There are two main types of rehabilitation for addiction, inpatient and outpatient facilities.

During outpatient treatment, you can take part in therapy and group sessions, all while living at home.

An inpatient rehab facility is residential, where you will stay in the clinic or centre until you have finished treatment. This treatment facility provides medical care for alcohol addiction treatment, guiding you towards a successful recovery.

Both inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab have strengths and weaknesses, all dependent on the nature of your addiction. You should explore both types of treatment, bearing in mind the severity of your addiction and how much you want to interrupt your current lifestyle.

Outpatient programmes are usually part-time and less intense, designed for those with mild addiction. Inpatient rehabilitation, also called residential treatment, is designed for severe addiction, where you will take time out of your life to tackle the issues head-on.

The inpatient rehab programme is known to be a more long-term solution, designed to supply you with key coping mechanisms and relapse prevention skills. If you discover or recognise your addiction in the early stages, outpatient rehab may be sufficient for you, offering flexible treatment options.

Do I Need Inpatient Treatment?

Residential

Inpatient treatment is more intense, interrupting your daily routine and obligations, but for the better. This is because those that are suited for inpatient treatment suffer from severe addictions to drugs and alcohol, usually accompanied by mental health conditions (dual diagnosis).

Addiction to this scale is difficult to fight on your own and at home. Living in a rehab facility provides patients with a physical and mental barrier to substances.

This reduces temptations and influences that normally get the better of people.

Inpatient treatment offers a chance for people to work on their struggles, whilst removing the stress of daily life and responsibilities. It may be difficult to know what counts as a ‘severe’ addiction, so self-assessment tests determine potential severity.

The CAGE Questionnaire is one of the most popular, acting as a screening tool. [1]

CAGE Questions:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?

CAGE Questions Adapted to Include Drug Use (CAGE-AID):

  1. Have you ever felt you ought to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
  3. Have you felt bad or guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  4. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)?

Both sets of 6 questions are scored 0 for ‘no’ and 1 for ‘yes’. The higher the score, the more alcohol or drug-dependent behaviour you are exhibiting. A score of 2 or more out of 4 is deemed ‘clinically significant’.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a comprehensive alcohol screening tool. This was developed by WHO (World Health Organisation) and used in a variety of social care and rehabilitation settings. [2]

The AUDIT Questions:

  1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
  2. How many units of alcohol do you drink on a typical day when you are drinking?
  3. How often have you had 6 or more units if female or 8 or more if male, on a single occasion in the last year?
  4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
  5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?
  6. How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?
  7. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
  8. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?
  9. Have you or somebody else been injured as a result of your drinking?
  10. Has a relative or friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

A score of 0 – 7 indicates low-risk alcohol use, and a score between 8 and 15 indicates increasing risk. If you score between 16 and 19, this indicates high risk, and a score of 20 or more indicates a dependency on alcohol.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a severe addiction, then inpatient treatment will be your best chance at success. Below are some benefits of inpatient rehab to consider in your decision, or contact us today to discuss your options.

What is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

Inpatient rehabilitation involves checking into a facility near you and staying there for the duration of your treatment. During your stay, you will have access to an array of medical professionals 24/7, and you will follow a rigid schedule. [3]

This schedule usually starts with a group or individual breakfast, followed by therapy and counselling that have been tailored to your needs. It is not all work and no play, as there will be daily activities provided.

Inpatient treatments are considered the most likely treatment to successfully help people overcome their difficult relationship with alcohol, attributed mostly to its intensive and secure nature. This does not work for everyone, as this removes you from your daily responsibilities.

Outpatient treatment best suits those that are required to fulfil responsibilities, but who are also in the early stages of alcoholism. This is less intense, and sometimes people attend who have prior knowledge of recovery programmes attend as a ‘refresher’.

Inpatient treatment centres are critical for those who struggle with addiction without stable home environments, or who have no home to go back to. You are usually required to spend 28 days in each inpatient clinic, but if you don’t or can’t do this, the minimum requirement is 7 days for detoxification.

A Typical Inpatient Day

Therapy

At the very beginning of inpatient treatment, you will be examined and analysed by medical professionals, chatting about your substance dependency, and any concerns or apprehensive thoughts you may have.

They will then discuss all the different types of treatment available to you as an inpatient, all included within the price of the whole facility.

You will be required to detox from your addicted substance, but only if it is physical. You may already have started detoxing at home, so it is possible you are feeling constant anxiety and nausea. This is normal, and inpatient facilities can provide medication to help reduce the waves of symptoms.

It is important that you try not to quit ‘cold turkey’, as this dramatic change for both your body and brain may require immediate medical monitoring. During inpatient care, healthcare professionals will guide you through the detoxification process and monitor medication. [4]

When you feel you are ready to start your treatment, you will receive primary care along with both emotional and psychological support. The type of treatment you receive depends on the outcome of your psychological assessment.

This treatment may include:

  • Individual counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Educational meetings
  • Behavioural training
  • Nutrition and exercise education

The length of time spent at inpatient centres varies according to the severity and the nature of the addiction. The shortest programmes tend to be 28 days long, but some people stay at the clinics for several months.

This may include being transferred to an intensive outpatient centre, partial hospitalisation, or standard outpatient therapy. [5]

Those that do not suffer from a severe form of alcohol use disorder may only need a short programme, where the role of the inpatient centre is to remove daily distractions and provide an intensive course.

Once you have completed treatment, you are not left out in the dark. Inpatient programmes work with aftercare planning teams to encourage patients to work with outpatient treatment centres and support groups.

