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Inpatient treatment is one rehabilitation option available for individuals struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Inpatient drug and alcohol treatment is intensive, but it can help people begin down the path towards recovery. This type of drug and alcohol treatment usually consists of several stages of recovery, from medical detox to planning for aftercare. Here we will discuss what inpatient rehab is, what to expect, benefits of inpatient treatment and more.

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

First, what is inpatient rehab? One inpatient rehab definition would be: a rehabilitation program in which individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction stay at a treatment facility for an extended period of time during which they may go through medical detox, have regular visits with a physician, take part in counseling programs and prepare for life after rehab by planning for aftercare. Drug and alcohol addiction is serious, but individuals can begin the healing process by participating in an intensive program such as inpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient vs. Residential Treatment

Sometimes there is confusion about residential vs. inpatient treatment. Although considered synonymous by some, there are some distinctions between these two types of treatment programs. Inpatient substance abuse treatment involves intensive programs to help individuals get well while they live on-site at the facility. Residential substance abuse treatment also involves staying at a treatment facility but is generally shorter, less intense and less restrictive than inpatient care.

In other words, inpatient treatment is residential treatment but there are also residential treatment programs – where the patient lives on-site at the facility – but is participating in a different level of care.

What to Expect in Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient treatment programs are intensive. Individuals who go through inpatient rehab stay at the facility for the duration of the program, including overnight. Those in the program have access to round-the-clock medical care and supervision. Coming off of drugs or alcohol can be dangerous, so there are medical detox procedures available in these types of treatment facilities. Other residential treatment services include:

  • Detox – Medical detox is a critical first step in the recovery process. To detox the body from alcohol and drugs, it can be necessary to take advantage of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). For example, someone detoxing from Oxycontin may be prescribed MAT drugs such as methadone or suboxone. Taking MAT drugs can help decrease withdrawal symptoms. This increases the likelihood that an individual struggling with addiction will make it through the detox period successfully and rid their body of the substances they were using.
  • Regular Physician Visits – Regular visits with a physician are crucial to support an individual’s overall health and recovery progress. Physicians are also necessary for prescribing the maintenance medications that help an individual through the detox process.
  • Individual and Group Therapy – Alcohol and drug addiction therapy usually have two components in the inpatient setting: individual and group therapy. Individual therapy for substance abuse involves one-on-one sessions that can help people better understand their own thoughts and behaviors. This can help them learn to manage stressful situations and make healthier choices. During inpatient group therapy, people can talk about the issues and obstacles they face with their peers in discussions led by one or more therapists.
  • Recreational Therapy – Generally, some kind of recreation with a therapeutic element will be a component of inpatient treatment. Recreational therapy activities can include yoga, meditation, art therapy or music therapy. The types of recreational therapy available will differ from facility to facility.
  • Nutritional Support – Mealtimes provide the nutrition people in recovery need to get through detox and beyond. The specifics of food in rehab may differ depending on what substance an individual is recovering from. For example, individuals detoxing from stimulants may need smaller meals at first and then progress to larger meals as the individual’s stomach readjusts to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Aftercare Planning – Aftercare planning for substance abuse can be compared to a discharge plan from a hospital. Individuals and their treatment team identify potential barriers to successful recovery and set expectations for outpatient care. They also develop self-management plans, a protection plan (in the event of relapse triggers) and a plan for what to do if symptoms reoccur. People can also participate in aftercare programs, including sober living homes and support groups. Research shows that a vast majority of individuals who go through detox procedures prefer to participate in an aftercare program.

Benefits of Inpatient Addiction Treatment

There are several key benefits of inpatient treatment. While recovery is never an easy or simple process, inpatient addiction treatment increases an individual’s chance of success. When someone stays in an inpatient setting, they are away from the environmental and social cues that accompanied their addiction. Being away from these cues is important to get through detox and start the recovery process successfully. In the inpatient setting, individuals benefit from constant access to medical care and structured support systems in place. This access is especially helpful during the detox process when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. Inpatient centers also help individuals develop a sense of community and accountability to form healthier habits.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

What is the difference between outpatient and inpatient treatment? Outpatient rehab can feature elements of inpatient rehab, such as counseling. Unlike inpatient treatment, the individual does not usually stay at the treatment center. Outpatient programs are less restrictive, allowing individuals to live at home and go to work or school. While there are benefits to outpatient rehab programs (such as decreased cost), there are also risks. Trying outpatient rehab when inpatient rehab is necessary or recommended can increase the risk of relapse.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in NJ 

When someone struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, they often have a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety that begins before or as a result of their substance use. Regardless, these co-occurring disorders (sometimes referred to as dual diagnosis) can make addiction even harder to treat. However, dual diagnosis treatment centers work to address both issues (mental health and addiction) simultaneously through a multidisciplinary approach. Treating co-occurring disorders is often necessary to both recover from addiction and manage mental health conditions.

Finding an Inpatient Drug & Alcohol Rehab in NJ

If you or someone you love is considering an inpatient rehabilitation program, it is a good idea to check out a few different facilities before committing to one (given that they involve intensive and sometimes lengthy stays). Speaking to a representative and asking questions can help you to choose a rehab center and program that best fits your specific needs. One place where you can start your search is with your family physician. They often know of reputable treatment facilities or providers in your area.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, specialized help from The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper is available. Contact us today to learn about the personalized, confidential services we offer for inpatient rehabilitation.


What are the qualifications for inpatient rehab?

To quality for inpatient rehab, an individual needs to have a substance use disorder that they want to recover from. Many drugs can lead to a substance use disorder. Some of these substances include alcoholheroincocaine and prescription painkillers. Perhaps the more important qualification for inpatient rehab is the desire to lead a healthier, drug-free life.

How much does inpatient rehab cost?

The cost of inpatient rehab can vary greatly depending on the facility, the level of care and the length of treatment. Some facilities offer only basic services and accommodations. Others are more luxurious. In general, an inpatient stay costs more than outpatient treatment. However, inpatient rehab is considered by many people in recovery to be worth the investment. Additionally, insurance can help cover some or all of a person’s rehab costs. The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper works with clients to make paying for rehab affordable and available to everyone.

How long is inpatient rehab?

Inpatient rehab lengths of stay can last for as short as a week to as long as several months. The length of stay depends on the drug(s) used, the intensity of the addiction and other factors related to each person’s individual health, needs and recovery. However, most inpatient programs typically last between 30 and 45 days. Long-term inpatient drug rehab (stays longer than 45 days) is available at some treatment centers.

Does insurance cover inpatient rehab?

Insurance coverage for addiction treatment varies. Whether or not someone’s health insurance will cover inpatient rehab depends on two things: the insurance provider and the treatment center. Government insurance providers (such as Medicare and Medicaid) typically have a specific list of rehab centers and programs that they will cover. Private insurance is accepted at many rehab centers and inpatient facilities, including The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper. Because each insurance plan is different, you can contact your insurance provider or contact our facility to verify your insurance beforehand.