Inpatient Treatment Centers...Well, Duh

Inpatient Treatment Centers

Inpatient Treatment Centers...Well, Duh

By Ned Wicker

America watches with anticipation, waiting to catch a glimpse of Lindsay Lohan in jail. It’s big news, of course, more important than the Afghan war, the economy and any social ills you can think of.

We love our celebrities.

We savor each juicy, sorted detail and we take sides on all the critical issues, such as how unfair it all is, or how she didn’t get enough jail time, or we wonder how is she ever going to promote her movies when she’s put away.

What America does not see and what it does not understand and what it does not care about is the fact that this young person is an addict. And don’t forget that she violated the terms of her probation, and she does drugs. Well, duh!

Lohan is the perfect example of how a person’s life can get out of control for a variety of reasons. I suppose it’s too much to expect a young person to fully grasp that Hollywood fame, fortune and beauty are fleeting, the industry is not the reality of the world and it’s all too easy to get caught up in a lifestyle that is counter to one’s best interest.

Drugs, nightclubs and being one of the beautiful people takes its toll. This person has made so many bad decisions, but the only reason we are interested is because she’s young, famous and very pretty. Thousands of people her age aren’t as fortunate to have access to money and privilege.

We are shocked that somebody is forcing her to spend 90 days in a rehab facility. I sincerely hope she is helped and can move forward with her career and her life. She’s no different from you and me, just in the spotlight.

Addiction doesn’t care about her acting career, or the fact that she is working on a project and has just completed another. Addiction only cares about itself. Some of Lohan’s legal entanglements stem from her probation violations and her inability to follow-up on treatment, but it’s all a part of the pattern of addiction.

If there is nothing to stop the cycle of addiction, nothing to take the place of the familiar routines, there is no real expectation that her life will change. There will be a short jail stay, which is punishment for poor decisions, but the 90-day in-patient treatment is what will hopefully make the difference and help her to regain control and live productively. Hopefully too will be a recovery program that facilitates a spiritual regeneration, to help her return to wholeness.

If all goes according to plan, there will be no relapse, no bad behavior and no headlines. I know, that’s boring, but I’m sure we’ll all move on to the next celebrity to worship and subsequently tear down.

Lohan is in a tough spot. She’s not yet 25, but looks like she’s in her late 30’s. She is caught up in the current of a lifestyle that is more fantasy than every day.

Judy Garland, the teenager who took the world by storm in her lead role in the Wizard of Oz, was also fighting the current. The studio thought that she wasn’t pretty enough, or she was too fat, or she didn’t move well enough. The girl could sing and bring the house down, she was a fine actress and remains a beloved star of cinema, but the fame and fortune got her.

She aged quickly, fell into bad habits, made bad decisions and died long before her time. Life moved too quickly, or maybe it just passed her by.

We have always read stories about celebrities and drugs, as if drug abuse and addiction were prerequisites for fame and fortune. The tabloids thrive on this stuff. We are fascinated by it all, yet if a regular person has an addiction, we just think of that person as being another worthless addict. Throw them in jail, they deserve it - that desire is heightened by celebrity.

We love seeing Lohan in prison garb. We don’t necessarily think of human suffering, the loss of relationships and we certainly don’t make the connection that another person’s suffering is our concern. Cain asked God “Am I my brother’s keeper?” when questioned about the whereabouts of Able.

Addicts need treatment, not headlines and more jail time. Lohan’s situation is our situation. There are millions who suffer from addiction. The headlines are just the byproduct of the disease. Right now, Lindsay Lohan would probably like to be just another young adult who is healthy, happy and excited about the future. Look beyond the celebrity and see the suffering. All the bad decisions, abhorrent behavior and the whole tawdry show that goes with it all points to the addiction.

Inpatient Treatment Centers Need To Be Unique Because Each Addict Is Unique

Each case is unique so Inpatient Treatment Centers have to be tailor-made to fit the needs of the individual.

One size does not fit all and people have to be in the right setting in order for healing to take place.

So whether the judge ordered the treatment, whether it’s in-patient or out-patient, look for programs that treat body, mind and spirit. All three components work together. Even if a person can get back to health, the destruction on their lives that the addiction has inflicted may require emotional and spiritual support. Good treatment centers recognize this important aspect of drug recovery.

Types of Inpatient Treatment Centers

Let’s begin by stating that Inpatient Treatment Centers may consist of several different elements. For example, a program may center on behavioral therapy, which is counseling, cognitive therapy and psychotherapy. Sometimes the needs of the individual necessitate a medical treatment component.

