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Inpatient & Residential Rehab

Substance abuse treatment is an integral part of society. Millions of people struggle with addiction, with potentially catastrophic and irreversible consequences. Substance abuse treatment provides a source of hope for those who are struggling with addiction. In 2015, roughly 10% of people who needed substance abuse treatment received it; this accounted for 2.3 million Americans aged 12 and older out of the 21.7 million people who needed treatment.1

Treatment involves many different kinds of services, which range in intensity. Detoxification, inpatient, residential, outpatient therapy, case management, and support groups are some of the various forms of treatment that are available today. From 2005-2015, there were over 1.5 million admissions to substance abuse treatment centers in the United States.2

Substance abuse treatment is available for various types of addictions. Opioids, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine are some of the types of drugs that inpatient and residential treatment can target. From 2005-2015, the following 5 substances accounted for 96% of treatment admissions:2

  • Alcohol, 34% of admissions
  • Opiates, 34% of admissions
  • Marijuana, 14% of admissions
  • Stimulants, 9% of admissions
  • Cocaine, 5% of admissions

The Difference Between Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Many people assume that inpatient and residential treatment are the same. Confusing the two terms or using them interchangeably is common, due to their many similarities. For example, both involve living with people who are recovering from substance abuse and both have a specific and time-limited length of stay.

Inpatient and residential treatment differ in:

  • Length of stay.
  • Intensity of services.
  • Purpose of stay.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is generally the first step after detox and lasts between 1 and 3 months. The goal of inpatient treatment is to provide 24-7 medical stabilization, which is why this type of treatment has more of a hospital-like feel since patients are monitored by doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers. Treatment is structured and has a schedule that can include individual therapy, group therapy, case management, and support groups.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment facilities are less restrictive than inpatient treatment; however, the duration is a lot longer. Residential treatment is designed for a longer length of stay, which gives it a more comfortable, less sterile feel than inpatient treatment. Residential treatment can last from 6 to 12 months. The goal of this type of treatment is patients’ reintegration into society without the use of substances.3

In residential treatment, you live with other individuals who are learning to live without substance use. You will attend individual and group therapy and receive employment assistance, medical care, and other social support services.

Choosing Inpatient or Residential Treatment

There are many factors to consider when deciding between an inpatient or residential treatment center. Time commitment, insurance coverage, family, social, occupational, and other responsibilities are some of the biggest factors to consider. Does your insurance cover inpatient or residential treatment? If you have a family or are employed, can you leave these obligations for 6 to 12 months to complete a residential program?

The Benefits of Treatment: Inpatient vs. Residential

Inpatient and residential treatment approaches both offer certain benefits, as one size does not fit all. Not everyone can afford to live in a residential treatment facility away from their family, home, job, and other responsibilities. However, others might require this type of setting to learn life skills, cope with substance abuse and mental health issues, and stabilize medically. There is a sense of safety that comes with living in a long-term facility where your sobriety is consistently monitored and you are surrounded by others who have the same goal as you.

Inpatient treatment takes less time, allowing patients to re-enter society more quickly than those in residential treatment. Upon discharge from inpatient treatment, you can be connected with medical, psychological, and community services. These can include doctors who can provide medication management, outpatient therapy that can address mental health issues, support groups in the area, and other community services that you may require. In essence, it is possible to receive the services on an outpatient basis that you would receive in a residential treatment facility. The only difference is that you can continue living at home and tending to your daily responsibilities.

Addictions Inpatient Rehab Centers Treat

As previously mentioned, inpatient rehabilitation facilities treat all types of substance-related addiction. Furthermore, some inpatient facilities specialize in only one addiction. This can mean that you receive the most up-to-date and evidence-based treatment to help kick your substance abuse problem.

Substance abuse and addiction don’t develop in a vacuum. What this means is that many factors interplay to initiate and sustain addiction. These factors can include: 4

  • Family history of substance use and addiction.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Social supports.
  • Availability of drugs.
  • Poor social skills.
  • Underlying mental health issues.

In 2014, out of the 20.2 million people who had a substance disorder, 7.9 million had both a substance abuse and mental health disorder.5

If you have a substance abuse problem and experience mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or other disorders, it is crucial that you find a treatment program that addresses both types of disorders. American Addiction Centers (AAC) offers inpatient treatment programs that address both mental health and addiction. Oftentimes, underlying anxiety and depression can contribute to drug and alcohol use.

Specialized Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment serves a variety of people who are struggling with substance abuse alone or substance abuse and mental health disorders. Treatment options are available for teens, adults, and older adults. It is no secret that relapse is an unfortunate part of recovery. Inpatient treatment centers recognize how difficult the road to recovery is, and the risk of relapse. If you have been able to quit using substances and have recently relapsed, inpatient treatment is an appropriate option for you.

Substance abuse and addiction professionals understand that, for many people, recovery requires more than one admission to an inpatient treatment facility. That is a testament to the nature of addiction and how hard it is to free yourself from the disease. Inpatient treatment is a viable option even if you have already completed treatment.

Some centers offer treatment that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of a particular population. Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) community experience social discrimination, intolerance, and injustice that can impact their mental health and substance use and can benefit from LGBTQ-specific programs. Veterans and first responders experience trauma that can be addressed in an effective treatment program. Furthermore, programs can be gender-specific and facilities may offer executive and luxury options.

Will Your Insurance Cover Rehab?

The cost of rehab can vary and is based on many factors such as one’s length of stay, level of care and interventions needed, amenities, and specializations. Most treatment facilities have a unique relationship with insurance providers. Be sure to have your insurance information available to ascertain whether your insurance will cover the cost of treatment, either partially or in its entirety. Many treatment programs offer a sliding fee scale and scholarships.

Other Questions to Ask About The Facility

It is important to get as much information as possible before choosing a treatment facility. Some questions to consider when exploring your options include:

  • How long is the treatment program?
  • Are you allowed to see your family and if so, when?
  • Can you have a job during rehab?
  • Do you need a job during rehab?
  • What types of credentialing and licensing does the facility have?

Are You Looking For Inpatient Rehab?

Are you or someone you love struggling with addiction or substance abuse? Are drugs or alcohol becoming an overwhelming part of your life? If you answered yes to either of these questions, it is likely time that you ask for help.

Finding The Best Inpatient Drug Rehab

Most inpatient addiction treatment providers also provide outpatient treatment as part of their treatment plan. American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of addiction treatment and operates in locations across the United States. Our largest centers are located in:

How American Addiction Centers Can Help

American Addiction Centers is committed to being a leading provider in addiction treatment, offering a 90-day inpatient treatment program in addition to other services encompassing all levels of addiction treatment to promote sustained recovery. We are focused on treating the whole person, addressing mental illness, physical and social issues as well as addiction. We are also committed to providing you and your loved one with the most up-to-date and accurate information about addiction and treatment options. We operate a confidential addiction hotline available 24/7 to help people find their path to recovery.

We can be reached at 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? .

Still Unsure About Seeking Treatment

Learning about addiction and treatment options may feel overwhelming. If you are still unsure about how treatment works, how to ask for help, or how to get treatment, consider the following guides:

Don’t let your insurance, financial situation, or fear get in the way of getting the help you need. The first step is making the phone call to get valuable information that could help you heal and put you on the path to recovery.


1.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. (2016). America’s need for and receipt of substance use treatment in 2015.

2.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. (2015). Treatment episode data sets (TEDS) 2005-2015.

3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (third edition).

4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Drugs, brains, and behavior: The science of addiction.

5. National Institute on Mental Health. (2016). Substance use and mental health.