Negative Hospital Pasts Leading to Positive Inpatient Rehabs

Posted by Sara Niemiec on Mar 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM


We’ve come along way in treating mental health and substance abuse disorders with the help of inpatient rehabs. Times have changed. The treatment options have also evolved to include holistic and compassionate care that helps individuals live balanced, healthy, and productive lives. Read about the history of rehab and psychiatric hospitals in Kentucky and beyond. You will gain invaluable insight into treatment options available to yourself or a loved one struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol.


1773 - First Psychiatric Hospital Opens

The nation’s first psychiatric hospital opened in the late -1700s. Eastern State Hospital, in Williamsburg, VA opened in 1773 and is still treating patients today. The hospital served as a convalescent setting for war veterans of both the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States. At the urging of Governor Francis Fauquier, the facility was to be a place for “persons who are so unhappy as to be deprived of their reason.”

The building initially housed 24 cells, all with the primary purpose of containment and isolation of patients. In modern times, the living conditions would be described as deplorable and inhumane. Each cell was poorly lit and only consisted of a mattress and pot for elimination.There was no form of treatment or rehabilitation like we know today. Patients were expected to conform to rules and regulations, or they were bullied, whipped, or have meals withheld.

Late in the century treatment of restraint and isolation was replaced by “moral management,” and treatment for the mentally ill began to change and improve. By 1840, coercion and intimidation had been replaced with a softer approach that emphasized therapy, understanding disease, and encouragement. Cells were furnished with beds, toiletries, and personal items.

Today, Eastern State Hospital is merely known as the “Public Hospital,” and has 300 beds and more than 900 employees. Their mission is to promote personal independence, and they provide compassionate treatment to all types of mental health and substance abuse disorders.


1833- Worcester Lunatic Asylum

Also known as the Bloomingdale Asylum, the Worcester Lunatic Asylum was located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It opened its doors in 1833 and was credited for being the first mental health institution of its kind in United States history.

In 1829, Horace Mann was given the task by the commonwealth to report back on the condition of psychiatric settings for the mentally ill. Mann’s report served to pave the way for the implementation of humane practices and fair treatment of psychiatric patients across the country.

Mann advocated for publicly funded asylums that care for insane, psychotic, or otherwise mentally unfit patient. Worcester Lunatic Asylum provided treatment to “unwanted” and “tossed aside” citizens that were desperate, homeless, and without any form of recovery options.

In 1841, Dorothea Dix visited Massachusetts to study the conditions of treatment centers within the Commonwealth. Her findings echoed Mann’s report, and she advocated for an expansion of the Worcester Lunatic Asylum to include beds for 360 patients and the initiation of other facilities throughout the state for the poor, demented, and insane populations.


1950 - Medication Management

Pills organized in small plastic containers. Many inpatient rehabs help with medication management

Before the development of psychiatric drug therapy, the most common forms of treatment for mental health disorders were electroconvulsive therapy, insulin coma therapy, and lobotomies. Often patients were in worse shape after these invasive therapies and were unable to process information, speak clearly, or remember basic information from the past.

Chlorpromazine, commonly known as Thorazine, was introduced in 1954 and is known as the pioneering medication for the treatment of severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and manic-depression. This drug class is referred to as “antipsychotic” medication, and it was the first medication used in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In the late 1950’s, Clozapine was introduced as a treatment option for severely mentally ill patients and was equally as effective as Thorazine. Additionally, Clozapine produces fewer side effects that are uncomfortable and difficult for patients to manage.

Haloperidol, Olanzapine, and Risperidone were also popularized as effective medications for mental health disorders, and are among the most popular choices for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.


1955 - Increase in Psychiatric and Rehab Hospitals

By 1955, state mental health institutions in the United States housed hundreds of thousands of individuals struggling with severe mental health disorders. Many facilities were funded by the government and provided people with invaluable resources that dramatically improved their quality of life.

There was still; however, the intermingling of seriously ill patients with those less afflicted, and psychiatric settings carried a negative stigma as a place for “crazy people” and “loonies.” Additionally, the science of addiction was not fully understood, and people with substance abuse problems were instructed to “pull themselves together” and manage their “lack of willpower” and “ bad choices.”


1965- Mental Health Care Reform

A man signing a form. Many forms and bills are implemented to make sure inpatient rehabs are run up to par.

