If you’ve taken the first step to recovery—admitting you have a problem—the next step is to figure out the right treatment for your situation. You likely have many questions. Do you need rehab? What are AA meetings like? What kind of addiction treatment centers are there? How do I choose a treatment center?
Before you decide what your next steps are, it’s important to understand the different types of addiction treatment centers and rehab options that are out there.
What Types of Rehab Options Are Out There?
There are many different ways to seek help for an addiction, but these therapeutic programs are generally placed into one of two categories: Inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Both have helped many different types of patients in the past, with both offering their own advantages and considerations.
Inpatient Rehab Treatment Centers
Inpatient rehab, also called residential rehab, is a much more intense, all-encompassing process. As its name implies, it involves moving into a treatment facility for a period of time, where you will have access to 24-hour medical and emotional support.
While living in an inpatient rehab facility, you’ll also be beholden to the rules and the set schedule of the center which are designed to help kickstart the reprogramming process that’s so essential to recovery.
Typically recommended for those struggling with more severe addictions, inpatient rehab treatment is a much more disruptive option, though it is considered by many to be more successful than outpatient rehab for this reason. It literally removes a patient from a toxic environment and gives them the time and the tools to develop a new, healthy rhythm in a supportive space.
As these centers are more resource-intensive, inpatient treatment is also much more expensive.
If you have questions about inpatient rehab or are ready to find a center, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? and speak to a treatment specialist.
What to Expect from Inpatient Rehab
If you’re planning on attending an inpatient rehab program, you’ll have to start planning before you arrive. Things to keep in mind include informing your work of your leave of absence, arranging places to stay for any children or family members who may otherwise rely on your daily care, and arranging transportation both to and home from the program.
Intake: When you enter into an inpatient rehab facility, the first step typically involves some type of intake evaluation. You’ll likely be asked questions from doctors or specialists, who will use your answers to begin developing your specific treatment plan. You may also be asked to undergo a light physical evaluation.
First Week: You’ll likely spend your first few days, or even the first week, in rehab undergoing detoxification. Alcohol and several types of heavy drugs can literally change the way the human body operates and going without these substances after prolonged heavy use can make you feel irritable, anxious, or sick.
Depending on the substance and the level of addiction, the effects of withdrawal can be severe. (In some cases, the process can actually be fatal without medical attention.) If you’re experiencing withdrawal at an inpatient facility, you’ll be watched over by staff, and your symptoms will be medically addressed throughout the process.
Healthy Eating + Mindset: Once you’re ready to enter the program, the experience becomes fully immersive. For most inpatient rehab centers, that means an early start, complete with a healthy breakfast. Many programs offer classes like yoga or meditation in the mornings, to help patients start the day off in a calm state of mind.
Group Meetings: Again, every inpatient facility is different, but many rehab centers will schedule group meetings in the morning, centered around broader discussions on addiction and recovery, the treatment process, the 12-step program, and other related topics. There may also be one last group meeting at night before bed, which is encouraged to come at an early hour, to help maintain this new positive routine.
Therapy: As an inpatient patient, all your meals will be accounted for, so you’ll get lunch, too, after which many programs reserve the afternoon for therapy. The nature of the sessions will vary and be based on your individual needs, but most inpatient rehab facilities offer both group counseling sessions and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which puts you one-on-one with a counselor.
Specialized Therapy: Other centers include broader offerings, such as specialized therapy sessions for anger, grief, or stress management; family therapy, where the roles the family dynamic plays in addiction and recovery are explored; or therapeutic outlets for creative expression, such as music, art, and dance programs.
Free Time: Most inpatient treatment centers also build free time into their daily schedules, though how much they offer and how a patient will be able to spend it varies greatly by individual program.
Contacting Friends and Family: Contacting friends or family during treatment is also generally allowed at most inpatient rehab centers, though, again, the ways in which this contact can be made, how long it can last, and how frequently it can be done are very much subject to individual centers.
Post-Rehab: Once your rehab stay and treatment is over, you’ll have a number of follow-up options. The center should help counsel you on the next steps, which may include enrollment in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Many centers also offer job assistance programs or other sober living programs to help keep you on track after you leave the facility.