This presents an interesting point for consideration. Just as people are complex and all Inpatient Treatment Centers are different, so too are the theories surrounding drug treatment. I once worked with a psychotherapist who would bristle at the idea of ANY medical intervention in drug treatment, and likewise worked with medical people who ONLY saw the value of a using medicine to help the patient work through the clutches of addiction. A balanced program is usually the best.

12-Step Programs: Under behavioral therapy is the 12-Step program which was developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, a program so successful that over 250 self-help groups have adopted it. Instead of “alcohol” just insert your drug of choice. Written by addicts, the 12-step has proven to be a powerful tool for fighting through addiction. The driving force behind the 12-step is the relationship that is formed between the recovering addict and the “power outside them” that guides and sustains them. Relationships and support are important healing elements in recovery. For more about 12-step Inpatient Treatment Centers click here

Prison-Based Treatment Programs: Drug users can get a variety of services while in prison, from classes, to self-help programs. The TC we discussed before has been found to be very effective in a prison setting. The therapeutic community is effective in reducing recidivism, not only to drug use but to criminal behavior. Inmates who are in treatment need to be separated from the general population to avoid the bad influences of the prison culture. The benefits of treatment can also be easily lost once a prisoner is returned to the general population, so they are encouraged to continue in the program, both in and out of incarceration.

For more about Prisons and Addiction Treatment click here

Agonist Maintenance Treatment: This is used for the treatment of addiction to opiates and is usually an out-patient program. This is also called Methadone Treatment, and a synthetic opiate medication, usually methadone or LAAM, is used to prevent opiate withdrawal and decrease the craving associated with opiate addiction.

Moreover, once the patient is stabilized, the synthetic opiate will block the effects of the street opiate. The medication is given orally for a specific period of time, and the program is designed to help patients live a “normal” life, go to work and get on with life. Patients are helped because they can engage in the therapy sessions and better resist any criminal or violent behavior. These programs include group sessions, individual counseling and referral for other needed medical or social services.

Narcotic Antagonist Treatment: This is also an out-patient program for opiate addicts, but the medication, in this case Naltrexone, is not given until after the patient has gone through medical detoxification in a residential setting. Naltrexone, like Methadone, is a synthetic and has few side effects. It’s long-lasting and patients will take it two or three times a week. The reason patients need to go through detox first is that the drug will not work if there is any lingering opiate in the system. If this is not done, the drug can produce what is called an opiate abstinence syndrome. When all is right, the Naltrexone will block the effects of opiates, and that is the idea behind this treatment; patients gradually change their habits because of the continued lack of the desired effect of the opiate. To receive benefit, patients in this treatment program need to be constantly monitored for compliance, be in therapy sessions.

Out-Patient Drug-Free Treatment: This type of service is less costly than the previously mentioned treatments, but some of the more streamlined versions of this treatment may offer little more than some education. Do your homework first. This is a good program for those who have social support, hold jobs and have connections to resources. Some out-patient, non-drug programs can offer the same intensity of the in-patient treatments, with an emphasis on individual patient needs, such as medical and psychological.

Long-Term Residential Treatment: Long-term residential provides 24-hour service in a non-hospital setting. Most popular and well known is the therapeutic community model (TC). Some residential centers may use other models, like cognitive-behavioral therapy, but the TC is most common. By long term, we mean six to 12 months, as these programs focus on “re-socialization” and sometimes that means rebuilding a life. Patients interact with staff and other residents during treatment, and addiction is viewed in terms of the patient’s social setting, his/her psychological factors, and treatment takes place in a highly structured setting, as the patients’ schedule from wake-up to bed-time is programmed. Sometimes this form of therapy can be confrontational, as patients are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, and rethink their views on themselves, their view of the world and their place in it. Some treatment centers offer employment training and referral. The person who needs this treatment has more severe problems. They may have mental issues, criminal/legal complications.

Short-Term Residential Programs(Rehab): These programs began as a treatment for alcoholism, using the 12-step program. Centers began treating drug addiction in the 1980’s, when cocaine use reached epidemic proportions. Originally, patients would participate in a hospital-based program for three to six weeks, then enter into out-patient therapy. Also included in this model were self-help groups. Unfortunately, cutbacks in healthcare coverage for drug and alcohol abuse have resulted in fewer of these programs, and under managed care, the length of stay is much shorter.

