Inpatient and Outpatient Programs
Inpatient care clients become a resident at the treatment facility and will attend therapy and counseling meetings while living there. Remaining at the treatment facility around the clock helps clients to concentrate on getting better without having to worry about the distractions of daily life or being exposed to the opportunity to relapse.
Those who opt for outpatient treatment will leave the facility each day after their treatment sessions are completed. While this option provides greater flexibility to maintain responsibilities like family care or employment, these clients are at higher risk of relapse because they have not removed themselves from the environment in which they used substances.
Inpatient Therapy Resident Guidelines
Treatment facilities offering inpatient care have a set of rules in place outlining acceptable behavior for residents. Each treatment facility determines its own policy regarding client visitation. All house rules, including visitation policies, are explained to clients and their families at admission.
In an effort to increase their clients’ chances of long-term sobriety by reducing triggers and removing all opportunities to relapse, some treatment centers do not permit their patients to have any contact with the outside world. That includes being prohibited from receiving visitors, even close family members.
Rehab centers that restrict visitation do not necessarily have a total ban on visitors. It is not unusual for people in extended programs to not be allowed visitors in the early part of their treatment program, when they may be dealing with symptoms of withdrawal and experiencing strong cravings.2 However, once they have made it through the early stages and have begun learning the skills necessary to maintain sobriety, they may be permitted to have occasional visitors. As they near the end of their program, they may be allowed to have more visits, and those visits can be of a longer duration.
Who Can Visit
The primary objective of all rehab centers is to help clients to start living healthy lives that do not include using substances like alcohol or drugs. Treatment programs help clients to confront their triggers and learn new behavior patterns. It may be more difficult for clients to do that if they are distracted by visitors, including family members.
Where visitations are permitted, they are normally restricted to immediate family, especially in the early part of a treatment program. As treatment progresses, it is likely that more people will be given permission to visit.
Choosing a Center for Inpatient Treatment
Before registering with a facility, it is important to check out all aspects of the treatment program, including the visitation policy. Since the focus of treatment is teaching clients how to maintain sobriety, it is vital that there are no points of conflict.
For example, a person with children might be emotionally on edge if they are not permitted to see their children during treatment. In this case, the client would be better advised to choose a center that allows family visits. On the other hand, if the person seeking treatment lives in a home environment where others are abusing substances, they might be better off choosing a center where no visitors are allowed.