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Inpatient Drug Rehab: 5 Vital Questions, Answered

By Jennifer Daluro
If you’re thinking of enrolling in an inpatient drug rehab program, it can be helpful to get some key questions answered while you zero in on your best options.

The aim of both inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities is to treat substance use disorder and help you lead a full, independent life. Both types of treatment can be beneficial, but those with severe addictions should consider inpatient drug rehab, which offers intensive treatment. Read on to get the answers to 5 key questions about this important form of addiction treatment. 

1. What is inpatient drug rehabilitation?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, inpatient drug rehab best suits individuals with severe drug addiction problems, and those with coexisting physical or mental disorders.

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities require you to stay 24/7 in the clinic. There, you'll receive not only medical treatment, but also psychological support and services. These programs typically include medically-supported detoxification and withdrawal treatment as well as cognitive behavior therapy and counseling. They also include relapse prevention, skill-building activities, and follow-up care after you complete your program.

It should be noted that a residential program isn't the same as a 24/7 intensive inpatient drug treatment program. While residential programs typically offer many of the same services as intensive inpatient ones, residential programs do not come with intense 24/7 medical monitoring, according to American Addiction Centers.

2. How long does inpatient drug rehab usually last?

The length of each patient stay varies. But in general, it can range between 90 to 180 days. This will, of course, depend on your personalized treatment plan.

"The detox stage typically lasts a week but can be up to 10 days long. The residential treatment stage is usually between 30 to 90 days in length," Susan Julius, a family and addiction medicine specialist at Avenues Recovery Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

3. How much does inpatient drug rehab cost?

Your expenses will depend on several factors, including:

  • The length of your treatment program or the duration of your stay in the clinic
  • The location of your inpatient facility
  • The specific therapies and treatments you’ll be receiving (such as inpatient drug rehab services, detoxification, medication-assisted programs, relapse prevention, group or individual therapy, skill-building activities, and follow-up care)

“Generally, private inpatient rehab ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. However, some programs can go up to $100,000, depending on amenities and privacy. The good news is that insurance can cover some or all of the cost of treatment.” Elliott Michael Smith, CEO of The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

4. Are you allowed to leave inpatient addiction treatment?

Inpatient drug rehab facilities typically don’t allow their patients to leave. After all, you're there to focus on getting better. But this also depends on your personal situation.

“There are, however, times when some centers will allow for court appearances, for example. All centers are different,” says Julius.

Some inpatient drug facilities also allow supervised outings.

“Sometimes, [patients] can leave with supervision. Many programs do go out into the community under supervision on adventure therapy outings or to the gym and stores. The purpose of this is to support their recovery and ensure safety,” Smith continues.

5. Does Medicare pay for inpatient drug rehab?

Coverage for inpatient rehab treatments is available through Medicare Part A. But how much coverage you’ll get will depend on your specific insurance plan and your chosen drug rehab facility.

“Medicare can cover short-term inpatient drug and alcohol rehab. But the rules around coverage can be complicated. Most facilities that do accept Medicare are generally ‘in-network’ facilities. Some patients pay out of pocket and request reimbursement directly from Medicare to cover their treatment. It’s best to speak directly to Medicare about coverage,” Smith suggests.

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