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The Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Addiction

Inpatient Treatment for Addiction

Globally, illicit drug use claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of people yearly. However, the United States tops the list with the most drug-related deaths. Here, more people die due to opioids and other drugs than in any other country.

Even more concerning is that a substance use disorder (SUD) is not the only type of addiction. So is alcohol use disorder (AUD); about 10% of people in the U.S. have SUD, AUD, or both. Gambling, shopping, or sex are other forms of addiction.

Addiction is a tough battle, but help is available, and inpatient treatment is one such option. It's a tried, tested, and proven strategy for battling disorders like AUD and SUD.

How exactly does this method of rehabilitation help people, though? What are the benefits it provides?

We've shared the top answers to those questions in this inpatient treatment guide, so read on.

Treatment for Co-Existing Mental Conditions

Just as vital as it is to spot early signs of addiction in a loved one is to look out for symptoms of a mental illness. After all, addiction disorders can co-exist or co-occur with mental illnesses and vice-versa. It can also contribute to a higher risk of developing a mental illness.

Indeed, over 9 million people in the U.S. have a co-occurring disorder. For example, those who misuse drugs often have anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Conversely, people living with mental illnesses can use drugs as a way to cope.

Fortunately, inpatient rehab centers often provide treatment options for people with co-occurring conditions. Treating both is crucial, as failure to treat the other can lead to relapse.

In most cases, inpatient facilities first conduct a psychiatric evaluation on potential patients. It lets them determine if a person has co-occurring conditions. If so, the treatment program may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

A Supervised Yet Compassionate Environment

An inpatient treatment rehab is a live-in program offering round-the-clock supervision and guidance. Patients are at the facility full-time. Thus, they have continuous access to therapy, medical care, and compassionate, knowledgeable staff.

Please remember that many people with addiction disorders fear stigma. That makes them think others will look down on them. It's also why they often don't seek help.

Thus, being around compassionate people is vital to overcoming an addiction. That's precisely what one can expect when entering inpatient rehab.

Inpatient centers also help remove environmental and outside distractions. That includes removing access to what patients have an addiction to, such as drugs or alcohol. As a result, the risk of relapsing also decreases.

Another risk that inpatient facilities help remove is a negative influence. Such can come from continued exposure to others who aren't trying to recover. That makes relapse more likely, something that inpatient treatment helps prevent.

Instead, inpatient rehabs expose patients to others trying their best to recover. With that comes fellowship and support for beating an addiction. Seeing others do everything they can to quit can motivate other patients to do the same.

Helps Lower Risk of Unlawful Actions

A Pew Survey found that 15% of arrested U.S. adults from 2017 to 2019 had a co-occurring disorder. Of these people, almost half had an illegal drug-related arrest, such as possession. The study also noted how such conditions make one more likely to get arrested.

Inpatient rehab can help lower such risks, as patients can't just leave the facility. But even if they can, a staff member goes with them. That companionship then helps lower the odds of patients doing something illegal.

A Safer Environment to Detoxify

Detoxification, or detox, rids the body of substances, including drugs and alcohol. Depending on the chemical, its removal from the body can take days or even weeks. Unfortunately, the process also often results in painful, sometimes debilitating, withdrawal symptoms.

For example, short-acting opioids (e.g., heroin) can cause withdrawal symptoms for 4 to 10 days. By contrast, those for long-acting opioids (e.g., methadone) can last 10 to 20 days.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and hot and cold flashes. Diarrhea, muscle cramps, and insomnia are also typical. They can sometimes be mild but, in many cases, severe, depending on how long a patient has taken the drug.

Experiencing those symptoms is why many people can't quit their drug use. It's also why detoxing alone can be dangerous, even deadly.

The good news is that inpatient treatment provides medically-supervised detox or withdrawal. With this, doctors use therapies, medications, or both to manage withdrawal symptoms safely.

Thus, medical detox in an inpatient facility is much safer than if one does it alone. 

Nutrition and Meal-Planning

An addiction disorder affects a person's dietary and nutritional habits. These effects can result from eating foods low in nutrients or not eating enough. They can also occur in those with AUD, SUD, or other addictions (e.g., gambling).

Some substances, like alcohol and stimulants, may suppress appetite. This can lead to metabolism issues and improper nutrient processing.

There are also drugs (e.g., steroids) that can increase appetite. That can then cause weight gain over time. 

Either way, poor nutrition caused by addiction can lead to more health woes. From liver disease to cancer, they can all occur due to addiction.

Poor nutrition can also make addiction recovery more challenging. For example, it can cause anxiety, leading to cravings for more alcohol or drugs.

Inpatient rehab centers can help prevent those issues by focusing on proper nutrition. Many often offer nutritional counseling, education, and replacement. Some also plan and provide meals prepared by nutritionists and trained chefs.

Consider Inpatient Treatment for Addiction Disorders

Outpatient and inpatient treatment have high success rates. However, the latter may be a better, safer option for those with long-term addiction. It may also benefit those who tried quitting but have relapsed several times.

The most vital thing here is to seek help immediately. That way, you or your loved one can start the journey to recovery ASAP and enjoy a healthy life again.

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