Choosing a Residential Drug Recovery Center
Inpatient or residential drug treatment centers are places where you live at the facility while receiving substance abuse treatment. Here are some important points for choosing the right program:
- Think about what type of inpatient treatment you need: a 30-day, 60-day or 90-day program.
- Find out whether the program treats your addiction.
- Consider the cost and how you’ll pay for it (insurance, sliding scale, financing).
- See what the credentials of the staff are.
- Look at the drug rehabilitation facility’s philosophy and decide if it’s what you’re looking for (12-step, evidence-based, faith-based).
- Make sure they’ll help you with relapse prevention and aftercare planning.
What Is an Inpatient Rehab Center?
Inpatient or residential drug and alcohol rehab centers provide people suffering from substance abuse and addiction with medical and therapeutic care around-the-clock. People who are admitted to these facilities receive highly individualized care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists.
Inpatient drug rehabilitation is unique in that you live at the facility while you participate in treatment-related activities, such as group meetings and individual counseling sessions. You also receive your medications daily, as well as any other medical care that you may require during the treatment process.
It is important to consider your individual needs when choosing a drug and alcohol abuse treatment facility. Generally, those with more longstanding histories of substance abuse stand to benefit more from residential treatment. In addition, you must consider the cost of these programs, as inpatient drug or alcohol rehab tends to be more expensive given that treatment also includes room and board.
Finally, consider the location. You may want to travel to escape your current environment or stay close to home. Residential centers are located all over the country, with many people seeking treatment in California, Texas, Florida, and New York.
This video explains what inpatient is as well as factors that can determine your length of stay.
Types of Rehab Programs
28- or 30-Day Programs
28- or 30-day programs give you enough time to get through the detox process, learn about your addiction and participate in counseling. These programs tend to be cheaper than longer programs since they’re shorter, and they are more likely to be covered by insurance.
60-day programs give you more time to work through your addiction and establish a sober lifestyle and support network. You may spend much of the first 30 days in treatment dealing with detox and withdrawal.
90-day programs are recommended for more severe addictions and are associated with higher success rates of recovery.
Hospitalization programs provide you with comprehensive medical care during detoxification. Once you’re stabilized, you transition to a less restrictive treatment setting, such as a residential treatment program or an intensive outpatient program. Hospitalization through an inpatient rehabilitation program is generally only considered for people presenting with:
- Severe withdrawal symptoms, particularly those that are complicated by the use of multiple drugs or if the person has a history of delirium tremens (a withdrawal condition characterized by tremors, anxiety, disorientation and hallucinations).
- Severe overdose and significant respiratory depression or coma.
- Acute or chronic medical condition(s) that are likely to complicate the person’s withdrawal from substances.
- Marked comorbid psychiatric condition placing the person at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.
- Acute substance dependence with a significant history of nonresponse to trials of other less intensive treatment programs.
Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab centers with flexible or extendable program lengths are preferable for some because they allow you to work at your own pace toward recovery. You may finish a 30-day program and realize that you need more time to work on relapse prevention or sober-living skills, for example.
Reasons to Choose an Inpatient Facility
24-Hour Supervised Care
People admitted to inpatient treatment centers receive constant medical care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This is particularly important if you have significant and longstanding histories of addiction and abuse. You will generally require more comprehensive medical care during the detoxification process, which includes medical management of other acute medical or psychiatric conditions.
Inpatient and residential treatment centers provide a distraction-free environment, so you’re able to focus on your path to recovery.
This can be the key to success in treatment for substance abuse, as it allows you to be removed from any triggers to using while you learn to function without substances.
Focus on Recovery
Given that inpatient programs provide 24-hour care, these programs are ideal for helping you with more severe and long-standing addiction.
Having around-the-clock support (including therapy and medical support) can help you focus on your recovery and help you through the initial phase of treatment.
Questions to Ask About a Program
Some questions that are important to consider when exploring programs for substance abuse treatment include:
Does It Treat Your Addiction?
The most important consideration is whether that program has experience or specializes in treating your particular addiction. You may also want to ask about treatment options for managing co-occurring mental health problems, also known as dual diagnosis, should that be necessary.
Where Is It Located?
You may not have an appropriate treatment program in your area; however, if there are programs nearby, consider the pros and cons of being admitted to a local program versus traveling out of state (e.g., family may be able to visit more easily if you’re admitted to a local program).
What Are the Program’s Major Characteristics?
You may wish to consider specific characteristics of the drug treatment center. For instance:
- What are the age and gender of the people treated there?
- How long is the program (most are around a month long, but this may not be long enough)?
- Can you extend the length of the program if it’s not long enough?
- Are people in the program allowed to receive any visitors?
- What are the accommodations like (i.e., private versus shared rooms, access to phone, Internet, TV, gym, pool or other amenities)?
- Are the meals provided cafeteria style or are gourmet options available?
What’s the Cost, and Does Your Insurance Cover It?
The cost of treatment can vary widely from program to program, and individual insurance plans will differ in terms of the coverage available for rehabilitation programs.
No, I Don’t Have Insurance.
- Finance your recovery. There are multiple ways to pay for rehab if you don’t have insurance ranging from grants for rehab treatments to applying for Medicare or Medicaid. You can also finance your recovery using credit cards, loans or savings.
- Contact SAMHSA. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is an excellent source for learning about payment and financial options for paying for recovery and treatment as well as providing information on rehab options with no insurance.
Yes, I Have Insurance.
Call the number below to verify what your insurance will cover and discuss your treatment options.
What Are the Credentials of the Staff?
