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Inpatient Hospitalization

National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services statistics show that 10,220 people were in inpatient hospitalization programs in 2020. Benefits of these programs include 24/7 medical and therapeutic care and aftercare planning to support the next stage of recovery.

What Is Inpatient Hospitalization?

Inpatient hospitalization is an intense level of care that provides medical and emotional support to people seeking treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD). Some programs have around-the-clock care and access to medical staff who can supervise the detoxification process and administer medication to help manage dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

When someone with an addiction seeks treatment, one of the first steps is to complete an evaluation to determine the necessary level of care. Information on physical, mental, and familial history and the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms will be gathered. Relapse potential, readiness for change, and living environment may also be assessed. Details like these help determine which treatment program may provide the most benefits.

Types Of Inpatient Hospitalization

There are various types of inpatient services centered around the needs of those in different stages of their addiction recovery.

High-Intensity Inpatient Treatment In A Hospital Setting

High-intensity inpatient treatment in a hospital setting is intended for those needing medication during treatment. In this type of detox program, a person will receive constant monitoring by medical staff to address any dangerous physical or psychological responses during withdrawal. For example, someone detoxing from alcohol may experience seizures or delirium tremens. Detoxification may take a few days or weeks, with little peer interaction.

A referral to intensive inpatient hospitalization or detox means someone has the following:

  • Acute withdrawal symptoms that need medical management.
  • Cognitive, physical, and psychological struggles due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
  • A substance use disorder.
  • Possible co-occurring disorders.

Inpatient Rehab

Another type of inpatient hospitalization is inpatient rehab for those needing emotional support during withdrawal and encouragement to continue treatment after detox. Inpatient rehab takes place in a hospital setting and offers access to 24-hour management or monitoring by nurses and doctors if needed. Unlike a detox program, participants in inpatient rehab attend group activities, meals, 12-Step meetings, and downtime with peers. Thirty days is usually the minimum length of stay.

A referral to inpatient rehab means someone has the following:

  • High risk for relapse if they stay in their current environment.
  • Withdrawal and mental health symptoms that do not require around-the-clock medical management.
  • A substance use disorder.
  • Possible co-occurring disorders

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is the least intensive type of inpatient treatment, offering people with a SUD a place to live during early recovery. They include structured support for learning recovery and relapse prevention skills without the stressors of home.

Someone referred to residential treatment is medically stable and can manage withdrawal symptoms with less access to clinical staff. It is a place where the primary focus is on overcoming addiction.

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Do I Need Inpatient Hospitalization?

The need for inpatient hospitalization services is determined by the severity of the SUD. Eleven criteria determine if someone has an addiction. Someone with two or three criteria has a mild substance use disorder. Four or five symptoms indicate a moderate SUD and six or more characterize a severe SUD.

The eleven criteria include:

  • Taking more of the substance than intended and for extended periods.
  • Wanting to cut back or quit misusing substances but can’t.
  • Having cravings, urges, and obsessive thoughts about the substance.
  • Spending most of the day seeking, using, and recovering from substance use.
  • Continuing use, despite interfering with home, work, school, or social activities.
  • Continuing use, despite worsening physical or psychological conditions.
  • Continuing use, despite it causing problems with relationships.
  • Giving up activities and hobbies to use substances.
  • Putting oneself in dangerous situations to buy or abuse substances.
  • Building a tolerance or needing more substance to feel the same effects.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when going without or cutting back on use.

Not everyone with a SUD must enter inpatient hospitalization. However, those who live in an environment that makes it difficult to avoid relapse may benefit from inpatient care, and so could those who experience withdrawal symptoms so severe that they are unable to participate in therapy.

Inpatient Hospitalization Timeline

Inpatient hospitalization programs follow a general timeline for treatment, most often starting with assessment and detox.

