Tag: inpatient

Addiction Recovery – A Lifelong Journey

Many individuals who are newly exposed to the beautiful and fulfilling world of addiction recovery believe that their journey will both begin and end with inpatient treatment. However, this could not be more far from the truth, seeing as inpatient treatment is but the very beginning of the lifelong journey of addiction recovery. Addiction is unlike many other diseases in the sense that it requires ongoing attention once it is in remission; attention by means of continual spiritual attentiveness and growth. Other chronic diseases may require constant attention if they are to be kept in remission – for example, those with diabetes must stay on top of their blood sugar levels and take necessary actions if these levels become abnormal. Diabetes, however, is a disease of the body exclusively, while addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit inclusively. Like other chronic diseases, those who suffer from addiction must upkeep their health and adequately treat their symptoms for the remainder of their lives if they wish to stay in remission and avoid relapse. The difference is – those who suffer from substance dependency issues must work to maintain their spiritual (as opposed to their physical) health.

Crucial Stages of Early Recovery

Early recovery is crucial to the overall process of addiction recovery in the sense that the foundation laid will set the tone for the remainder of one’s sobriety. In most cases, early recovery can be broken down into several crucial segments. These individual stages are typically as follows:

  • Detox
  • Inpatient Addiction Treatment
  • Aftercare
  • Continual Aftercare

Depending on the individual, more stages may be required (for example, individuals with co-occurring psychological disorders may be expected to complete partial hospitalization programs upon graduation from inpatient treatment). Let’s take a closer look at each stage of early recovery to better understand why each is so crucial to the overall process.

Medically Monitored Detox

Medically monitored detox is crucial to early recovery, often required during the withdrawal phase of dependency. When an individual ceases using drugs and/or alcohol abruptly, they will inevitably experience harsh withdrawal symptoms – often so painful they quickly lead addicts back to using. Medical detox clinics are designed to keep clients physically safe, prescribing any medication necessary to avoid potentially life-threatening symptoms. They are also designed to make the overall process of withdrawal significantly more bearable.

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Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment is where the true recovery process begins. Clients will undergo a rigorous, therapeutically-centered schedule, geared towards uncovering and addressing underlying causes of substance dependency while treating any co-occurring disorders. The goal of inpatient treatment is to get all of the difficult therapeutic work completed in a safe and secure environment while introducing clients to the program of recovery, and instilling all of the tools and coping mechanisms necessary to maintain fulfilled sobriety for years to come.


Aftercare usually entails an extended stay at a halfway house or sober living facility. Most stays will last anywhere from 30 days to 9 months, though those who spender longer periods of time in halfway have been proven to experience much more success in maintaining long-term sobriety. Halfway houses are designed to allow clients higher levels of personal responsibility and freedom while maintaining a certain level of accountability – providing a seamless transition into everyday life without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Continual Aftercare

Continual aftercare is the portion of the process that requires regular and frequent upkeep. For most recovering addicts and alcoholics, aftercare is a highly personalized and unique experience – the trick is finding what works for you and sticking to it. For many individuals, continual aftercare comes in the form of a 12-step program of recovery. The amount of dedication a program of recovery requires will vary from individual to individual. Some will choose to attend a meeting a day for the remainder of their lives, while some will find that attending a home group once a week is sufficient. It is important to avoid drawing comparisons when deciding what works best for you and your sobriety – each recovering addict is unique, and each program of spiritual recovery is highly personal. Take time to develop yours, and try to remember to trust in the process!

The Difference Between Addiction Treatment and 12-Step Fellowships

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Addiction Treatment and 12-Step Groups Aren’t the Same Thing

This point can’t be made clear enough! Substance abuse treatment is not the same as attending a twelve-step fellowship.

In today’s world, it seems like a lot of people confuse the two. This could be for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the media’s portrayal of rehab and twelve-step groups. The two are often shown interchangeably.

While it’s certainly a fact that treatment and twelve-step recovery go hand-in-hand, they’re not the same thing. While all twelve-step groups offer a way to arrest and treat addiction, all treatment centers don’t subscribe to twelve-step beliefs.

difference between treatment and 12-step recovery

Both rehab and twelve-step recovery are vital parts of long-term sobriety from addiction and unhealthy behavior, but they have some major differences.

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Treatment is a Business & 12-Step Groups Aren’t

This is probably the largest and most obvious difference. Treatment costs money and twelve-step fellowships don’t. Treatment centers, even non-profit organizations, collect revenue. Twelve-step fellowships, on the other hand, exist only to help the still sick and suffering alcoholic.

But Fiona, you may be saying, treatment centers do help the sick and suffering alcoholic! You’re absolutely right, they do. I don’t want to badmouth rehab at all. It helps A LOT of people, myself included.

Treatment centers provide safety and security for those looking to achieve sobriety. They often provide information about addiction and advocate on behalf of recovering individuals. They also provide jobs for many, both in recovery and nonalcoholics. They do A LOT of good.

Still, people working in treatment get paid. In twelve-step fellowships, no one is getting paid. Yes, a basket is passed around at meetings. Yes, the world service committees do retain money. All of this is completely optional, though. You don’t want to put a dollar in? Don’t worry about it.

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There are Many Forms of Treatment & One Form of 12-Step Recovery

Let’s list the different forms of substance abuse treatment. There’s one-on-one therapy, group therapy, medical detoxes, harm reduction (including opioid replacement therapies), outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, inpatient, long-term inpatient, and therapeutic communities (very long-term inpatient programs).

That’s a lot! Even within each of those types of addiction treatment, there are different modalities, beliefs, medication regiments, etc.

Through its many forms, substance abuse treatment offers a more comprehensive scope of recovery than traditional twelve-step fellowships do.

Now, that isn’t to say twelve-step recovery isn’t comprehensive. Through attending meetings, working the steps, and taking others through the steps, people are relieved of the obsession to drug and drink. That’s pretty comprehensive.

Still, treatment centers simply offer more avenues for recovery than twelve-step fellowships do.

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Treatment is Secular & 12-Step Recovery Isn’t

This is another rather obvious difference. Addiction treatment doesn’t require that you believe in any sort of spiritual principals. Twelve-step recovery doesn’t require that either. However, they do strongly suggest it.

If you’re suffering from addiction and want to attend a 100% secular rehab, you can. In fact, many facilities use that as a selling point. They boast their noninvolvement with all forms of religious and spiritual groups.

On the other hand, twelve-step fellowships exist as deeply spiritual vehicles for recovery. It’s important to note here that they’re spiritual, not religious. While there’s certainly some overlap, those two terms have drastically different meanings.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide whether they want to incorporate spiritual or religious teachings into their personal recovery.

Treatment Offers Therapy & 12-Step Meetings Don’t

I’ve often heard that rehabs have “watered down” twelve-step recovery. While that’s nothing more than hearsay, it does highlight a large difference between the two.

Addiction treatment is, at its center, a therapeutic way of addressing substance abuse. Indeed, addiction treatment and therapy are almost always one-and-the-same. Individuals in treatment are encouraged and required to talk about their feelings, emotions, and inner-lives.

Twelve-step fellowships operate a bit differently. While the twelve-steps can be, and often are, a sort of therapy, they’re fundamentally different from counseling. They exist as a mode of changing thoughts via actions, rather than changing actions via thoughts.

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