One of the main decisions to make when seeking treatment for substance abuse is whether to stay in an inpatient treatment center or enter an outpatient program while remaining at home instead. Addiction is not only a complex illness; it is one that manifests itself in people in very different ways. For example, there are functioning addicts who have been able to conceal their substance abuse while holding down high-powered jobs. These people often respond better to outpatient treatment that allows them to overcome addiction without interrupting their professional responsibilities.
Other people need a more intensive form of treatment that completely removes them from familiar environments so they can focus on getting better. Research has shown that inpatient treatment centers offer the most effective approach for the majority of people struggling with substance abuse, offering a better chance of long-term recovery. In this article, we take a closer look at why inpatient treatment centers are often the best option for people struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.
How Addiction Develops
Addiction is not an illness that emerges overnight even though problems can sometimes develop with certain substances after using for the first time. It is a chronic illness which means it isn’t cured overnight either as there is always a chance of relapsing back to addictive behavior, even years after finishing rehab. Because of these factors, it makes sense that a treatment program should take as long as it takes for each individual seeking care.
Substances work by interrupting the brain’s natural function to create pleasurable sensations. If someone continues to use alcohol or drugs over time or even if they are regular “binge” users of either, at some point, they will develop tolerance.
Tolerance means that the body has become used to the amount of drugs or alcohol it is receiving and that it requires more to get the effects the user seeks. This is an extremely vulnerable stage in the development of addiction as the user will start to experience withdrawal symptoms which signal the body’s craving for more drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms may initially be relatively mild such as a hangover but they will get progressively worse if the individual continues with substance abuse.
Once a person has started to use in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms or to eliminate them, they are likely to be addicted. Because addiction takes time to develop and follows a characteristic pattern, it is vital that people seek treatment as soon as they recognize they are starting to have problems with drugs or alcohol. There are varying stages of severity of addiction illness and most are best addressed in residential or inpatient drug rehab centers.
The Advantages of Inpatient Treatment Centers
Inpatient drug rehab immerses individuals into their treatment which is invaluable in reinforcing the many changes they need to make to maintain sobriety. When people enter an inpatient treatment program, they will first be evaluated and assessed by clinicians and therapists in order to get a complete picture of their physical and mental health. This allows them to devise a personalized program that addresses their specific needs which is important in ensuring individuals have all the issues underlying addiction addressed effectively.
The next stage of treatment at an inpatient rehab center is detox and inpatients have the benefit of 24/7 medical supervision throughout the process. This enables individuals to complete detox in the most comfortable environment possible, with qualified and experienced people on hand should any medical attention be required. It is not possible to predict how an individual will respond in detox making it important to be supervised at an inpatient drug rehab facility.
Other advantages of inpatient treatment include:
- Inpatients have a heavily-scheduled program with a lot going on through the day which means they are unable to dwell on obtaining and using substances.
- Residential rehab generally limits or prohibits personal visits and phone calls so that inpatients are protected from enabling influences.
- Some people are unfortunate in that they don’t come from supportive environments to help in their recovery and inpatient treatment can give them a safe haven to focus on getting better.
- Inpatients are introduced to a community of people who are all at various stages of recovery and can provide motivation and support in group therapy.
- Inpatient rehab centers provide a nutritious diet which is important in achieving recovery from addiction illness.
- Inpatient rehab centers offer a wider range of treatments and therapies than outpatient services, which allows clients many more options.