Residential treatment programmes form a recovery process for alcohol addiction, providing individual treatment plans and constant access to a wide range of therapy, such as: [6]

Outpatient treatment will perfectly build upon the relapse prevention skills taught during inpatient treatment. This offers patients a sense of support and stability when times get tough. These centres offer a range of therapies, also available for co-occurring conditions such as mental health disorders.

Inpatient treatment may have its own challenges, but it also provides a change for the better, benefiting many. Compared to classic outpatient rehabilitation, there are many advantages, one of these benefits is detoxification.

Inpatient Addiction Detox

For those that have been abusing drugs or alcohol for the majority of their life, detox and withdrawal will be one of the most challenging parts of sobriety. This can be very unpleasant, and people either try to avoid detox or give up very quickly.

Both drugs and alcohol have unique symptoms, but in general, the symptoms consistent with addiction tend to be: anxiety, depression, vomiting, and shaking or seizures. For those who are going through alcohol detox, the most common withdrawal symptoms are tremors, seizures, and delirium tremens.

These reduce blood flow to the brain and can be deadly or life-threatening. [7]

Attempting detox on your own can be dangerous, so this is not recommended. Inpatient rehabilitation offers a safe and secure environment, where medical professionals can monitor your health and progress.

Withdrawals depend on your addiction but can last from 3 days to almost 2 weeks. Withdrawal symptoms usually start after 6 hours, and peak at 72 hours.

Healthcare staff may also offer you supervised medication such as Librium to ease the initial waves of withdrawals, covered under the price you already pay. This supportive environment reduces the risk of relapse and the temptation of relapse, helping to complete detox.

This is done through 24-hour access to supportive environments, such as physical therapists, psychological therapy, counselling sessions, and different medical specialists. The person in recovery is then protected from life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and guided to complete recovery.

All-Inclusive Therapy

Support

Inpatient rehab is a specialised and tailored option, that provides access to well-structured treatment programmes. This is an intensive therapy, providing those with alcohol use disorders or substance use disorders a sense of relief.

This safe environment aims for long-term sobriety through rehabilitative care and individualised treatment plans. Inpatient treatment is all-inclusive, but inpatient rehabilitation facilities are not referred through the NHS, so you will have to pay privately.

The price covers food, rent, utilities, therapy, medication, and anything else you require during your stay. During your time, you will have access to state-of-the-art therapy, specialists, and round-the-clock care.

Paying privately for treatment means the admissions process will be faster once patients have completed the set of initial assessments. This can be as fast as 24 hours following assessment, assuming other records such as medical records are not required.

A Sense of Community

The reason that 12-step programmes such as Alcoholics Anonymous work so well is mostly attributed to the fellowship that is created. Treatment at inpatient centres provides a sense of community and security, where a support system is created that completely understands the struggle of addiction.

When you feel like you aren’t left to fend for yourself, you are more likely to work with others and learn different coping mechanisms until you find one that works for you. Providing someone to lean on is beneficial, and without this, it can be impossible for some people to fully recover.

Inpatient treatment clinics provide this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These social resources provide love and friendship, making hope an essential part of recovery. It may be more difficult to find such close-proximity relationships in outpatient treatment, where therapy is less often and at different times of the day.

Success Rates & Access

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Those that attend outpatient rehabilitation face more temptations and access to substances or alcohol than those in inpatient therapy do. Returning home every night is not a big-enough barrier for those who cannot control or curve their cravings.

Studies have proven that inpatients are more likely to complete a detoxification process than outpatients are, mostly attributed to the environment. Inpatient or residential rehab places patients in an environment without any risk of relapse, without any access to alcohol or drugs, but with the freedom to leave if they are not comfortable.

Patients that check into inpatient rehab have increased levels of functioning due to constant therapy and training, as well as a decrease in crime and substance use behaviour.

Inpatient rehab benefits aftercare. Once a patient has completed inpatient therapy, they are likely to be an outpatient for a while after. Outpatient treatment builds on skills used during inpatient therapy, putting in place the tools they have already learnt.

This significantly reduces the risk of relapse.

The Main Benefits of Inpatient Therapy

Below are the main benefits of inpatient therapy:

  • The safer and easier detoxification process
  • Time to completely focus on getting sober
  • Structured and tailored programmes
  • 24/7 access to facilities and therapy
  • All-inclusive treatment (e.g. price of medication)
  • Zero temptation or risk of relapse whilst attending
  • Top medical professional assessments
  • Seamless transitions to other therapies
  • Provides physical, emotional, and mental support

Discovering what type of rehab works for you is key to a successful recovery. Inpatients usually suffer from the most extreme forms of addiction, where inpatient rehab provides a physical barrier between patients and temptations.

Inpatient rehabilitation offers all types of therapy, designed by top professionals. This will all be available to you 24/7, working with aftercare and relapse prevention groups.

Get Help Today

If you have any questions about inpatient or outpatient treatment, contact us today on 0800 111 4108.

References

[1]https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns_hopkins_healthcare/downloads/all_plans/CAGE%20Substance%20Screening%20Tool.pdf

[2]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/684823/Alcohol_use_disorders_identification_test__AUDIT_.pdf

[3] https://www.sgu.edu/blog/medical/inpatient-versus-outpatient/

[4] Hayashida, M. “An overview of outpatient and inpatient detoxification.” Alcohol health and research world vol. 22,1 : 44-6.

[5] Finney, J W et al. “The effectiveness of inpatient and outpatient treatment for alcohol abuse: the need to focus on mediators and moderators of setting effects.” Addiction (Abingdon, England) vol. 91,12 : 1773-96; discussion 1803-20

[6] https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help

[7] Hayashida M. An overview of outpatient and inpatient detoxification. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(1):44-6. PMID: 15706732; PMCID: PMC6761814.