When Long Term Inpatient Drug Rehab is Necessary
In some instances, long-term inpatient drug rehab is a necessity. Certain patients need the kind of controlled environment and medical care that only a residential facility can provide, and these individuals may need this type of treatment for six months or more.
Being able to tell when this type of treatment is necessary can help ensure that you get the kind of hands-on, focused treatment you need. However, in the case where it isn’t essential, you can often save a great deal of money and attend a less intensive rehab center which will be better in the long run. These important aspects of a person’s recovery pertaining to treatment should be considered thoroughly before they enter rehab.
Is Long-term Inpatient Drug Rehab Necessary?
For some individuals, this type of rehab is necessary. A study from the NCBI states there is “little evidence to cause one to tout either inpatient or outpatient treatment based on relative effectiveness.” However, certain cases call for the former because the individual may need more intensive or more controlled treatment.
As for long-term rehab, patients often attend treatment for about 30 days on average, but there are cases where a longer stay is necessary. Treatment types with the best outcomes have been found to last 90 days or more, and many patients who need the kind of intensive treatment provided by inpatient facilities should attend for an ample amount of time (NIDA). This is why long-term treatment may also be essential in certain cases.
When is Long-term Inpatient Drug Rehab Necessary?
There are many instances in which this treatment type is necessary. Potential patients must consider all of their most pressing needs as well as their addiction itself and whether or not the syndrome is particularly dangerous. Then, when all of these factors have been considered, a decision can be made. Some of the factors that could call for long-term inpatient treatment include
A Lack of a Support System at Home
Patients who do not have a strong support system at home struggle in outpatient treatment, often because there is not one to help them during the times they are not at the facility. In this instance, inpatient treatment can be beneficial to the patient and help build a support network made up of nurses, doctors, and other patients that the individual can count on while they are undergoing the most difficult time of recovery.
These same patients may want to consider long-term residential treatment because it will be harder for them to transition back into not having a strong support system. Therefore, it is better that they make their recovery as strong as possible before moving on.
Co-occurring Mental Disorders
Anyone who has a co-occurring mental disorder (like depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc.) should consider treatment in a residential facility. This is because these centers usually have better treatment options for these disorders as well as addiction and have the resources to treat both problems together, making the individual’s recovery stronger overall.
This may also call for long-term treatment, as the patient will need the time to make strides with both issues in order to be in a good place after treatment.
Abuse of Drugs with Severe Withdrawal Syndromes
Substances like alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, and sometimes even benzodiazepines can cause withdrawal syndromes that are not only extremely dangerous but also last a long time. For example, alcoholism can cause a serious withdrawal syndrome called delirium tremens which is life-threatening, and the benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome can cause seizures.
In some cases, individuals in treatment can grapple with cocaine cravings for months afterward. And, according to the NIDA, methamphetamine can cause psychotic symptoms that “can sometimes last for months or years after a person has quit abusing methamphetamine, and stress has been shown to precipitate spontaneous recurrence of methamphetamine psychosis in formerly psychotic methamphetamine abusers.”
In all of these instances, inpatient treatment will be necessary, especially during detox, and patients should be able to continue attending this type of treatment in the long term. Because the first few weeks (or even months) will be spent dealing with issues of detox and withdrawal, patients will need a long-term plan of treatment in order to truly receive the guidance and help they need after their withdrawal symptoms begin to minimize.
When Multiple Relapses/Dangerous Behaviors have Occurred
Certain individuals undergo multiple relapses or behave in a way that is dangerous or irrational in order to get more drugs. In the both instances, some individuals are even mandated to attend treatment by the justice system. If someone has shown recurring issues with recovery or shown a tendency toward this sort of dangerous behavior, a long-term stay in a residential facility may be necessary.
Extreme Physical Effects of Drug Abuse
Some common physical problems associated with long-term drug abuse include:
- Contracting HIV or hepatitis from sharing needles
- Malnutrition/severe weight loss
- Weakened immune system
- Severe respiratory problems
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Heart problems
If an individual is experiencing issues with one of these physical effects of drug abuse, it could be beneficial for them to stay at a long-term facility where they can receive the proper medical care along with their addiction treatments. In many cases, outpatient facilities cannot provide care for these kinds of severe issues as they do not have the money nor the equipment necessary.
When is Long-term Inpatient Drug Rehab Not Necessary?
This type of treatment may not be necessary when
- An individual has a more mild addiction or has been abusing less potent drugs.
- An individual has a strong support system at home to supplement outpatient treatment.
- An individual is not in any immediate danger from withdrawal symptoms, co-occurring disorders, or physical ailments caused by drug abuse.
- An individual does not need or would not respond well to a strictly controlled environment.
Still, in many cases, this type of treatment is highly essential; it is important to know when you may need long-term inpatient rehab and when it could be a major undertaking that is not necessary for certain patients.