Inpatient Rehab

Sendra Yang
Calendar icon Last Updated: 02/6/2024

Reading Time: 7 minutes

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment is a type of residential rehab program for addiction in which you will receive 24-hour care and supervision from medical professionals (including doctors, nurses, and counselors). These facilities offer room and board to patients, so you can stay at the center for as long as your program lasts. Inpatient drug rehab programs may also offer:

  • A personalized treatment program that is assessed and modified continually based on your changing needs and progress in the program
  • A chance to work more intensively on recovery in a safe and supportive environment
  • A mix of behavioral, medical, and psychological therapies to assist in the treatment
  • Medical and psychological care for any underlying mental health issues
  • Aftercare programs and long-term recovery strategies to use once you leave

What are the Benefits of Inpatient Treatment?

Studies have shown that 90 days or more of inpatient treatment give individuals their best chance at positive, long-term, recovery outcomes. Outpatient programs, which provide similar but less intensive treatment while the patient continues to live at home can be effective for patients with a strong support system and a safe and stable living arrangement, but ideally, you should have a complete break from your usual environment to focus on recovery fully.

Inpatient treatment is more easily customizable to the individual needs of the patient and offers greater time and intensity to prepare you with the specific knowledge and coping skills you need to stay sober after you return to your everyday life. It can also provide you with a safe space and the assistance to recognize any elements of your home life that will need to change for you to continue growing and thriving in recovery. Some of these elements, such as an unsafe living arrangement that exposes you to drugs and alcohol, can be changed while you are still in treatment so that you can transition to a healthier environment immediately after discharge.

The body and brain also need plenty of time to heal from the physical effects of chronic drug or alcohol use. Beginning this healing in a protected space surrounded by trained professionals can help keep you on track and prevent relapse. An immersive, 24/7 treatment environment also allows you to completely dedicate yourself to understanding your addiction and learning how to cope with the disease. You will be able to emerge from treatment a much stronger, clearer thinking person, who is much better equipped to deal with the everyday ups and downs of the “real world.”

How Does Inpatient Treatment Work?

Treatment Options in Inpatient Drug Rehab

The treatment options offered in inpatient drug rehab centers will include all those offered by outpatient facilities, as well as some additional treatment opportunities. Therapies that you may be offered in inpatient treatment include:

  • Medications, for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the reestablishment of normal brain functions
  • Behavioral therapies, for the ability to learn better life skills, including how to cope with stress and cravings, how to avoid triggers, and how to make smarter and healthier choices when it comes to substance abuse and other important issues
  • Holistic treatment options, which allow you to heal the body and spirit along with the mind, including:
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Massage therapy
    • Dance therapy
    • Art therapy
    • Animal therapy
    • Journaling
  • Practical life assistance, including:
    • Vocational counseling
    • Housing assistance
    • Educational counseling
    • Nutritional classes
    • An introduction to peer support groups (such as 12-step programs) that you can continue to attend for as long as you need after discharge

Some inpatient rehab centers also provide luxury accommodations to patients, including a pool and spa, hotel-like rooms, and gourmet meals. Others are more spartan, providing only the basics. Some patients can choose exactly what kind of treatment facility to attend, while others may have more limited options due to insurance, financial limitations, and location. Consult a medical professional, your insurance company, or an addiction treatment hotline to find out what choices are available to you.

It is always important to consider your needs and preferences as an individual before choosing the right rehab center for your recovery, but remember, as long as you attend a quality, accredited program with evidence-based methods; it doesn’t matter how plain or how glamorous your surroundings are. Your recovery will thrive with the right treatment.

How Long Does Inpatient Drug Rehab Last?

Most inpatient rehab centers offer treatment programs that last 30, 60, or 90 days. Which length you will receive will depend largely on the severity of your addiction and dependence, and the decisions you and your doctor make together about your recovery program. The key to effective recovery is to provide you with enough time to change your habits and thought processes. For some, 28 days is sufficient. Others, especially those who need a long and slow tapering from their primary substance of use, will require additional time to get the clear mind needed to benefit from their program’s treatment interventions fully.

