care available for an SUD. These programs feature 24-hour monitoring and support, offering a daily schedule of multiple therapeutic activities. These activities include:
- Withdrawal management prior to starting treatment
- Individual psychotherapy sessions
- Group sessions
- Family-focused sessions.
- Medication Supported Recovery (MSR) when applicable
- Twelve-Step programming
- Case management
- Skill building sessions
- Addiction education and relapse prevention planning
- Holistic and experiential activities
- Nutritional counseling and fitness activities
The inpatient program’s clinical team includes addiction treatment specialists, psychotherapists, psychiatric services, and a physician.
When someone is enrolled in an inpatient recovery program they will initially participate in an intake interview and assessment. This process allows the intake clinician to gather the substance use, health, and mental health history. From this data the clinician designs a treatment plan that is customized according to the individual’s diagnosis and clinical features and recovery goals.
Five Inpatient Program Benefits
Inpatient programs have several advantages over outpatient treatment for those who have a more entrenched SUD. These benefits include:
- Structure. For someone beginning the recovery journey it is helpful to be in an environment that is structured and predictable. The inpatient program follows a strict daily schedule. This helps keep the individual engaged in their recovery process all day long, and the regular daily schedule helps them establish new healthy routines.
- Support 24/7. An important benefit to choosing an inpatient program is the close monitoring and constant support provided. This level of oversight reduces the opportunities for someone to access substances while in treatment. The controlled treatment environment, including prohibiting cell phone use, helps deter possible substance use.
- Fully Customizable. The inpatient program creates a tailored treatment plan for each individual client. This allows for targeted and intensive treatment that is based on the specific type of substance or substances involved, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions that are present. A co-occurring condition refers to someone having both a substance use disorder and a coexisting mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety.
- Integrated Treatment Elements. An inpatient treatment program offers a weekly list of treatment elements that are scheduled each day of the week. These therapies and activities are designed to work in an integrated fashion to tackle the core mission. This mission revolves around guiding the individual toward making fundamental changes in their thought and behavior patterns, which will help them sustain sobriety. The program integrates experiential activities, therapy sessions, process groups, family group sessions, recreational activities, classes, and holistic activities.
- Peer Support. When someone is enrolled in an inpatient treatment program they will be residing at the center for an extended stay. During this time they are able to establish rapport with peers who are participating with them in group therapy sessions, classes, and having meals together. This consistency allows for a bond to develop, allowing them to become part of each other’s support network once the treatment program is completed.
The Importance of Aftercare
Another benefit of an inpatient treatment program is the aftercare, or continuing care, component. Aftercare activities are very beneficial to reinforcing recovery. These might include:
- Transitional housing, also referred to as sober living
- Outpatient therapy
- Participation in a Twelve-Step community or a program like SMART Recovery
- Pursuing new friendships through alumni events or other sober activities
Recovery is an ongoing action that begins with withdrawal management, segueing to comprehensive treatment, and then on to aftercare efforts. Fortunately, every step of the way there is support available to help you realize your recovery goals and live your best life.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, holistic addiction treatment, drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to heal each individual with respect and dignity, and reflects on our ongoing commitment to meet new challenges. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.