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Qualities of a Good Inpatient Treatment Program

Drug and alcohol addictions leave a lasting imprint within people’s lives. For someone who’s struggled with addiction for several years, substance abuse has essentially altered the mind and body to the extent where a comprehensive drug treatment approach offers the only hope for a successful recovery.

Inpatient treatment becomes necessary in cases where the effects of addiction have brought about serious medical and/or psychological complications that further aggravate the body’s addiction tendencies. At this point in a person’s life, the importance of finding a good inpatient treatment program is critical. Without quality treatment care, addicts in this condition will likely resume old drug-using behaviors and sink even deeper into the pit of addiction.

inpatient treatment addiction

A good evaluation process is key to the success of an inpatient treatment program.

Qualities of a good inpatient treatment program include –

  • A comprehensive evaluation process
  • Treatment planning
  • A competent staff
  • Aftercare supports

According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration News, out of all the people entering drug treatment programs in 2006, only 47 percent of those discharged successfully completed the program. Part of the reason for this has to do with a person’s motivation to get well; however, the quality of treatment received goes a long way towards determining the likelihood of success or failure.

Addiction’s Effects

Whether dealing in drugs or alcohol, the effects of addiction unfold in much the same way for everyone. Addictive substances have a way of disrupting brain chemical processes to the point where certain adverse effects take hold –

  • Increasing tolerance levels
  • Physical dependency
  • Psychological dependency

With ongoing drug (or alcohol) use, brain cell structures start to deteriorate, which in turn sets the dependency cycle in motion. What starts out as a physical dependency soon turns into a psychological crutch, at which point the addiction cycle has come full circle. The need for inpatient treatment care becomes increasingly necessary the more damage that’s done to brain cell functions.

Inpatient Treatment Care Provisions

Inpatient treatment care is but one of several options available to someone wanting to overcome addiction. What most distinguishes inpatient care from other types of treatment programs has to do with the intensity of care provided, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine.

Inpatient treatment programs provide –

  • Round-the-clock supervision
  • Treatment for medical conditions caused by substance abuse
  • Treatment for psychological disorders resulting from substance abuse
  • Medication therapies
  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Support group work

These conditions make for a highly structured treatment environment where addicts can dedicate their time, attention and energy to the recovery process.

The Evaluation Process

A good inpatient treatment program will dedicate ample time to the initial evaluation process. The evaluation process entails gathering vital information regarding a person’s current condition. Information gathered includes –

  • Past drug abuse history
  • Family history of drug abuse
  • Length of time using drugs
  • Type of drug used
  • Frequency of use
  • Medical history
  • Psychological history

Information gathered during the evaluation process is then used to compile a treatment plan that addresses a person’s specific treatment needs. The importance of the evaluation process cannot be underestimated as people who enter inpatient programs are often dealing with multiple physical and/or psychological problems on top of an addiction problem.

Treatment Program Considerations

Accreditation & Success Rates

While it may seem like any facility calling itself an addiction drug treatment program would be legitimate, many programs are independently owned and so may or may not follow standard drug treatment protocols. A good inpatient treatment program, whether publicly or privately owned, will adhere to certain established treatment models that have proven to be effective in helping addicts overcome addiction.

A legitimate inpatient treatment program will hold the necessary accreditations and licensing as required by state law. The staff working at any one facility should be licensed to provide treatment within their assigned roles. In the absence of accreditation and licensing, treatment programs may offer a sub-standard level of care that compromises the safety and overall well-being of the patients.

Another indicator of quality treatment lies in the overall success rates of a program. Treatment facilities that keep a record of treatment outcomes (preferably through an objective third party rating agency) can provide actual proof of the quality of care that’s offered.

Co-Occurring Conditions

The effects of long-term drug abuse leave the brain in a diseased-type state in terms of the chemical imbalances that form. Brain chemical imbalances affect all aspects of brain function compromising a person’s physical and psychological well-being.

More oftentimes than not, people coming off long-term addictions have developed serious mental health problems that only work to aggravate addiction’s effects. Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety feed into the addiction cycle, worsening withdrawal effects and drug cravings. Likewise, ongoing drug use only increases the intensity of symptoms associated with mental health disorders.

A good inpatient treatment program is well prepared to address and treat mental health disorders resulting from long-term drug use. An effective inpatient treatment program will employ an integrated treatment approach when dealing with addiction and mental health issues. An integrated approach entails coordinating treatment interventions used in addiction and mental health treatment rather than treating each condition separately.

Elements of a Good Treatment Team

The quality of staff that work in inpatient treatment facilities, for the most part, determine the effectiveness of any one treatment program. In order to address the array of issues long-time addicts face in recovery, a good inpatient treatment program will assign a team to handle each patient’s treatment planning and implementation.

An inpatient treatment team typically includes the following –

  • A social worker
  • A psychologist
  • A physician
  • A case manager
  • A dietician
  • A nurse

Inpatient facility staff should also have ample experience in working within the addictions field.

Aftercare Services

Inpatient treatment program durations can run anywhere from a month to six months. While these programs do provide intensive care, someone with a long history of addiction will require ongoing treatment once he or she completes an inpatient program.

A good inpatient program will develop a comprehensive aftercare plan that offers recommendations on what types of ongoing care are most needed to maintain long-term abstinence.

Regardless of how many times a person relapses and reenters the treatment process, the inpatient stage still represents a new beginning, making quality inpatient treatment especially important at this point in the recovery process.

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