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What Is an Average Day in Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

DH_IOP_MeditationRoom_21According to the book Drug Abuse and Treatment Rehabilitation: a Practical Planning and Implementation Guide, individuals in inpatient programs have sufficient contact with other recovering individuals.

Inpatient rehab programs can cater to 5-30 clients, depending on the program. The ratio of staff members to clients is typically low so treatment can be delivered in a personal manner.

The majority of these programs last between one and three months (30-90 days) but in some cases, they may be extended depending on the specific case. Facilities differ on the delivery of maintenance issues, such as meal preparation and cleaning. Most facilities may have community meals, such as rehab programs and hospitals; others may require clients to prepare meals on a rotating basis as part of their chores.

An Average Day

Of course, all these programs are different and will have different schedules. Inpatient rehab programs for substance use disorders are designed to keep clients quite busy, and any free time is used for chores, studying, reading, doing homework, or journal writing. For the most part the schedules are designed to keep the individuals busy and involved in treatment from the time they get up until the time they go to sleep.

Based on the typical schedules listed by several inpatient treatment programs, an average day might look like this:
7-8 a.m.: Wake up is typically early. The resident is expected to do any early morning chores, clean their room, get ready for the day, and take any medications (under the supervision of medical personal).
8-8:30 a.m.: Breakfast usually follows.
9-10 a.m.: Specific individual activity takes place, such as walking around the treatment center’s grounds or participating in another type of gentle exercise.
10:15-11:45 a.m.: Residents participate in some type of therapy or social support group. There may be a rotating schedule of therapies and groups, such that residents may attend individual therapy one or two mornings, group therapy one or two mornings, and a social support group one or two mornings. This practice may also include other scheduled therapy or activity times.
12-1 p.m.: Residents eat lunch in a group setting.
1-3 p.m.: More therapy takes place. This may involve complementary or alternative therapies, such as equine-assisted therapy, art therapy, or music therapy.
3:15-3:45 p.m.: Medical staff members may dispense medication or check in on residents.
4-5:30 p.m.: Residents may participate in a scheduled activity, such as a meditation class, a yoga class, or some other activity.
6-7 p.m.: Residents have dinner in a group setting.
7:15-9 p.m.: A group discussion may take place. In some cases, clients may take part in family therapy.
9:15-9:45 p.m.: Medical staff members check in with residents before bed. Any needed medications are dispensed.
10-10:45 p.m.: Residents have quiet time for journaling, reading, etc.
11 p.m.: Lights out

The schedule at any inpatient addiction treatment facility will be individualized, so residents may get up earlier and go to bed earlier. Many facilities offer specialty programs, such as adventure therapy or animal therapy, and these programs will have dedicated time on the schedule if chosen as appropriate for a particular client.

  • The first 30 days of treatment are designed to instill the recovering individual with the basic principles of recovery. In addition, the first 30 days also allow individuals to begin to explore their own personal issues with substance abuse and how their abuse of substances was designed to fulfill certain needs in them. This helps recovering individuals to understand triggers, develop strategies to prevent relapse, and start to build a strong foundation for long-term recovery.
  • The discussions that occur in therapy, groups, and other interventions are designed to educate individuals regarding the basic principles of recovery and to allow clients to learn from others who are in various stages of recovery. As the person moves through the recovery program and becomes more familiar with the basic principles, they can help to instill some of these principles in new clients. This results in members learning to listen to one another, confiding in each other, and developing important relationships and supports that will aid them as they move on to life after treatment.

The Importance of a Daily Schedule

average day in the inpatient rehabilitation facilityThe average day in the inpatient rehabilitation facility will differ from facility to facility, but most programs are designed to keep individuals involved in treatment-related activities around the clock and to instill personal responsibility in residents by having them do chores, attend treatment, maintain journals, and attend other activities on a set schedule. There is very little downtime in inpatient treatment, and all activities and sessions are focused on the goal of recovery.

A set schedule is incredibly useful to those in new recovery. Individuals will know what to expect each day, and this routine can aid them in avoiding triggers and structuring a life without substance abuse

About The Contributor
The editorial staff of Desert Hope Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed ...