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Inpatient Rehab for Alcohol

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction (alcohol use disorder, or AUD), know that you don’t have to struggle alone. You have many options for compassionate, evidence-based AUD treatment, including inpatient rehab. This article will help you learn more about what to expect from inpatient treatment so you can make an informed decision about the best type of alcohol rehab treatment for you.

What Is Inpatient Alcohol Rehab?

Inpatient rehab refers to a level of care to treat AUD where you live at the rehab center for the length of treatment.1 This is in contrast to outpatient rehab, where you still live at home but attend treatment at regular appointment times throughout the week. Inpatient rehab offers 24-hour care and support. Residential treatment is one example of inpatient rehab.1

Inpatient alcohol rehab centers come in different settings. Some are in acute care hospitals, while others are in specialized addiction treatment centers that model residential home setting that cover all levels of care, from detox through aftercare programs. Think of a “higher level of care” on the spectrum of intensive care. The more intensive services have credentialed staff—for example, medical doctors, registered nurses, and other licensed addiction professionals such as counselors and social workers.

Though you essentially live at treatment during inpatient rehab, not all inpatient rehab programs are residential as residential treatment is one example of inpatient treatment. Traditional rehab often takes place in a hospitalized setting and offers short-term acute care to help medically stabilize the patient before they can be transferred to a residential setting or another lower level of care. Residential rehab programs often last longer than traditional inpatient rehab, take place in a non-hospital setting, and are staffed mainly by non-clinical personnel.1

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab Programs

Choosing inpatient rehab has a variety of benefits compared to outpatient treatment, no matter how long you stay. Benefits of choosing inpatient treatment include:2

  • Having access to mental health services and medical care.
  • Being surrounded by other patients with similar recovery goals.
  • Having limited contact with outside distractions such as family, friends, and your triggers (the people, places, and things that make you want to drink) can give you more time to focus on yourself and your recovery.
  • Being provided with safe and stable housing during your stay.

What to Expect in Inpatient Rehab for Alcohol

Alcohol addiction treatment is a process that continues after you leave treatment and are living your life in recovery. It begins with a detailed assessment to answer questions about your:2

  • Substance use history.
  • Physical and mental health.
  • Family history.
  • Current social support system.
  • Living situation.
  • Employment status and history.
  • Previous treatment experience.

Your care team will use these details to help determine your treatment plan. If you have severe AUD or are at risk of life-threatening alcohol withdrawal symptoms, your care team may suggest that you go through detox at the start of your rehab stay.2 Medical detox helps you safely withdraw from alcohol and get ready for further treatment.

Other services included in inpatient rehab may include individual and group therapy, treatment medicines, education about AUD, relapse prevention training, and referrals to continuing care.2

Types of Therapy in Inpatient Rehab

A key part of rehab is addressing the underlying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that led to alcohol use in the first place. Behavioral therapies help with this.3 Common evidence-based therapies used to treat alcohol use disorder include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps you learn to identify and change harmful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to your alcohol use.4
  • Motivational interviewing (MI) or motivational enhancement therapy. This therapeutic method seeks to quickly increase your motivation for change and works with you to create a plan that helps you abstain from alcohol use.5
  • Contingency management (CM). CM offers rewards or incentives for meeting positive treatment goals, such as negative urine or breath tests.6
  • 12-step facilitation therapy. This approach involves 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to reduce the risk of relapse (return to alcohol use after a period of not using).7
  • Medication for addiction treatment (MAT). MAT uses treatment medicines along with behavioral therapies to help reduce cravings and the risk of relapse.8

How Long Does Inpatient Rehab Last?

How long inpatient alcohol treatment lasts varies from person to person and is dependent upon factors such as:

  • How much alcohol you drink and how long you’ve been drinking.
  • Your overall physical and mental health.
  • Whether or not you’ve tried to quit drinking in the past or have been to treatment before.
  • Cost.
  • Insurance.

Some short-term inpatient rehab programs may last only a few days or weeks, while long-term inpatient rehab can last from 6 to 12 months or more. You and your care team will discuss your length of stay at the beginning of treatment and throughout your recovery.9

How Much Does Inpatient Rehab Cost?

Like your length of stay, the cost of inpatient rehab depends on many factors. These include:

  • Location of the facility.
  • Types of services and amenities chosen.
  • Program length.
  • Your insurance plan.

Will Insurance Pay for Treatment?

Per the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most insurance companies do cover alcohol addiction treatment and mental health services in some way.10 Call the number on the back of your insurance card to know for sure what your insurance company will and won’t cover. Or you can get started online by filling out the Verify Insurance form.

If you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover the entire cost of treatment, you may have other options such as state grants, sliding-scale fees, payment plans, and Medicare or Medicaid.

How to Choose the Right Inpatient Rehab Program

Choosing the right treatment center depends on your treatment needs, recovery goals, and other personal factors. It is important to know about the different treatment programs and services so you can make confident, informed decisions about your care. Questions to ask a treatment facility include the following:11,12

  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • What is the cost of treatment?
  • How long is treatment and will that be enough time for me to achieve my goals?
  • What therapies, interventions, and services are offered, and are they evidence-based?
  • Do you offer medical care?
  • Do you tailor treatment plans to each person?
  • What services do you offer after I complete rehab?
  • Are you licensed and accredited?

How to Find Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Seeking alcohol addiction treatment is one of the most important and rewarding decisions you can make. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is a leading provider of alcohol inpatient rehab with facilities across the nation. If you’re ready to take the first step, we’re ready to help. Call our free and confidential helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at . Our trained and compassionate admissions navigators can answer any questions you may have about treatment and help you find inpatient alcohol rehab near you.



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