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What do I need to expect from inpatient treatment?

When it comes to the best way to treat drug and alcohol addiction, therapies are all over the map. That being said, inpatient treatment is gaining almost universal acceptance as one of several critically important steps in treating all kinds of addiction. For some, inpatient treatment may be the first step in the recovery process, while for others the process may need to start with a detox facility.

Again, not every addict or alcoholic will have exactly the same needs, but in general, the steps to recovery include:

  • Detox facility (if needed)
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Transitional treatment in a halfway house or other live-in settings
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Ongoing treatment in a recovery or support group

Why is inpatient treatment important?

Many addicts and alcoholics just starting the recovery process will often balk at the idea of inpatient treatment due to the inconvenience and disruption to their lives. The reality, however, is that it is this very disruption that makes inpatient treatment both effective and necessary. What many people do not understand about addiction is that over time it becomes as much a habit as anything else. Addicts find ways of weaving the substance of their addiction into their daily lives in such a way as to render them almost incapable of functioning without it. This is what makes inpatient treatment so important.

Inpatient treatment completely removes an addict from the environments that they have woven their addiction into. For instance, substance addicts may take a break at the same time each day to get high or have a favorite spot they like to get high in. Alcoholics may have a favorite bar they like to drink at or a specific person or group of people they like to drink with. These habits and patterns that support an addiction are often the hardest habits to break, which is why it is so important that an addict seek treatment as far away as possible from these regular routines.

By now, many people are familiar with the concept or idea of triggers. When we see, hear or smell certain things, it triggers our body to prepare itself for certain activities. When we walk into a gym or locker room, the sound of the clanking of weights or the slam of lockers, as well as the smell of sweat all get us prepared to work out. Some people may have a hard time getting to the gym, but once they walk in, the sights, sounds and smells of the gym provide the impetus to work out. While in this context, these triggers help to promote healthy behaviors, these same types of triggers also help foster and facilitate addiction. Inpatient treatment removes you from these daily routines that foster and support addiction.

What can I expect when I arrive?

When patients first arrive at most inpatient facilities, they will often be asked to surrender their phones and electronic devices. While there are certainly some people in an addict’s life that can help foster and facilitate their recovery, addiction often creates disconnection between an addict and healthy people and connection with others that engage in the same unhealthy behaviors.

For the most part, one of the primary goals of inpatient treatment is to completely cut a patient off from the outside world and the influences that support their addiction. This creates a kind of a vacuum or safe space where patients can begin to evaluate which of their habits, patterns, behaviors, and relationships are healthy and which are not. This then allows them to begin the process of separating themselves from what is unhealthy in their life and begin the work of creating new connections to things that are healthier.

What makes it hard is what makes it important

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of inpatient treatment is this sense of being totally and completely cut off from the outside world and everything that is familiar. The reality, however, is that the very thing that makes inpatient treatment hardest is the very thing that makes inpatient treatment so critical to recovery. An addict’s life is most often full of things that facilitate their addiction. If an addict has any hope of long-term success, the first thing that has to happen is that they have to be cut off from the lifelines that feed their addiction.

If you are ready to get started, call us today at 844-903-2111. Our counselors are ready and available to help 24 hours a day.