Is My Addiction Bad Enough To Need Inpatient Treatment?
Inpatient addiction treatment offers 24/7, comprehensive care. You may need it if you have been diagnosed with a moderate-to-severe addiction, experience serious withdrawal symptoms, have a dual diagnosis, need medication-assisted treatment (MAT), or lack a supportive home.
During inpatient rehab, you live at an addiction treatment center and receive 24/7 care. While it’s highly effective, some people prefer outpatient rehab because it tends to be cheaper and more flexible. However, if your addiction is moderate-to-severe, you may need inpatient treatment.
Here’s how to tell which option is right for you.
Determine The Severity Of Addiction
To determine the severity of your addiction, you must talk to a behavioral health professional. Typically, the more symptoms of addiction you experience, the more severe your addiction. The most common symptoms include:
- frequently cravings alcohol or other drugs
- needing increasingly larger or more frequent doses of a drug to feel the desired effects (also called tolerance)
- experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety or sweating, when you don’t use drugs (also called physical dependence)
- feeling unable to cut down on or quit drugs despite negative consequences, such as relationship damage, financial problems, or job loss
- using drugs in unsafe situations, such as while driving or working
- using drugs for longer periods of time than you planned
- spending a lot of time getting or using drugs
- losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- finding that your drug use affects your appetite or sleep schedule
- feeling unable to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home
- feeling unable to maintain healthy relationships with friends and family members
- feeling unable to perform basic self-care tasks, such as showering or brushing your teeth
Even if you don’t develop all of these symptoms, or if some of them seem mild, you still might need inpatient treatment if you experience any of the follow issues:
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Do You Have Serious Withdrawal Symptoms?
As mentioned above, withdrawal symptoms are a common warning sign of addiction. The specific symptoms you experience depend on your body and the drugs you used. However, some of the most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- drug cravings
- mood swings
- trouble sleeping
- nausea and vomiting
- aches and pains
Even if your addiction seems mild overall, your withdrawal symptoms could cause you intense distress. You may also develop rarer, more serious withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- paranoia (irrational distrust of others)
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)
- suicidal thoughts
In that case, you should seek inpatient treatment that includes supervised medical detox.
Inpatient Medical Detox
During detox, health professionals closely monitor your physical and mental health as you get drugs out of your system. They can also help you slowly taper off drugs to reduce your risk of serious withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, your doctors may prescribe medications to ease certain symptoms and keep you as comfortable as possible.
Do You Have Co-Occurring Mental Health Concerns?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 9.2 million Americans have a dual diagnosis. That means they experience addiction alongside other mental health problems, such as:
- anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- bipolar disorder
Some people develop a dual diagnosis after using drugs to self-medicate their mental illnesses. Other times, a person’s drug abuse may affect their brain function in a way that increases their risk of mental illness.
In addition, both addiction and mental illness share common risk factors, including stress, trauma, and genetics.
Inpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment Plan
When you have a dual diagnosis, your addiction can make your other mental health concerns worse, and vice versa.
That’s why you need a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all of your co-occurring conditions at the same time. In many cases, you can only find this type of comprehensive care at an inpatient treatment program.
Depending on your needs, your dual diagnosis treatment plan may include services such as:
- cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help you change unhelpful beliefs and behaviors that make your mental health worse
- trauma-informed therapy
- family therapy
- support groups for people with dual diagnoses
- mental health medications, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, or antipsychotics
Do You Need Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
If you live with opioid or alcohol addiction, you may need medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This type of treatment combines behavioral therapy with medications that can ease your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The most common medications used in MAT include:
- acamprosate, which eases alcohol cravings
- buprenorphine, which eases opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- disulfiram, which discourages alcohol use by causing unpleasant side effects (such as headache and nausea) when you drink alcohol
- naltrexone, which blocks the pleasant effects of opioids and alcohol
While some outpatient programs provide MAT, you might find it easier to adjust to your medications in an inpatient setting. With 24/7 medical supervision, you can address any side effects or other medication-related concerns as quickly as possible.
Do You Live In An Unsupportive Home?
Even if you have a mild addiction and no co-occurring mental health concerns, you should only choose outpatient care if you have a supportive home. In other words, the people you live with must offer patience, support, and encouragement throughout the treatment process.
If you live in an unsupportive or chaotic environment, you face a much higher risk of relapse.
To learn more about addiction treatment options, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our board-certified treatment providers offer medical detox, therapy, and other evidence-based services to help you or your loved one thrive.
- National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/dualdiagnosis.html
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders/medications-counseling-related-conditions/co-occurring-disorders
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/find-support/learn-about-treatment/types-of-treatment