Inpatient Treatments

There are several treatment options for a person dealing with a mental health disorder. It may be difficult to decide which option is best between the intensive outpatient program and an intensive inpatient program.

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Inpatient vs. Outpatient

An outpatient rehab program could be effective even in its flexibility. This allows the individual to receive great healthcare while being close to home and society. They are able to spend some hours daily in the treatment facility while still attending school, meeting up with friends, having time with family and dealing with the societal structure as a whole. An outpatient program may be best suited to a person who exhibits milder symptoms of mental illnesses, are in the earlier stages of substance use disorder or drug addiction. It may also be befitting for a person who is unable to take time away from work to check in to a facility as an in-patient.

However, depending on the severity and extent of the individual’s mental health, he or she may require a more intense level of treatment where they can be more closely supervised and away from an environment that can easily trigger them or have access to drugs, alcohol or controlled substances. An inpatient program may as well be recommended with a patient who has been previously treated as an outpatient but relapsed.

In a safe and secure inpatient program facility, the patient is cared for while being closely monitored. The inpatient program is structured such that the person is gradually stabilized and prepared again for the outside world in a way that reduces the risk of further relapse and re-hospitalization. Under 24-hour care, the patient is better understood and cared for, helping them prepare for a life free of drugs and alcohol addiction and the ability to manage negative urges, thoughts, and influence.

There are 4 major steps taken in an inpatient facility to help a patient get fully restored and become a well-functioning, healthy member of the society.

teens standing by fence

Inpatient Treatment Steps

The first step taken as a young person or an individual is checked in to a teen rehab center or inpatient facility is the detoxification process to stabilize the patient. This is especially useful for a patient with addiction or dual diagnosis. Alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances are removed from the body. It is a psychological process to help control the use of substances. Depending on the extent of the addiction and the body of the patient, this process may take a few days or weeks. Sometimes, medically assisted treatments may be used in detoxification. MATs are done using drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the brain’s reaction to the addictive drugs and alcohol as well as alleviate the euphoric feeling the substances provide.

It is important, however, to understand that detoxification does not count for the treatment itself. Not continuing treatment after detox causes a relapse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40-60% of people who undergo addiction treatment relapse after a period of recovery. However, at least 90% of people who discontinue treatment after detoxification relapse and about 59% relapse within only a week. Continued treatment after detoxification not only reduces the risk of relapse, it also promotes long term recovery.

The second stage of treatment following detoxification is Patient Assessment. Done to ensure that the individual is placed under a suitable combination of treatment plans, a health professional evaluates all aspects of the patient’s life and health. This includes social, mental, emotional physical health as well as his or her previous health records. This process is a thorough one that seeks to fully understand the life of the patient, their relationship with friends and family, their academic record and so on. The professional tries to understand the root cause of the mental illness if possible. Gathering and analyzing the information, the specialist is able to recommend treatment programs that best suit the patient’s individual needs that increase their chance of recovery.

Following the assessment, the patient begins treatment. Several treatment options, programs, and combinations are possible following the professional specialist’s recommendation for the individual patient. Some of the treatment programs used include:

Continued Care

Following inpatient treatment and the last stage of inpatient facility rehabilitation and care is the continuing or aftercare. The continuing care process begins at the time of admission into the facility. The facility professionals work to help figure out the best step following completion of inpatient care and discharge. Continuing care plans may include outpatient care, a weekly therapy session of medication management. It is also done to ensure that the patient has a safe space, free of triggering environments or temptation as they are immersed back in society. Sometimes, an alternate temporary living arrangement may be recommended to enable full recovery post-treatment.

holding hands

Choosing a Facility

It is important to choose an in-patient facility with specialized professionals to help with the recovery of a teenager or adolescent in order to fully heal and avoid temporary or incomplete treatment before discharge that may allow for relapse.

Additional Therapy Options

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT):
    Usually a talk therapy, a professional helps the patient, teaching them to effectively manage their thoughts, manage stressful environments, build better human relationships and understand the need and importance of self-control and respect, all without the use of drugs or alcohol. Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy teaches the patient to function effectively in the world system. Sitting one-on-one with a professional therapist, the patient can address issues that bother them, ask any questions they may have and get advice on how to perceive the world and their experience.
  • Group Therapy:
    The inpatient facility places the young adolescent or teenager in a group where they have had similar experiences. Understanding oneself from shared experiences and the perception of other people who are your peers helps a lot in the rehabilitation process. A professional is able to get each individual in the group to participate in this process of sharing and contributing. It makes the teenagers feel more secure knowing that they are not alone, and their experiences, thoughts, and feelings are not unique to them. Peer support reduces the feeling of isolation and boosts their self-confidence and sense of security. The group may also be sensitized and educated on issues common to them such as addiction and how to conquer it, how to build useful life skills and avoid relapse.
  • Family Therapy:
    The importance of a family in the healing of an individual, especially teenagers and adolescents can not be overemphasized. The ages 12-18 are the ficklest years of an individual’s life and it sets the precedence for adulthood. Through the help of a professional, the family learns how best to support and understand their child, brother or sister. All interpersonal issues are resolved in family therapy as they all learn to communicate better and more efficiently. Seeing the effort of the family and encourages the child or individual, increasing their will to progress, heal and become mentally stable.
  • Acceptance Therapy and Commitment Therapy
    Most people who have mental conditions find it very hard to accept that they have a mental illness. Sometimes, it is what drives them to substance use. People with dual diagnoses usually do not accept any of their diagnosis, they do not want to believe that they genuinely have a mental condition or that they are addicted. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps the patient accept their experiences rather than avoid them. It also helps them understand the need to commit to the program which helps them set up better values as individuals.

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