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How Live In Drug Rehab Centers Work

Live in drug rehab centers, also called inpatient or resident drug rehab centers, are facilities that “provide care 24 hours a day, generally in non-hospital settings” (NIDA). Many patients choose to attend this type of treatment, but it is important to understand how these facilities work before attending treatment in one.

For example: how one pays for treatment, what treatments are available, what privileges are awarded to patients, and how long treatment lasts are all aspects of live in drug rehab treatment that are necessary for patients to understand before attending. In addition, how the program works, who runs it, and what patients should expect are also important aspects of understanding live in drug rehab centers.

How Does the Live in Drug Rehab Program Work?

Usually, patients will choose a facility based on whether it meets the criteria they are looking for and if it is able to meet their needs. The NIDA states, “To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse” as well as other aspects of their life such as:

inpatient drug and alcohol rehab

In inpatient, live-in treatment centers people are provided a room in the center where they live throughout treatment.

  • “Any associated medical… problems”
  • Legal issues
  • Vocational status and needs
  • Any co-occurring mental disorders and psychological state
  • Social needs (support system or lack thereof)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Culture

Then, once the individual has chosen their facility, they either sign themselves in or are signed in by someone else. “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective” so sanctions may be necessary from family members, the justice system, or other means.

The individual is given a room, usually with a roommate, and a series of tests to determine their physical, emotional, and mental state and their needs from their treatment program. After the program is decided upon (often by the patient and doctor together), the patient can begin treatment and start the healing process.

Most programs “start with detoxification and medically managed withdrawal, often considered the first stage of treatment” (NIDA 1). Patients then usually receive medication for as long as necessary in order to help them fight cravings and focus on their behavioral therapy. In some live in facilities, other treatments are available as well like holistic methods (yoga, art therapy, etc.), vocational and legal assistance, nutritional classes, and more.

Who Runs Live in Drug Rehab Centers?

According to SAMHSA, “Private nonprofit organizations operated the majority of facilities offering ‘all free’ care and ‘partial free’ facilities.” Private facilities, which are often more expensive, are usually run by private hospitals or organizations.

How Does One Pay for Treatment?

Many facilities will allow patients to pay on a sliding fee scale which makes it much easier to pay for treatment. SAMHSA states that around 61.8% of substance abuse facilities have this option, while others may be free or partially free. The most expensive facilities will expect payment without the possibility of a sliding fee scale. In some cases, Medicare and Medicaid are accepted as payment help for live in drug rehab treatment, and some individuals have insurance plans that cover certain amounts of treatment as well.

What Privileges are Awarded to Patients?

In most live in drug rehab facilities, patients are allowed to receive visitors during certain hours, talk to other patients, participate in games/arts and crafts/exercise classes or other fun activities, and have certain amounts of free time. Some centers even allow patients to walk or exercise around the grounds at certain times in order to get fresh air and take in the scenery, as nature can be a healing aspect for many people.

Depending on how long a person has been at a live in drug rehab center, they may receive more privileges over time. And there are certain types of treatments available at these facilities, some like contingency management, that even reward patients for abstinence from drugs and alcohol with vouchers (NIDA).

How Long Does Treatment Last?

In a live in drug rehab facility, patients are often expected to stay for a longer period of time. At least 90 days is usually the minimum for any type of treatment to be effective for patients. However, long-term residential treatment can go past this time. According to the NIDA, “The best-known residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC), with planned lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months” (NIDA 1). Sometimes, treatment can last longer, but for most individuals, 12 months is the maximum for live in rehab. After that, many transition to outpatient treatment.

What are the Treatments Available in Live In Drug Rehab Centers?

The general treatments available in most live in drug rehab centers have been discussed, and any one particular treatment may or may not be available to patients at a certain center. If you are looking for a specific treatment type, make sure your facility offers it before you choose to attend treatment there. However, most live in drug rehab centers provide many types of treatments, and there are many that are widely used, even if one facility may not necessarily provide them all.

  • Medication
    • Medically-assisted detox is usually the first use of medication in live in drug rehab centers. The medication controls withdrawal symptoms, making the process less uncomfortable or less dangerous for patients.
    • Then, patients may be given the same or a different type of medication to maintain their focus toward recovery.
  • Therapy 
    • Different types of behavioral therapy are usually available including:
      • Contingency management
      • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
      • Motivational enhancement
      • The Matrix Model
    • Group therapy is almost always a part of every treatment program, especially once a patient feels comfortable enough opening up to the group.
  • Resocialization
    • With the help of doctors, nurses, therapists, and other patients, the patient is able to receive social feedback that reinforces their choice to recover from drug addiction.
  • Holistic treatments 
    • Depending on a facility, a different group of holistic treatments might be available as part of the overall program.

Live in drug rehab centers work by giving the patient controlled living conditions and 24 hour care and service. This helps many patients who would have otherwise struggled immensely with their recoveries because of severe issues.


Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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