Hospital Inpatient Drug Treatment
Once a person becomes addicted to drugs, the effects on the brain and body can persist for years on end. Even after he or she completes drug treatment, the recovery path can be wrought with ups and downs along the way. It’s not uncommon for addicts to go through multiple episodes of drug treatment before finally settling into a drug-free lifestyle.
Hospital inpatient drug treatment works well for people who’ve experienced repeated relapses in recovery. These programs provide a highly structured treatment setting where a person’s overall treatment plan is based on an initial assessment and evaluation process.
Hospital inpatient treatment providers carry state-required certifications and training in the addictions field. Staff members work as a team when dealing with each individual case. Treatment interventions commonly used include:
- Behavioral therapies
- Medication treatment
- Family-based interventions
- Aftercare planning
Once addicts successfully complete a hospital inpatient drug treatment program, the supports and tools provided give them a better chance at maintaining abstinence on a long-term basis.
When is Inpatient Drug Treatment Necessary?
According to the New York State Department of Health, addiction acts in much the same way as a chronic medical disease, such as diabetes and asthma. Like these conditions, addiction becomes a progressive condition that continues to weaken a person’s physical and mental health when left untreated.
Addiction can have a considerable impact on a person’s ability to maintain abstinence, even after completing a drug treatment program. In effect, relapse rates for addiction range around 40 to 60 percent, which closely resembles the relapse rates associated with chronic medical diseases when patients don’t comply with treatment directives.
For people struggling with chronic, long-term addictions, hospital inpatient drug treatment offers a firm foundation for taking control of an addiction problem and getting the type of help a person needs.
Diagnostic Evaluation & Treatment Planning
Hospital inpatient drug treatment programs employ an integrated treatment approach that’s based on information gathered during the evaluation and treatment planning stages. Someone just entering drug rehab will undergo an extensive assessment process to determine:
- Past medical history
- Past history of mental illness
- Current medical status
- Severity of addiction
- Type of drug(s) used
From there, treatment planning entails putting together the types of services and interventions that best address a person’s individual treatment needs. Treatment providers will modify treatment plan objectives as needed depending on a person’s progress throughout the course of the program.
Much like any other department in a hospital, a hospital-based inpatient program is made up of teams of treatment providers, with each member carrying out a specific role. The team model offers an effective means for providing an integrated treatment approach where all aspects of treatment work together to improve a person’s overall condition.
Team members have training in addiction as well as in individual areas of the field. Depending on the program, a person’s treatment team may consist of a:
- Social worker
- Case manager
While a person may not actually work directly with every team member during the course of his or her stay, each member provides input on the patient’s ongoing progress throughout the program.
The types of interventions used by hospital inpatient drug treatment programs can vary depending on a person’s specific treatment needs. Considering most people who enter hospital inpatient care struggle with other problems on top of addiction, it’s not uncommon for a person to require ongoing care after he or she completes inpatient treatment.
As many who enter hospital inpatient drug treatment have either relapsed or arrive in a drug-induced state, many programs do provide detoxification treatment services as the first stage of care. Detox entails helping addicts break the brain and body’s physical dependency on the drug’s effects. During this time, a person will also take part in any number of other treatment interventions depending on his or her treatment needs both before and after the detox stage.
As far as addiction treatment goes, behavioral treatment interventions mark the start of the recovery process in terms of getting to the root issues underlying an addiction problem, according to the Perelman School of Medicine. While the body’s physical dependency on drugs does contribute to the addiction cycle, addiction most affects a person’s psychological functioning and overall mindset towards self and others.
Within a hospital inpatient drug treatment program, behavioral treatment interventions can take many forms, some of which include:
- Life skills training, such as stress management and developing effective coping skills
- Individual counseling
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- 12-Step support group meetings
For people coming off opiate-based addictions, medication therapies can go a long way towards relieving the uncomfortable drug cravings and withdrawal aftereffects addicts experience throughout recovery. Medications, such as LAMM, buprenorphine and methadone can actually mimic the effects of addictive opiates and thereby satisfy the brain’s cravings for drugs.
For people coming off stimulant and hallucinogen-based addictions, medications, such as clonidine and non-opiate pain relievers can offer relief for some of the symptoms experienced while in inpatient rehab.
Addiction’s effects can damage important family relationships and make it all the more difficult for someone in recovery to acclimate once he or she returns home. For this reason, hospital inpatient drug treatment programs offer family interventions services that work to strengthen family bonds and help family members gain a better understanding on how addiction works.
Family services offered may take the form of:
- Family therapy
- Drug education counseling
- Childcare assistance
- Parenting education
- Assistance in areas involving trauma, child abuse and/or domestic violence
A hospital inpatient drug treatment program can run anywhere from a month to three months in duration. In general, the more severe the addiction problem the longer the stay should be. As many who enter these programs also struggle with co-occurring psychological disorders, ongoing treatment is warranted upon discharge from inpatient care.
Hospital inpatient treatment programs develop an aftercare plan for each patient based on his or her treatment needs. Aftercare plan referrals may include one or more of the following –
- Ongoing psychotherapy
- Medication therapy treatment
- Ongoing medical care
- Continued attendance at 12-Step support group meetings
- Vocational assistance
- Housing assistance
Ultimately, an inpatient program can only go so far with helping addicts recover from the effects of addiction. Without ongoing treatment help, a person only increases his or her chances of relapse and having to start the treatment process all over again.