Shortly before his death, President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963, which provided $150 million for new mental health center programs. Americans were about to get long overdue psychiatric care for a plethora of disorders that had been minimized, and regarded up until then as “fake” or “not true medical problems.”

Kennedy sponsored the Mental Health Study Act which assigned a joint commission to create a detailed account of mental illness in America. The results of the study were mind-blowing and unveiled a staggering number of citizens with untreated psychiatric diagnoses without out access to medical care for mental health disorders.

A dedicated pioneer for mental health reform, Kennedy set into motion legislation that would build more mental health facilities and train more professionals in the field of mental health research.


1980’s - Drug and Alcohol Initiatives begin to Promote Abstinence

 The 80’s brought about a rapid incline of illicit cocaine smuggling into the United States. Spreading the anti-drug message, first lady Nancy Reagan warned students about the dangers of drugs, and the “Just Say No” campaign seemed to catch on overnight, and educating youth became a focal point in drug prevention across the states.

In 1988, Ronald Reagan initiated the Office of National Drug Control Policy to create research and health care legislation aimed at preventing illicit drugs from being smuggled into the United States and implemented tougher penalties for drug dealers.


The Rise of Inpatient Rehabs and Dual Diagnoses

Hospital beds in a room. It was very common to perform lobotomies in the past. Luckily we have inpatient rehabs that offer safe and non-invasive treatments.


2000’s and Today - The Rise of “Dual Diagnoses”

Dual Diagnosis refers to people who have both a diagnosis of a mental health disorder and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. People who experience severe mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, manic depression and un-managed psychiatric conditions are more likely to develop addictions.

Although the use of some illicit drugs has declined over the past twenty years, abuse of prescription drugs, especially opiates, has increased substantially. There is a growing need for more treatment options that address the causes of addiction while also imparting resources that help people live normal lives despite having a dual diagnosis.


Local Addiction Resources in Kentucky

If you’re struggling with an addiction and looking fo drug rehabs in Louisville KY, you have a few treatment options that will help you safely detox. There are several hospitals in Louisville and surrounding areas that have inpatient settings for patients diagnosed with chemical dependency disorders. Typically, the duration of treatment is 30 days depending on insurance coverage and other factors.

In the hospital, patients are often dealing with a host of medical and psychological problems that have been unchecked and untreated for years or decades. So often, patients use the medical system to obtain their basic needs (food, shelter, medical care, etc.) that they are otherwise without in their impoverished and unstable environments.

While hospitals provide a safe setting to detox from drugs or alcohol, they do not have the necessary staff or resources for addicts wanting to learn a new way of life that no longer includes using addictive substances. Inpatient hospitals are an immediate and vital option for patients who have overdosed on illicit drugs, or need medically- supervised treatment to safely detox.

Traditional inpatient hospitals do not, however, provide a holistic environment that promotes long-term sobriety, and education that helps addicts understand addiction as a disease, and how they can effectively manage it for a lifetime.


Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery has been helping people with chemical dependency issues in south Louisville since September 2016. Comprehensive services include specialized therapies that teach recovery skills essential to maintaining sobriety. Individuals will participate in group activities and receive individual counseling that will be useful in leading healthy, productive and balanced lives.

At Landmark Recovery, our sole purpose is to provide those struggling with addiction a bridge to a brighter future - one of sobriety, hope, and health. We do it with an individualized and customized program that that offers ongoing therapeutic treatment seven days a week.

If you know someone who needs inpatient rehabs treatment for drugs or alcohol, call Landmark Recovery today to request more information. More than a treatment center - we use counseling, neurofeedback, and holistic therapies to help clients understand root causes of addiction. Licensed clinical therapists teach recovery skills and impart addiction knowledge that can be used for a lifetime to retain sobriety.

Landmark Recovery is not a hospital (but do provide medically-supervised services) and patients feel at ease in an open, relaxed setting with a primary focus on addiction. Mental health and medical care is also integrated into treatment, however; we focus on detox and recovery first.

You don't have to hit “rock bottom” in order to reach the point where you are finally willing to get help for your addiction. Now is the right time to call one of our dedicated admissions consultants and learn about drug and alcohol recovery treatment options that can help you reclaim your sobriety, and live the life you dreamed.



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Topics: Rehab

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