For those struggling with a substance use disorder, making the decision to enter a treatment program can be a daunting experience.  Even if you have the desire to make significant changes in your life, you may still feel intimidated by the prospect of rehab if you don’t know what to expect from inpatient treatment.

Knowing what happens during inpatient treatment can help put your mind at ease and empower you to begin the recovery process.  This guide will help you understand the common components and what to expect from inpatient treatment so you can be as prepared as possible for the experience. 

When to Consider Inpatient Rehab

There are many treatment options available for someone with a substance use disorder.  Once you’ve recognized that your substance use has become a problem, it can be difficult to determine exactly what type of help will best fit your needs.  If you’re unsure of where to begin, reach out to a qualified treatment center, healthcare professional or mental health professional for guidance. 

Signs that you need help for your substance use include, but are not limited to:

  • Prioritizing use over other responsibilities/activities such as you job, relationships, or hobbies
  • You’re experiencing an increased tolerance or need to use larger amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effects
  • You feel sick or experience intense cravings when you have not used in several hours, or in a day or two
  • You’re hygiene, weight, and overall appearance has changed
  • You find yourself self-medicating with substances 
What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab programs, also known as residential treatment centers, offer 24 hour care in a controlled environment.  Participants check themselves into the facility for an extended amount of time to receive therapeutic, medical, and behavioral health care.  Participants reside within the facility for the duration of their stay and often have access to a variety of recovery support services including medical detoxification, medication management, and case management. Inpatient rehab can be effective for anyone experiencing substance use issues, but it is especially effective for those living with a severe dependence or significant impairments in their daily living.   Residing within the facility reduces the risk of relapse and mitigates the effects of the daily stress that can trigger substance use

Licensed inpatient facilities offer 24-hour medical support and intensive therapeutic programming. Most programs will offer three distinct residential treatment options: detox, short-term residential treatment, and long-term residential treatment.  Medically monitored detoxification is recommended for individuals experiencing physical dependence on a substance.  Those with a potential for withdrawal will often complete a medically monitored detox protocol prior to transitioning to either short-term or long-term residential treatment. 

Both short-term and long-term inpatient programs incorporate group therapy, individual counseling, and educational lectures as part of the daily schedule.  Many facilities will also offer mental health care for those with a co-occurring diagnosis.  Patients typically stay at long-term residential facilities from three to six months, while a short-term facility stays last about three to six weeks.

Getting Ready for Admission

Once you’ve decided to enter an inpatient treatment program, you will want to make contact with the facility you plan to attend.  During the initial phone call, the staff will perform a preliminary screening to ensure you are being connected with treatment that fits your needs. At this time, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the facility, amenities, or treatment process.  A typical screening will ask you to provide information in the following areas: 

  • Demographic Information
  • Chemical History
  • Treatment History
  • Mental Health History
  • Medical History
  • Current Medications
  • Employment Status
  • Legal Status
  • Insurance Information

By the end of this initial phone call the staff member will schedule your appointment for admission.  You will also be given information on items to pack for your stay and provided with instructions relevant to your arrival at the facility. 

Arriving for Admission

Once you arrive at the treatment facility for your scheduled admission, you will be greeted by compassionate staff members. A full intake assessment will be completed to gather necessary information to determine your specific treatment needs.  The information gained during the initial assessment will also be used to create an individualized treatment plan.  Practical matters will also be handled during this time including finalization of payment arrangements and signing of required documentation.  At the conclusion of the assessment, your level of care will be established and you will then be ready for admission to the selected program.  

The Detox Process

Some people entering inpatient treatment will require a medically supervised detox at the time of admission.  Detoxification is the process of safely removing the alcohol, or other substances, from your system after physical dependence has developed.  In most cases, medications will be prescribed to help manage the uncomfortable symptoms associated with withdrawal from substances like opioids, benzodiazepines, or alcohol. 

Everyday Life

Most inpatient treatment programs offer structured programming which blends various educational and therapeutic elements.  You will be provided with a schedule during the initial admission process and will be expected to attend sessions regularly.  Each component of your daily schedule is important for your long-term success.  When preparing what to expect from inpatient treatment, a typical day in inpatient rehab will usually include a few of the following forms of therapy:

  • Group Therapy Sessions
  • Individual Therapy Sessions
  • Educational Lectures/Discussions
  • Family Counseling
  • Peer Support Groups

In between attending scheduled therapeutic or educational groups, you will have some leisure time.  During this time you will be able to take advantage of the amenities offered at your facility or spend time reading, journaling, or working on assignments.  Most treatment centers will also provide a dedicated timeframe for you to contact family members and loved ones during your stay. 

Aftercare Planning

Towards the end of your stay in an inpatient treatment center, you and your treatment team will begin to develop an aftercare plan.  An appropriate aftercare plan can significantly reduce chances of relapse after completion of inpatient treatment.  A typical aftercare plan will address any need you may have to aid you in your transition.  This can include follow-up appointments with outpatient treatment providers, medical providers, transitional housing (sober living), alumni support groups, and individual counseling.  The goal of the aftercare plan is to ensure you have adequate support as you return to your daily life.

Getting Started

Preparing to enter a treatment program is an important part of the recovery process.  Tying up any loose ends prior to starting treatment will allow you to fully focus on your recovery.  Thinking ahead will allow the admissions process to run as smoothly as possible.  When you are wondering what to expect from inpatient treatment, some things to think about prior to entering treatment are:

  • Taking time off of work – will you need to take a leave of absence from work to enter a treatment program?  Greenbriar offers case management services for employed individuals.  Contact us today to learn more.
  • Arranging child care/pet care – Consider who will be caring for your children and/or pets while you are in treatment. Ensure you have safe, reliable accommodations to reduce stress while in treatment. If you are in need of assistance, a representative from Greenbriar can discuss available options. 
  • Securing transportation – You will need to have reliable transportation to the facility. You will need to determine your mode of transportation and who will be providing it. If you would like more information on available transportation options, contact the Greenbriar admissions staff.
  • Financial Maintenance – If you are planning to enter detox or inpatient treatment, take time to consider any financial responsibilities you will need to take care of prior to entering a program. Paying any bills, rent, or mortgages prior to entering treatment is recommended. If that is not possible, make arrangements with a trusted loved one to help you.  

At Greenbriar Treatment Center, we understand that everyone’s treatment needs are unique.  Whether you are coming to us from home or being referred by an outside entity, we are committed to helping you begin your journey.  Greenbriar currently offers a full continuum of care to help you build the foundation of your recovery.  Our continuum of care includes:

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Continuing Care

Our Admission Counselors are available and ready to answer any questions you may have regarding what to expect from inpatient treatment at Greenbriar Treatment Center.  If you or someone you care about is struggling with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help.