When searching for an appropriate drug or alcohol abuse treatment program, it is important to identify an accredited program and to make sure that they are run by professionals who are licensed and specially trained in treating addiction.
Does It Offer Detox?
Detoxification is an important first step to successful treatment for substance abuse and addiction. Specialists will treat the immediate physiological effects of stopping substance use and removing toxins from the body.
Most inpatient and residential substance abuse programs offer medically supervised detoxification that safely and systematically withdraws you from the substance or substances.
However, it is important to ask whether a particular program offers specialized detoxification treatment.
What’s the Program’s Philosophy?
Consider the philosophy of the potential recovery program. For instance, does the treatment model offer a religious focus or does it follow a 12-step program? Are there evidence-based treatments offered?
Does It Offer Individualized Treatment Plans?
Most inpatient drug treatment centers provide highly specialized and individualized treatment plans. These plans include medical management provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. You may want to ask about the specialists available on staff of a particular treatment program.
Does It Offer Follow-up Care (Aftercare) and Relapse Prevention Planning?
Follow-up care and relapse prevention are critical components of successful substance abuse treatment programs. Follow-up care may include transitioning to an outpatient substance abuse program, sober living environment, support groups, counseling or other follow-up meetings.
The rate of relapse following treatment for drug abuse can be as high as 50%. Therefore, the most successful programs are those that include relapse prevention as part of their treatment plan.
Recovery Brands conducted a survey in 2016 to find out what factors mattered most to people leaving treatment. Treatment graduates said the facility’s financial policies were the most important factor, followed by program offerings like amenities, recreation, and food quality.
Considering all aspects of the treatment experience is an important part of deciding on a program.
Does It Work?
People who remain in treatment for longer periods of time have more favorable outcomes.
Studies examining the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs have generally produced encouraging results. In particular, people who remain in drug or alcohol treatment for longer periods of time have more favorable outcomes, with the maximum benefits being achieved from programs lasting 3 months or more.1
When considering an inpatient or residential drug and alcohol rehab center, it is important to consider the program’s effectiveness. Most programs will report at least some statistics on the success rate of their treatment. Ideally, these statistics come from an objective outside source.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Find an Inpatient Drug Rehabilitation Center Near Me?
To find an inpatient or other type of rehabilitation center near you:
- Search by zip code. Go to the Recovery.org homepage and enter your zip code in the search box. You will be provided with a list of inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers near you as well as in nearby cities.
- Search by state. The Recovery.org homepage also offers a list of top drug and alcohol rehab centers by state. These pages allow you to search by substance, specialty and financial and insurance resources.
Are There Free Drug Rehab Centers?
Free rehab programs exist. But they can be hard to get into. A couple options are listed below.
- Religious organizations. Many religious organizations offer substance abuse treatment.
- Nonprofits. Some nonprofits also offer treatment for free rehab or at a low cost.
- Stabilization programs. These are low-cost programs that offer detoxification followed by a brief stay.
- 12-step programs. Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are free but do not offer medically supervised detox or other types of services typically included in an inpatient program, such as individual therapy.
- SMART Recovery. This is another free support group but does not offer detox or other services found in residential rehab centers.
How Do I Find an Alcohol Rehab Center?
Many inpatient drug programs treat alcohol abuse. So the process of finding an alcohol rehab center will be very similar to finding an inpatient rehab center.
You’ll want to ask some questions about the program, such as:
- Should you pursue inpatient, outpatient or a 12-step program?
- How much does the program cost?
- Do you have other mental health or medical conditions you need treated?
- Can you afford to take time away from your work or family responsibilities?
- What are the qualifications of the staff?
How Do I Find the Best Treatment Facilities for Addiction?
Finding the best residential drug rehab center really depends your situation and your preferences. Some questions to help figure out what works best for you include:
- How severe is your addiction? If your drug or alcohol use is seriously interfering with your everyday life, an inpatient drug treatment center may be the best choice.
- How much can you afford? Residential rehab centers are usually more expensive than outpatient rehab centers. Check your insurance coverage and look into options such as payment plans or financing your recovery.
- What location works best for you? Some people prefer to attend a program near the beach or in the mountains. Others prefer to stay close to their friends and family for support.
- What is the program’s treatment approach? Programs can vary in how they approach addiction treatment. They may follow an evidence-based approach that draws from the latest scientific research or adopt a more religious approach. Some programs even incorporate multiple approaches.
How Do I Find the Best Drug Detox Centers?
Many inpatient and outpatient drug rehab centers offer drug and alcohol detoxification as part of the treatment process. Some programs focus specifically on detox, then refer you to another program.
You can search for detox centers and see ratings for those centers using the search box or state search on the Recovery.org homepage.
Remember: Detox is not treatment. Once you complete detox, you should seriously consider committing to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
How Do I Find the Best-Rated Drug Rehabs Near Me?
You can view drug rehab ratings on the Recovery.org site.
Use the search box or state search on the Recovery.org homepage, then click on a treatment center to see ratings from people who’ve gone through the program.
Where Can I Find a Detox and Substance Abuse Facility?
Many inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities offer detox as part of their treatment program. Medical staff usually supervise you during the process by providing medication to ease uncomfortable side effects during withdrawal. Once you complete the detoxification process, you transition into the treatment program at that facility.
Some drugs, such as alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines, can have serious and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. People attempting to withdrawal from these substances should seek medically supervised detox.
 Gerstein, D.R., and Harwood, H.J., eds. Institute of Medicine. Treating Drug Problems. 1990.
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