Addiction hurts. It destroys relationships. It ruins lives. It kills.

A User’s Guide to Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers

Nobody starts looking at inpatient drug treatment programs during a winning streak. The truth is if you are looking at these pages, then either you or someone you love is facing a difficult time. Addiction is so insidious, so crafty and powerful, that residential treatment is the best gift you can give yourself.

Finding the right treatment center requires a checklist of considerations that include factoring in the type of drugs used, treatment modalities, environment, costs and insurance coverage. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you make an informed decision about inpatient drug rehab.

What You Need to Know about Inpatient Rehab Centers

All inpatient rehab centers share a common purpose: to interrupt the cycle of addiction and promote freedom from drug addiction. However, not all rehab centers are alike. Some only cater to detox, while others don’t offer detox but provide treatment aimed at continuous recovery. Still, others offer both.

If detox is your primary concern, The National Center for Alcohol and Drug Detox is a great resource. The most important initial distinction to make is between medical detox and social model detox. If your current degree of dependency is great enough – usually based on the amount you consume, regularity and duration – withdrawal may pose medical risks. In this case, you will need to opt for an appropriate medical detox.

Many addicts who know that they are past the point of managing their addictions or getting clean on their own will go through detox and then assume the problem has been taken care of. The nature of addiction almost guarantees this to be a failed strategy leading to relapse and probably spiraling to an even worse dependency. There are “rapid detox” programs that offer a quick cure with minimum discomfort, but generally these should also be avoided.

Recovery from addiction requires treatment above and beyond simply removing substances from the body. An inpatient drug rehab center should provide counseling and therapy aimed at continuous recovery. Some primary government resources for these centers include:

  • http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment: This site gives an overview of addiction, describing it as “a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences.” A thorough discussion of treatment approaches, medications and behavioral treatments follows. Additional links within the site offer information on comorbidity (the co-existence of other mental-health issues along with addiction; i.e., depression, anxiety disorders, etc.), health issues (HIV, hepatitis, other medical consequences), pain, criminal justice, and more.
  • http://www.samhsa.gov: This is the site of The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It includes a tab titled “Find Help” that will locate inpatient drug rehab centers in your area, and is rich in other related topics.

What Should You Ask Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers?

When you get to the point of calling inpatient drug rehab centers, it is good to have a clear set of questions defined. Some suggestions for the type of questions you might want to ask are:

  • Do you handle my particular addiction and set of problems?
  • What are the costs and can my insurance help (or is there a publicly funded option)?
  • Is medical detox offered as part of residential treatment?
  • Will I be able to stay in touch with my family?
  • Is there ongoing support after treatment?
  • Does the program offer individualized treatment?
  • What is the patient-to-counselor ratio?
  • Have the program’s treatment methods been evaluated in available published studies?
  • Are you 12-step based? Faith-based? Do you use other approaches, and if so what are they?

The process of information gathering is a valuable one, but in the end, a decision has to be a commitment to action.

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