Inpatient, or residential, drug treatment requires that the person receiving treatment for addictions or substance abuse, resides in a facility for a designated length of time. Inpatient treatment may be either short or long term depending on the needs and situation of the individual. Both frameworks involve similar therapies. Inpatient treatment does not include detoxification (that usually occurs in a hospital environment) but follows it.
Although inpatient therapy can take place in a hospital environment, for the most part a residential setting is typical, offering 24-hour care and supervision. The most common method of treatment is a therapeutic community, involving the staff and other patients, focusing on helping the individual indentify the sources and conditions that lead to substance abuse where medical care is also available.
The main benefit of inpatient therapy is ready access to the therapeutic community. Patients are immersed in a recovery environment in which all are dedicated to breaking the addiction. The most successful programs are those that do not have a set time for release, and those that create treatment programs that are customized to the needs of the client.
There are several types of therapy used in inpatient treatment. Among these are: motivational, enhancement therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, 12-Step Counseling, as well as other therapy types.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy is therapy designed to enhance and understand the motivation that exists in a patient’s interaction with an object of addiction.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy is anchored in the premise that individuals can and will monitor and control their behavior, if they have the proper skill-sets. This type of therapy involves changing how the patient thinks about conditions and circumstances by teaching and reinforcing rational processes to control the processes that contribute to substance abuse. This therapeutic approach also works to eliminate the patient’s belief that he or she cannot function without the object of addiction.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a specialized form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy focusing on the patients developing skills for tolerating stress and emotional discomfort, helping them to understand and accept difficult situations while at the same time developing ways to change the behaviors that contribute to those situations.
- Psychodynamic Therapy is essentially a Freudian approach that seeks to have patients delve into their subconscious and understand how this influences behavior. Therapy involves exploring unresolved conflicts and unsuccessful relationships with the underlying belief that resolving the attendant issues eliminates the need for the substance or behavior on which the patient has become dependent.
- 12-Step Counseling is directly related to the approach developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Twelve-step counseling involves working with a therapist, while at the same time attending AA (or appropriately themed groups) meeting. This differs from the traditional AA approach that does not rely on mental health professionals in its process. Like AA, however, 12-Step Counseling does follow three critical beliefs and principles: (1) people who are addicted have lost the ability to control the substance or behavior identified, (2) no effective cure for addiction exists – abstinence most be total and ongoing, and (3) hope for recovery rests in accepting the loss of control and placing faith in a higher power.
Most major metropolitan areas have inpatient drug rehab facilities within a short distance, though few are within the urban confines. Smaller towns are often places for retreat and often offer inpatient treatment as well. Many courts, hospitals, and municipalities have access to databases that will provide information. In addition, there are many on-line referral services that will take an individual’s personal data and use it to deliver a list of inpatient sites that best meet his or her requirements.