Inpatient detox takes place in a residential setting, which means that you live at a facility specifically devoted to helping people withdraw from drugs. Staff members provide 24/7 supervision, monitoring, and care to help you remain safe and comfortable during the withdrawal phase. The goal of detox is to help you obtain a medically stable, drug-free state. Once stabilized, it is best to transition to a formal addiction treatment program and continue on your path to recovery.
Inpatient detox is appropriate for anyone who is struggling with a substance abuse problem, but it is especially beneficial for those addicted to opioids, alcohol, or sedatives, due to potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures.1
The two main inpatient detoxification settings include:1
Inpatient detox involves living at a detox facility for a specified period of time, while outpatient detox involves frequent visits to an outpatient center for care and monitoring.2
People receiving outpatient detox, which is less intensive than inpatient, still live at home while receiving detox services.2
Inpatient detox provides highly structured care, which makes it an ideal setting for:
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), inpatient detox services include “24-hour supervision, observation, and support for [people] who are intoxicated or experiencing withdrawal.”1 Conversely, people enrolled in an outpatient detox program receive anywhere from a couple hours per week to several hours per day of treatment, depending on the specific outpatient program.2
An intake evaluation is the first step in the detox process. You receive an evaluation from specialized substance abuse and mental health professionals to gather the following information:1,3
This information is used to create a comprehensive detox plan, as well as to help determine the appropriate level of placement in a rehabilitation program once detox is complete.
Anyone struggling with a substance addiction can benefit from inpatient medical detox, but SAMHSA strongly advises inpatient medical detox for people who meet certain criteria, such as:1
Inpatient detox will help you stay safe and help address complications that can come up during withdrawal.
Depending on the substance you are addicted to, you may be given different medications to help you throughout the withdrawal process. Specific substance withdrawal syndromes and the medications used to treat them include:5
No medications are FDA-approved to specifically treat withdrawal from other commonly-abused drugs, such as marijuana, stimulants, ecstasy, hallucinogens, or inhalants.
However, you may still receive supportive medications to help manage symptoms that can arise during detox; for example, you may be treated with antidepressants for depression.5
If you have private insurance, there’s a good chance that you will receive at least partial, if not full, coverage for detox. However, your coverage largely depends on your insurance plan. Calling your insurance company is the best way to find out what your plan covers.
If you have Medicaid or Medicare, you may also be covered for detox, but not all settings may be covered. Therefore, you should check with your plan administrator to determine exactly what’s covered and what your out-of-pocket costs might be.1
Due to the intensity of the program and the services offered, such as room and board and 24/7 care, inpatient detox is likely to cost more than outpatient detox. Several factors affect the cost of inpatient detox treatment, such as: 2
The overall cost of detox can vary greatly, but according to American Addiction Centers (AAC), the average cost of inpatient detox for a 7-day minimum stay is $600 to $1,000 per day, which means one week of detox may cost anywhere from $4,200 to $7,000.6
People who don’t have insurance or cannot realistically afford treatment costs may be eligible for payment through an income-based sliding scale, scholarship, grant, or payment plan, although the availability of these benefits depends on the specific detox center.
Medical inpatient detox programs employ a wide range of professionals, including physicians, nurses, addiction counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other support staff.1 A social detox will probably not have medical professionals on-site, but they do have therapists and counselors. Social detox programs will provide access to medical care in case of emergencies, such as through clinics and emergency departments, or will transfer a person to a medical facility if necessary.1
The philosophies of inpatient programs can vary widely, so some programs may offer access to other qualified professionals as well. For instance, a program that has a holistic approach (meaning a focus on the mind-body-spirit) may offer meditation, yoga, acupuncture, or nutritional counseling, so this means that professionals who offer these services are usually available in addition to standard detox staff.
It’s important to note that detox is not a substitute for addiction treatment because it does not address the underlying issues that initially caused or contributed to your drug abuse. Once detox is complete, you should transition to a professional substance abuse treatment program that meets your specific needs, or, if the inpatient detox took place within a treatment program, then you may remain at that facility for continued rehabilitation.
Drug rehab can help you obtain and maintain sobriety. Rehab provides many benefits, such as addressing maladaptive behaviors that may lead to relapse, teaching healthy coping skills, helping you develop better ways of handling stress, and modifying your attitude about substance use.7
Rehabs offer a wide range of therapies to accomplish these goals. Some of the key therapies used include:7
As with detox facilities, rehabs also vary in terms of treatment philosophy (such as 12-step, non-12-step, or holistic), services and amenities offered, and staffing. Once you complete detox, staff at your detox center will help you find and enter the best rehab for your specific needs.