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Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Struggling with substance abuse can be one of the most challenging obstacles to overcome in an individual’s lifetime. Sometimes, the environment you are exposed to or live in can be the biggest contributing factor to continuing a substance abuse habit. If you realize you need help but do not know where or how to start, inpatient rehabilitation treatment may be your best option.

What is Inpatient Rehab?

Also known as residential treatment, inpatient rehab is treatment in which you typically spend a month or more at a facility designated to helping those with addiction issues. Inpatient drug rehab facilities contain all the resources necessary for you to effectively combat your substance use problem.

“Inpatient rehab is a necessary part of recovery as this is where patients may finish their detox and begin the education and therapy necessary for recovery,” Dr. Kevin Wandler, chief medical officer of Advanced Recovery Systems, told “Often times the building blocks of recovery are first introduced at this level of care as well as smart recovery practices.”

With the help of medical professionals and substance abuse and mental health counselors, you are able to create a personalized treatment plan designed to give you the greatest chance of successful recovery. Inpatient rehab treatment often includes an intensive combination of drug detox, therapy and medical-monitoring of your condition.

Most importantly, inpatient rehab removes you from an environment that promotes substance abuse. This escape from your world of addiction allows you to control your environment and exposure to substances. It also gives you a community of individuals struggling with similar substance issues and a place for you and your peers to receive support and help each other reach sobriety. Inpatient rehab treatment gives you a chance to change your daily routine, break habits, and learn how to go through life without substances.

Joining a Residential Inpatient Rehab Facility

Making the decision to enter inpatient rehab is a monumental moment for an individual trying to break a substance addiction. Knowing how to prepare for inpatient drug rehab can give you a greater chance of successfully ending your substance addiction.

Some tips on how to prepare for inpatient rehab include:

Support for Patients and Families

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For Patients

It is always incredibly helpful to have your family and loved ones involved in your treatment and there to provide support; however, your contact with loved ones and friends may be limited during treatment. Rules limiting contact with people not in your treatment facility are created in your best interest to help you focus on your recovery.

Family and friend visitation hours and frequency will be determined by you and your therapist during treatment and is based on what is best for your recovery. Tell your therapist how you feel about family visits and your preference for time and frequency.

Family icon

For Family

Your loved one is working hard to end their addiction. This can be an incredibly draining process that leaves them feeling low. Family visits can be a high point of their day or week. Make sure you take advantage of the set visitation schedule created for your loved one. Talk them through the days when they are struggling and let them know you care for them. Learn about what they are going through in treatment, what is hard, what improvements they have made. Family visits can be the reminder to your loved one that there is life with people who care about them outside of treatment, and this can often give them the strength to continue.

What Is The Cost of Inpatient Rehab Treatment?

Long-term substance abuse often comes with serious emotional, health, career and financial costs. Additionally, individuals with substance abuse problems frequently run into legal trouble or end up in the criminal justice system. Being charged with simple drug possession can be a crippling process for these individuals, and the resulting financial burden can be debilitating to them and their families.

People in a room discussing their addiction in a support group.

A common drug possession charge requiring legal representation is potentially very costly. Retainer fees for a lawyer usually cost between $2,000 and $5,000 for a drug case but can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the severity of the charge. On top of that, lawyers typically bill by the hour, and the average hourly rate is usually around $250. Top lawyers may bill up to $1,000 or more per hour. Additional costs may include court fees or the need to bring in expert witnesses, which can also cost thousands of dollars. Repeat offenders should expect to have a higher total cost due to higher court fees and more complex legal representation. Seventy-seven percent of former drug-offense prisoners are arrested for a new offense, usually relating to substance abuse, within a three year period of their release.

Satisfying a drug addiction can also be a very expensive habit. Take marijuana for instance; say a person addicted to marijuana smokes about one gram a day — the average amount found in one joint. If a gram of marijuana costs the lowest average street price, $10, a marijuana addict will spend a minimum of $3,650 a year. Now look at individuals addicted to heroin, who on average spend $150–$200 a day on their habit. At this rate, individuals addicted to heroin spend at least $55,115 a year to satisfy their addiction. Addiction to almost any substance costs users thousands of dollars every year.

On top of the financial liability faced by individuals with a substance addiction, the loss of opportunity can also be severe. Drug offenders who are incarcerated cannot earn a living to support their families or themselves while behind bars and may face difficulties finding employment after serving their sentence. Additionally, legal ramifications may limit their freedoms even after they have served their time behind bars. Drug offenders in Florida, for instance, lose their right to operate a motor vehicle for one year following a drug conviction.

