One of the best models of drug rehab is inpatient addiction treatment. What makes inpatient so great? While it is not perfect, inpatient offers a number of advantages over other forms of treatment, such as outpatient or counseling. Let’s look at some of the advantages:
1) Safe environment – when you are actually in a drug rehab and staying there for a week or two, you are in a safe environment without exposure to drugs or alcohol. This fact alone can make a huge difference as far as relapse goes. The idea is that you are in a controlled environment and can therefore get a few weeks of easy sobriety under your belt with no problems. This is the number one advantage of staying in a rehab facility versus going to outpatient treatment.
2) Peer interaction – Another big part of what makes rehab work is that you form a micro community in treatment. Your peers that are in rehab with you will form a bond with you. This does not happen in counseling or outpatient treatment. The level of connection is part of what makes this experience special. You connect with your peers through living with them in a way that does not happen outside of rehab. This goes beyond what is shared during therapy and groups as well. Simply talking with peers while eating meals, smoking cigarettes, and watching television at night can take on new meaning during rehab. There are a few reasons for this.
One, you are sort of all thrown together on this journey in an intimate environment. It is as if you were all on a deserted island somewhere and were forced to do therapy together. This creates a close connection and a high level of intimacy. You can’t help but spend an enormous amount of time with each other. This is a large part of what creates a strong bond among the peers.
Two, there is a singleness of purpose in that you are all struggling to learn how to recover. All at the same time. You are all united in your common purpose to learn how to stay clean and sober. This makes a huge difference and goes even further in creating a close bond between everyone.
So the peer interaction is a huge part of what makes inpatient treatment work. It is a big part of what makes it special, and unique from other forms of treatment. Even though there is peer interaction in other types of treatment, such as outpatient, it is not nearly as intimate or significant.
3) Aftercare and ongoing support – One of the big advantages that you get from going to a short term residential facility is that they help to plan your aftercare program for you. If you just walk out of treatment and expect to stay clean and sober forever then you are probably deluding yourself. Instead it takes hard work and you have to follow through with more treatment and more effort. This might be in the form of counseling, group therapy, meetings, and so on.