What Is Acute Care For Addiction And What You Need To Know

acute care addiction

Many factors contribute to alcohol and substance abuse. You might think that it happens overnight because that’s how people who are addicted to them believe that’s the case. 

There are many factors involved in addiction; it may be some existing mental health concern, maybe genetics, someone’s socioeconomic status, environmental influence, and many more. 

There are four main stages of addiction:

  1. Experimentation
  2. Regular Use
  3. High-Risk Use
  4. Addiction or Dependency
acute care model
Source: Unsplash.com

People in the first and second stages might not develop an addiction, but the ones in the third stage will. Understanding these steps are as necessary as the different types of treatment available. 

After recognizing the problem, the question remains: Are you willing to get some help? But before answering that question, let us explain one type of treatment available to you -acute care.

What is Acute Care For Addiction?

AC or Acute Care model is an addiction treatment program that encompasses service interventions that interfere at the late stage of problem development through services focused on terse biopsychosocial stabilization that lack sustainable support across the stages of long-term personal and family recovery.

What Are The Treatments Employed In Acute Care For Addiction?

Addictive disorders can cause physical and psychological damage, and receiving treatment is essential for breaking the cycle of addiction.

The first step toward recovery is accepting that substance use has become a problem in your personal life, thus disrupting your quality of life. This can result from impairment in your day-to-day function as an individual -in school, at work, at social, recreational gatherings, or just something meaningful.

When you recognize the negative impact of a substance on their life, treatment options are available. Below are a variety of treatments: 

  • Detox
  • Counseling and Behavioral Therapies
  • Rehab Programs
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Medication

Substance-related disorders are chronic, complex diseases that require prolonged, intensive treatment. Depending on the type of substance and the severity of your addiction will dictate the course of treatment.

Treatment often begins with detox using medication to reduce the chances of withdrawal symptoms while a substance leaves your system.

Multiple types of counseling and behavioral therapy will also be included in the treatment you will go through. These therapies allow you to alter some behaviors or ticks because of drug use.

People in these programs usually go through 6 months to a year of rehab, depending on the facility and the individual’s case. After that, you can live in supervised housing while adjusting your finances and finding employment.

Certain medications can also manage prolonged withdrawal symptoms and support sobriety in some people.

addiction acute care setting
Source: Unsplash.com

What Are The Benefits of Acute Care?

American Hospital Association said, “The pandemic has highlighted the uneven patient care abilities across the four PAC settings, with regard to physician leadership and oversight, the contributions of other specialists and clinicians, infection control reliability, and patient outcomes.” Each setting has value but is designed for specific and different patient types. This delta has the greatest consequence for medically complex patients and those recovering from COVID-19.

Additionally, “Early rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients can enhance pulmonary, respiratory function, reduce complications, improve function, cognitive impairments and quality of life,” according to a recent Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine study.

Inpatient rehabilitation offers a variety of resources and programs that help hospitals deliver quality care, reduce readmissions and improve overall facility operations. These include:

• Employing specially-trained registered nurses who are fully equipped to treat patients with various care needs.

• Hospital-level infection control measures.

• Daily physician oversight and a multidisciplinary therapy team providing daily therapy tailored to each patient.

By increasing patient access to inpatient rehabilitation, hospitals are better able to deliver high-quality outcomes in a safe environment.

This focus on quality is evident in that acute inpatient rehabilitation units treat sicker patients yet produce better outcomes than other post-acute care settings. Recent studies found that while treating a more complex patient population, inpatient rehabilitation operations maintain a higher discharge to the community rate of 70%, which is 37% higher than SNFs on average. The care provided in the inpatient rehabilitation setting continues to benefit patients even after discharge as they experience a lower rate of potentially avoidable hospital readmissions of 4.3% compared to 22% of SNF patients who were re-hospitalized after admission.

acute care alcohol addiction
Source: Unsplash.com

Key Benefits of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation and What Sets It Apart From Other Care Settings

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities and acute rehabilitation units offer a variety of benefits to the ever-growing patient population – many qualities other care settings do not provide. These include:

• Certification as acute care addiction hospitals and licensed as freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospitals or distinct rehabilitation units within a host hospital.

• Daily physician visits.

• Specialized training in rehab nursing; provide 24-hour nursing care; intervention, assessment, monitoring of VS, IFVs/antibiotics, ostomy, catheter, trach, NG care; routine labs, and diagnostics and respiratory equipment.

• PT/OT/ST available with a patient willing and able to participate in therapy three hours a day, five days a week, or 15 hours over seven days. Requires the services of at least two therapy disciplines. The level of rehab services provided in acute rehab is more intense than in other levels of post-acute care.

• Interdisciplinary approach between physician, therapy team, and nursing to facilitate recovery. Physician-led weekly team conferences are required.

• Services on site: pharmacy, lab, radiology.

• Continuous patient check-ups to ensure a patient’s functional prognosis is aligned with the goal that they will return to home or a community-based setting.

What Are The Common Costs For Acute Care?

Below are graphs of the average costs and lengths of time a person stays in an acute care addiction hospital as of 2013. For the most part,  LTCH or long-term care hospital is the most costly —inpatient care is the most expensive among the choices that a person can have for their acute care addiction treatment.

Average costs and length of acute care addiction hospital stays by discharge disposition, 2013.

Abbreviations: HHA, home health agency; IRF, inpatient rehabilitation facility; LOS, length of stay; LTCH, long-term care hospital; PAC, post-acute care; SNF, skilled nursing facility. Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), National Inpatient Sample (NIS), 2013.


When you have finally decided on getting help, and want a place that feels comfortable and supportive, let Roots Through Recovery’s professional clinicians work with you to help determine your next steps. Our management team wants you to have a choice that will give you and your loved ones the best outcomes. So, give us a call right now.

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