Possibly the highest cost that substance-dependent individuals face is the emotional toll addiction takes on them and their families. Substance addiction can cause individuals to act irrationally and selfishly, often hurting the people they love most. Lying, stealing and being unfaithful to a spouse are common behaviors among those with drug addictions. The consequences of their actions can rip families apart. Additionally, substance addiction may cause individuals long stints of absence from their loved ones, which can take an extreme emotional toll on their children, parents and loved ones. Their drug addiction can also leave loved ones with feelings of guilt and distress, as they often blame themselves for the individual’s pattern of self-harm.

Inpatient Rehab Fact from Dr. Kevin Wandler

While the cost of inpatient care may seem heavy, beating addiction is the most cost-effective way to deal with substance use disorders. Fortunately, most insurance is accepted at inpatient treatment centers. Depending on the type of coverage you have, getting the right treatment could be as easy as making a quick phone call. Many inpatient treatment facilities accept Medicare and Medicaid, making it simple for individuals to find and pay for high quality treatment.

Length of Inpatient Rehab

The type of residential treatment program you enter will determine the length of your stay in the recovery facility. Short-term inpatient rehab usually lasts three to six weeks. Long-term programs can last anywhere from six months to several years after initial treatment. Each person’s path to recovery is different, and there is no definitive answer to how long it should take. Commitment to sobriety and breaking the cycle of substance use is usually the determining factor in how long inpatient treatment should last.

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Types of Inpatient Rehabilitation

Short-term inpatient rehab is the most common and often most effective way for an individual with a substance addiction to work toward a full recovery. Short-term treatment programs usually follow the same pattern for achieving sobriety. These include:


A doctor assesses the extent of your dependence on a substance and develops a treatment plan to help rid you of any substance toxins in your body. During this time, medical supervisors help you through withdrawals with medication and specialized care.

Therapy and Counseling

After detox, daily therapy and counseling are used to help you recognize the cause of your substance use and triggers and how to change your substance abuse pattern. Additionally, family meetings help you deal with underlying personal issues. Group meetings are also incorporated to help you receive support from others experiencing the same thing.

A group of people in a support group.

Long-term inpatient treatment is often the next step toward sobriety after completing a short-term program. These treatment facilities, which include “sober houses” and substance-free lifestyles, foster an environment of self-improvement and sobriety. At these facilities, recovering users can continue treatment while assimilating to “real-world life” without substance use.

What Is a Typical Day in Inpatient Rehab?

While daily treatment may vary from facility to facility, a structured is important to give you stability while in inpatient rehab. A day at an inpatient rehab facility may look like the following:

Inpatient Daily Schedule
7:00 a.m. Wakeup
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:15 a.m. Morning Medication and Chores
9:20 a.m. Group Goals and Daily Goals Meeting
10:00 a.m. Primary Caseload Group
12:00 p.m. Lunch with Therapist
1:15 p.m. Nutrition and Wellness Group
2:45 p.m. Back to Basics
4:00 p.m. Gym & Recreation Time
5:00 p.m. Dinner
6:00 p.m. Reflection Time
7:00 p.m. AA or NA Meeting
10:00 p.m. End of Day

Recovery is Not Guaranteed

Every case of addiction is different. No individual’s treatment is the same as another’s. Recovery after treatment is not guaranteed; much of the responsibility to remain substance-free and continue treatment after inpatient rehab has ended falls on your shoulders. However, users who seek treatment and remain in treatment have an exponentially greater chance of long-term sobriety, and users who receive treatment for more than 30 days almost double their chance of success.

Relapse Is a Risk

Relapse is the biggest threat to long-term sobriety after inpatient treatment. Shortly after leaving inpatient rehab facilities — sometimes immediately — many recovering individuals feel intense urges to use substances again. Relapse is common among recovering individuals and does not mean inpatient treatment has failed. If you or your loved one does relapse, continue treatment and contact your therapists from your inpatient rehab treatment facility to discuss the next step in your recovery.

Should I Enroll in Inpatient Rehab?

The moment you realize you need help is the right time to start the process of entering an inpatient rehab facility. Waiting is only prolonging your substance use problem. Research and find the right facility for you personally to receive treatment.

Once you have found the right facility, steps to enter treatment include:

Recognizing the Symptoms

Recognizing you have a problem with substance abuse can be difficult and scary. You may have an addiction that requires inpatient treatment without even realizing it. As stated before, each user’s addiction experience is different, but various symptoms can be signs that you may need to enter an inpatient rehab facility.

These symptoms can include:

If you recognize any of these symptoms in your own behavior, be proactive. Reach out to friends, family or substance abuse professionals about the steps to receive help. Addiction is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about, and recognizing you have a problem shows courage and maturity. However, getting the help you need is critical, and inpatient rehab provides addicts with the greatest chance of successful sobriety.

Article Contributors:
Trey Dyer
Trey Dyer
Content Writer,
Kim Borwick, M.A.
Kim Borwick, M.A.

Medically Reviewed By:
Ashraf Ali Medically Reviewed By
Ashraf Ali M.D.
Psychiatrist, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

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