Outpatient rehab treatment can almost be considered along the same lines as attending other types of therapy. A patient is still living at home, continuing on with their work, school, or other daily routines, but they have committed to seeing their rehab specialist a certain number of times per week, for a certain period of time.
These sessions can take many forms, including individual or group therapy, and are usually recommended for those with less severe drug misuse issues.
Some consider outpatient rehab programs to be less successful, since they don’t completely halt a patient’s addictive cycle, but the programs offer a more affordable—and, for many, more manageable—approach toward building a sober life.
What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient rehab is much less disruptive than inpatient rehab, akin to attending other types of therapy. The weekly time commitment to these meetings varies due to a number of factors, but most programs average out to somewhere between 10-12 hours per week.
While attending outpatient rehab, you’ll continue living at home, and be expected to maintain your regular daily schedule, including going to work or school and keeping up with any other regular responsibilities.
Indeed, maintaining a productive routine is considered an important step toward recovery, and so many outpatient rehab centers will work around a patient’s schedule, offering meetings either early in the morning or late at night to help the person continue to meet their obligations.
Meetings and Therapy: Meetings can also take on a range of forms, though most will focus on issues like drug misuse education and learning how to cope without your vice. Individualized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, or both types of sessions are also common.
Detox: Working through an outpatient rehab center, you can also plan to detox with medical assistance. The program should help put you in touch with a hospital or other treatment facility, where you can make several visits during the withdrawal period and doctors will check up on both your mental and physical health, administering medical assistance if needed.
These types of programs also typically recommend seeking out further, and subsequent, outside support, including Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
How Long Does Rehab Last?
Again, the length of stay at an inpatient rehab center or time commitment to an outpatient rehab program depends on many factors.
You may be compelled to try longer or shorter programs depending on the level of your addiction, your history with addiction, your current living situation, the level of demand a program would put on your daily routine or budget, or even the recommendation of a court.
Inpatient rehab programs can last anywhere between 28 days to 6 months, though some programs can be much longer or shorter. Generally, it’s common for treatment centers to encourage at least a 90-day program for optimal results.
Outpatient programs, on average, require 10 to 12 hours of commitment each week, for around the same period of time, anywhere from one to six months or sometimes up to or over a year.
Choosing the Right Rehab Center
How much time you can or need to commit to a rehab program is just one factor you’ll have to think about before enrolling in a treatment facility.
Finding the right rehab center, whether for inpatient or outpatient treatment, should be a careful process. This is the foundation you’re hoping to build your new path off and participating in a program you connect with makes the odds of successfully completing it that much more likely.
What Are Your Goals?
It might be helpful to start by determining your rehab goals and needs. What do you hope to get out of the program? Are you more focused on the initial push to safely detox and remain sober for the first 30 days, or do you need a more substantial break to start healing?
What Type of Treatment Do You Need?
You can also start narrowing down your choices by identifying the specific types of addictions or behaviors you want help with. Are you trying to quit drinking or drugs? Are you dealing with multiple diagnoses? Rehab centers, both inpatient and outpatient, will often specialize in certain services, which may serve your particular needs more directly.
Further factors to refine your search include the types of therapies and treatments a center has on offer, or even specializes in. (Researching different types of addiction treatments in and of itself might be a helpful tool to start with.)
For inpatient rehab options, the types of amenities on offer at the center becomes another important thing to consider, with the standard of facilities ranging widely, from basic but adequate to five-star.
Location becomes another important factor for residential rehab programs with many experts advising that the further away, the better. A treatment center further away from your home allows for a more complete break from everything that you could associate with old habits, such as people or places.
Regardless of whether you choose an inpatient or outpatient facility, however, the cost will be another major determinant and, for most people, whether insurance will help pay for the treatment.
Once you have a solid list of needs and expectations, you can begin doing the legwork of finding the best fit. Make sure to research any potential leads by following up on website information with emails or phone calls. You can also utilize the experience of a treatment professional, who should be able to help guide you in the right direction.
There are more than 14,000 treatment programs available in the United States alone, so this task might seem daunting, but it also means the right program is sure to be out there.
If you want help finding a treatment center near you or would like to speak to a treatment specialist for more information on rehab options, call 800-839-1686Who Answers?.