First Few Hours

Inpatient hospitalization begins with a drug, alcohol, and mental health assessment by a clinician at the treatment facility. The assessment can take two or more hours, and the information you provide determines the type of treatment you will receive. If you qualify for inpatient hospitalization, they will begin the admission process, which can take a few more hours or up to a day, depending on how many openings are available.

Day 1 – Day 7

Once admitted for inpatient treatment, supervised medical detox begins. Detox can take a few days to a couple of weeks. Length of addiction, type of substance used, and tolerance all influence how long someone stays in detox. Frequent visits with a doctor and nurse ensure a person is safe and comfortable until they are stable enough to enter the next phase of treatment.

Weeks 2 – 4

Once stable, a person can move from detox to inpatient rehab, where they will begin recovery. Following a daily schedule, they will participate in behavioral therapies that may include:

  • Medication-assisted therapy (MAT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Contingency management (CM)
  • 12-Step groups
  • Holistic and alternative therapies

Inpatient rehab offers programs to educate participants on addiction, relapse prevention skills, and aftercare. Length of stays vary; some people stay one month, while others stay 90 days or longer.

At the end of the first month of treatment, counselors and participants may discuss extending their time in rehab, with the decision based on the participant’s progress. Long-term inpatient rehab stays often result in positive outcomes since there is time for the person to gain skills and knowledge to help them maintain recovery.

Week 4 – Discharge

Individual and group therapies continue until discharge, with aftercare planning becoming a significant part of treatment. Aftercare treatment refers to a person’s plan to maintain sobriety once they leave the inpatient setting. For some, aftercare means entering intensive outpatient programs in their local community. For others, it means establishing housing or transportation, employment, childcare, or educational training. Aftercare plans are then created with the individual’s goals and situation in mind.

How Much Does Inpatient Hospitalization Cost?

The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) shows that a 30-day inpatient program can cost between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on the type of facility and location. For example, according to the NCDAS, inpatient programs in Washington, D.C., can cost $66,538. That’s $24,343 more than what inpatient treatment may cost in Idaho, which is $42,195.

Numerous factors determine the cost of inpatient hospitalization, which may differ for everyone seeking treatment. Listed below are common factors that affect the cost of treatment.

Type Of Treatment Program

Different types of treatment programs have different fees for services. An intensive detoxification program that requires medication to manage withdrawal symptoms and 24 hours of medical supervision will cost more than an intensive outpatient program.

Another distinction affecting cost is whether the treatment program is state-funded or private. Entering a state-funded program will cost less than most other programs. Since they receive government funding to help pay for resources, they don’t have to charge the person seeking help. Private treatment programs often charge for treatment services, meals, and amenities.

Amenities At A Treatment Facility

Every inpatient treatment program offers basic amenities included in the cost, such as a clean room, bed, linens, meeting rooms, counseling offices, medication stations, healthy meals, and activity spaces. Some rehabs offer additional amenities that cost extra, like private rooms, organic foods, swimming pools, hiking trails, executive suites furnished with office equipment, specialty classes, massage and other spa services, and workout facilities. The more amenities available, the more costly the program can be.

Length Of Stay In Treatment

Many inpatient treatment programs can charge daily fees, prorating the services. Depending on a person’s treatment plan, costs may range from hundreds to thousands daily.

How To Pay For Inpatient Hospitalization

Insurance Coverage For Treatment

Most insurance companies offer healthcare benefits to cover inpatient and outpatient SUD treatment to varying degrees. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was passed in 2010, making insurance companies cover behavioral health services equal to how they cover medical and surgical services. For most, this covers inpatient treatment. However, each company controls how much they cover. Medicare and state insurance plans typically cover all inpatient hospitalization services.

Grants And Scholarships

Scholarships and grants may cover part or all of an inpatient hospitalization program and are available to qualified individuals. These funds can come from state-funded programs or private organizations, like non-profits, charities, and religious groups.

Find A Rehab Center

If searching for inpatient hospitalization feels challenging or overwhelming, you don’t have to go through the process alone.

Reach out to a treatment provider today who can answer your questions and get you started on the road to recovery.

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