Also, some inpatient drug rehab programs provide long-term options that can last a year or more. These can be helpful in some cases, but counterproductive in others. A balance is needed between sufficient treatment time and making sure that the individual does not become so habituated to inpatient life that the transition out becomes more difficult.

How Will I Pay for Inpatient Drug Rehab?

You can pay for your inpatient drug rehab in several ways:


Your insurance plan should pay for at least a portion of your rehab, especially if you bought it through the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you have questions about what your insurance will cover, you can always call your provider to find out.


As you will likely still have a copay even if you do use your insurance to cover some of the program costs, you can finance the remaining expense so that you do not have to pay it all at once. When you come to the facility, you will likely be asked to pay a portion of the amount due, and then you will work with staff on a financial plan to pay it off gradually after you complete the program. Many facilities also offer sliding scale fees based on income.

There are also some low or no cost treatment options provided by state, federal, and nonprofit programs. These are based on need, and usually, involve a great deal of paperwork, but some counselors can guide you through the process.

Who Should Get Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment allows you to exit the chaos that surrounds an active addiction, and enter a space where you are removed from the triggers, risk factors, stressors, and distractions of daily life. This total change of environment allows you to relax and concentrate on your wellbeing in a way that cannot be accomplished at home. Living in a safe, therapeutic environment also allows treatments to be more intense, both due to the additional time, but also because you are in a secure space surrounded by professionals trained to keep you safe when you feel drained or overwhelmed.

You should seek out inpatient treatment if you face:

  • An unsafe home environment
  • A lack of a strong social support system
  • Co-occurring mental health disorder such as depression, dissociative disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety
  • A high risk of relapse (you have relapsed previously)

Inpatient treatment will provide doctors, nurses, counselors, and fellow patients who can act as your support network while you learn how to build a healthy support system after treatment. The 24/7 treatment environment of an inpatient program gives care providers a much better chance of identifying and diagnosing a problem so it can be treated, including co-occurring disorders.

Where Can I Find Inpatient Treatment?

Finding the right inpatient drug rehab center can seem daunting, whether you are searching for a facility for yourself or a loved one, but the process can be quite simple with a little advice and help.

First, consider your needs. What kind of addiction are you dealing with? Do you have any chronic medical issues that will need attention during treatment? Do you have a co-occurring disorder? Will you require language accommodations?

Next, you can begin looking at available inpatient rehab centers and narrow down your choices according to your needs. Your insurance company can provide you with a list of options, as can an addiction hotline or website, or your doctor. Make sure the program is accredited, with a full staff of qualified treatment professionals, and a good track record of treatment.

Once you find facilities that fit your needs, you can look at their websites, call, or visit to learn more about the programs, and decide which one suits you best. For example, you may decide you’ll be more comfortable in a program that is limited to your gender or age group. Remember, too, that while it can be nice to attend a nearby program so friends and family can visit, some people may find the best treatment option is in another city or state.

Most importantly, ask for assistance in finding the right treatment facility, and don’t spend too much time worrying over your choices. Once you have decided you need professional addiction treatment, it is advisable to begin your recovery as soon as possible.

Seek Inpatient Rehab Treatment for Addiction Today

We can help you find safe, reliable inpatient drug rehab centers that will cater to your needs and allow you to recover in the best, most effective way for you. Every individual is different when it comes to treatment, and we will help you find the best rehab center for your particular situation.

Don’t attempt to go through addiction recovery alone. Ask for help, and get started on building a new and better life today.

Medical Reviewer
Sendra Yang, PharmD, MBA
Medical Information Professional
Read Bio
Sendra Yang received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Business Administration degrees from Wingate University School of Pharmacy. She has experience in the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy education, and clinical practice. She has also been a medical writer, editor, and reviewer for consumer health and medical content, including materials relating to addiction and rehabilitation.