What to Expect from Inpatient Drug Treatment

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Drug overdoses kill an average of 44,000 people every year. They are the number one cause of injury-related death in America. Substance abusers are in desperate need for a solution.

Are you seeking inpatient drug treatment for yourself or a loved one?

Maybe you’re avoiding treatment or bringing up the subject because you don’t know what to expect?

The unknown can be scary, but the first step to recovery is accepting an addiction and choosing to attend a rehab program.

Those who arm themselves with knowledge before choosing a drug treatment facility stand a better chance of completing the program.

Keep reading to get an idea of what to expect when entering inpatient drug treatment center.

Benefits of Inpatient Drug Treatment

Inpatient drug treatment is sometimes referred to as residential treatment. It is more intensive than outpatient treatment and most centers offer clients individualized rehabilitation plans.

When in the same environment, or continuing to associate with others who do drugs, it’s easy to go back to old habits.

Inpatient drug treatment facilities eliminate distractions so their clients can focus on recovery. This allows you to completely immerse in therapy.

Residential treatment also provides 24-hour access to medical professionals, which provides a safe environment for recovery.

Upon Arrival

When arriving at the facility, you are given time to get comfortable and acclimated.

At this time, you will fill out any required paperwork and may have to submit financial information.

You will also be searched for any prohibited items. It is important not to panic during this time, as the counselors are just trying to ensure the safety of you and the other clients. While this list is not comprehensive, many rehabs ban items such as:

  • Illicit substances
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Weapons
  • Food or drink
  • Mouthwash
  • Pornography
  • Gambling devices
  • And electronics

Your intake counselor will ask questions to determine the best path to your recovery. You will also be given guidelines and learn what is expected of you.

It is normal to experience many emotions at this time. It can be overwhelming to make the decision to enter rehab. New feelings may surface, and it’s normal.

In order for drug treatment to work, individuals with substance abuse disorders must be comfortable in their environment. This means that you aren’t required to stay if you don’t wish to.


Detox is the first step to any drug treatment program. First, you will be drug tested to see if you have recently taken any drugs or used alcohol.

You may want to detox at home. While some centers allow this, it isn’t always the best idea. Detoxing in a professional facility is always safer, more comfortable, and produces better results.

There are a few different detox methods, as there is no cure-all for everyone. It depends on the type of drugs you have been abusing and for how long.

Some programs call for a “cold-turkey” detox. This means you have to stop all use of substances with supervision online. There is no medication to help you through. The withdrawal symptoms can be quite intense and can last for a couple of weeks or maybe even longer.

Patients completing a short- or long-term medicated detox are given drug combinations to treat symptoms as they arise. This is controversial, as some people see it as replacing one drug with another.

Counseling Sessions and Therapy

Education is an important part of getting clean. You will be required to look at your substance abuse problem realistically. Hopefully, this process helps you change your attitude towards your drug and alcohol use.

During rehabilitation, most patients receive counseling with an addiction counselor. You may also participate in daily group counseling sessions with others at the center.

Group sessions will teach you how to seek help from others and assure you that you are not alone. Some of these sessions will be led by peers, while others will be facilitated by staff members or instructors.

Most facilities require clients to follow a strict routine, including early mornings with breakfast followed by different therapy programs. Some programs include adventure therapy, equine therapy, and yoga and exercise.

You may also attend meetings with your family. These meetings will benefit both of you, they will learn the dynamics of addiction and how to best support you through the process. It can teach them how not to enable you once your rehab stay is over.

You should actively participate in these sessions to get the most out of rehab.

Depending on the program, you may or may not have a roommate. A roommate can be a good thing because it is helpful to receive support from someone who has been in your shoes.

Length of Stay

In rehab, everyone has a different experience. Your length of stay may vary from others in the same program.

Most individuals need at least three months in rehab to address their drug use. The best outcomes correlate with the longest duration of treatment.

Sometimes, there are factors that prevent you from staying in rehab for 3 months at a time. Some facilities offer combination programs, such as ninety days of treatment that is a combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment.


Many substance abusers seeking treatment avoid inpatient rehab because of perceived high prices. The truth is, avoiding treatment costs more. Without rehab, many individuals risk losing relationships with their loved ones, their careers, and more.

In fact, between 2011 and 2014, 40% of Americans who wanted to enter a drug treatment facility didn’t because they believed they couldn’t afford it.

What you may not know is most insurance plans will cover a significant amount of costs associated with residential drug treatment centers. There are new laws that require them to cover drug addiction treatment.

The Journey to Recovery

Aftercare and sustained recovery are important aspects of any residential rehabilitation program. Many programs offer alumni programs that help graduates stay involved in a structured environment. These programs help you dodge situations and triggers that cause a relapse.

By reading this, you are already working towards a happy, healthy, and drug-free life for you or your loved one.

If you are looking for a comfortable inpatient drug treatment experience, we invite you to contact us today. We have developed an extensive array of services to help our patients achieve long-lasting recovery.