Medical Detoxification: We mentioned this before, but a note of explanation is necessary to clear up any misconceptions. People have this image of detox being a torture chamber, an image brought on my Hollywood. Patients are systematically taken off drugs and are under the care of a physician. It used to be thought that detoxification was a treatment in and of itself, but it is most often just a precursor to treatment. Think of it as helping a patient get back to square one and get the drugs out of the system. For most types of drug abuse, detoxification can include medications to make the withdrawal process safer. Sometimes, just going through this process without medication or the care of a physician can be fatal. Detoxification does not address psychological, behavioral or social issues, and so treatment is necessary to meet all of the patient’s needs.

Criminal Justice System: The research into treating abusers and addicts involved in the criminal justice system suggests that using the law and providing treatment can go hand-in-hand in reducing both drug use and the crime that goes with it. Whether a patient has court-ordered treatment, or voluntary, people who are under legal authority tend to stay in treatment longer than those who do not have any “legal” pressure to do so. Because addicts are so often the last ones to know they have a problem, the criminal justice system can often be the first to respond to an individual’s need, even sooner than health care or social systems. Sometimes the drug treatment is given in lieu of incarceration, or if incarceration is necessary, drug treatment takes place during that time period.

Community-Based Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: Rather than incarceration, criminal justice systems have tried pretrial entry into treatment, conditional probation or other limited diversion programs. Each carry sanctions and those being allowed to use this path are well advised to take full advantage of the treatment offered. The idea of the drug court shows promise, as drug courts have the muscle to order treatment and can facilitate treatment avenues. The courts monitor progress and can play a role in changing programs to meet individual needs. A resource for additional information is the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Courts Program Office.

Availability Critical for Inpatient Treatment Centers

Everything needs to be in place in order for Inpatient Treatment Centers to be effective. If a person is in need of treatment, treatment needs to be available.

If a person is put on a waiting-list, or if there is not treatment available in their community, or perhaps a short distance away, the degree of difficulty increases.

By the time people are entering addiction treatment programs, in so many cases, they have lost their driving privileges, or they’ve recently lost their job, or worse yet, they have nowhere to live. In many cases the Inpatient Treatment Centers have been ordered by a judge. Regardless of the circumstances, people need services, individual services to meet the needs of their condition.

Some people who enter Inpatient Treatment Centers must first go through medical detoxification, which in effect gets the drug out of their system, but that isn’t the answer to the problem. While they may not have the drugs in their system, patients completing detoxification needs to begin work on managing their drug addiction.

In-Patient can be either short-term or long-term, depending on the needs of the patient, and all too sadly, the patient’s ability to pay. People have a busy schedule of therapy sessions, which are not limited to drug addiction but can include job counseling, socialization skills, etc. The day is filled from early morning to bedtime.

Out-Patient can be very similar only sometimes people just come in for their therapy sessions, but are well enough to go home at the end of the day. These programs are well-designed for people with jobs, people who have family support and access to resources.

Inpatient Treatment Centers Take Time

Drug rehabilitation programs can be long and arduous and because of that people need encouragement to stick with it and finish. According to research statistics, drug recovery patients will reach a milestone in their recovery after three months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the treatment program is finished, or that additional treatment will not be helpful.

When people leave their treatment programs early, and do not hit that all important stage in their recovery, their chances for full recovery drop. Even with full completion of the program, patients can fail and need to return to treatment. It’s important to stay with it.

While in Inpatient Treatment Centers patients need to stay off drugs. This is a minimum expectation, but centers will inspect wheat they expect, and drug testing is routine. If a patient relapses and uses during treatment, the program will require modification to meet the needs of the patient.

Even if a patient makes it through the program, there is a change they may fail sometime in the future, and therefore, some people need to go back into treatment to completely manage the addiction problem. People fail. But it’s important to remember that the person’s health is most important, so if it takes two or three attempts, or more, so be it.

Whether in-patient or out-patient, Inpatient Treatment Centers can vary in intensity and length, and so careful examination of each program is necessary to make the best choice of treatment.

We end this section where we began, by noting that no two drug/alcohol treatment programs are alike nor should they be. The important thing to keep in mind is that other than denying a person access to drugs, successful treatment hinges on an individual’s willingness to be treated. It’s all about management of the problem.

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This site contains five MAIN pages that EVERYONE should read:






Read these five pages and learn what you need to know to spot drug addiction in:

Yourself... Your Family... Your Friends... Your Community...

The rest of the pages are there for your reference to explain important topics in more detail.

Finally don’t miss the Spiritual and 12-step sections to fully explore how understanding THE SPIRIT can lead to recovery!

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