Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatment

After struggling with a substance use disorder for some time, you might get to a point where you decide to seek help for the condition. Typically, this will mean that you would have to choose between outpatient and inpatient treatment.

Both of these types of treatment come with their own benefits and drawbacks. However, there are some factors that could make you lean more towards one form of rehab than the other.

The main thing to keep in mind is that deciding to seek treatment is the most important step you can make. Without this step, it would be impossible for you to recover from your substance use disorder.

Understanding Addiction Treatment

Generally speaking, treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse fall into two broad categories - outpatient and inpatient treatment. Although both of them are focused on similar rehabilitation services, each of these types of treatment come with their own unique attributes.

Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive treatment on a residential basis. This form of rehabilitation would be ideal if you have a severe substance use disorder and/or co-occurring mental health disorders.

Outpatient drug rehab, on the other hand, provides part-time treatment. This means that you will be able to continue meeting your responsibilities at work, school, and home even as you seek help for your addiction.

It is essential that you understand the various differences between these forms of addiction treatment before you select one. This is because your choice of a program will have a large bearing on your success rates in recovery.

1. Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient drug rehabs are also referred to as residential addiction treatment programs. If you opt for this program, you will be required to check into a controlled clinical or medical environment within which you can start working your way towards recovery. These programs will also require that you live at the facility. By so doing, you can enjoy the round the clock medical support and care provided.

Preparing for Inpatient Treatment

Before you check into such a facility, it is essential to ensure that you are well prepared. You do not need any set time period to prepare. However, you can still set your expected date of entry. By so doing, you will be in a better position to ensure that you have settled all your affairs before you start treatment.

Some things that you should consider taking care of before enrolling for inpatient treatment include:

  • Finding out the personal items that you will be allowed to bring with you
  • Informing your employer
  • Making living arrangements for your family, especially if you are responsible for their wellbeing
  • Planning your transportation to and from the drug rehab facility

Typical Day in Inpatient Rehab

When you check into an inpatient treatment center, you will get the opportunity to focus on your recovery and sobriety. This form of rehab will also remove all distractions from your life so that you can work towards overcoming your addiction.

Typically, daily life in such a facility will be carefully scheduled, and every hour accounted for. You will also meet with psychiatrists, counselors, and psychologists on a daily basis - both in group settings and individually. This will guide your recovery journey.

Most inpatient treatment programs last for 30 days to 6 months. However, some of them might last longer. To this end, you should be prepared to spend all of this time in the rehabilitation facility.

The first program offered in inpatient treatment would be medically managed detoxification. This service can help you overcome your physical dependence, drug cravings, and withdrawal symptoms.

After that, the program will offer a wide variety of rehabilitation services. These services are essential to overcoming your psychological, behavioral, and emotional dependence on various substances of abuse.

2. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Typically, outpatient rehabilitation programs tend to be less restrictive than their inpatient counterparts. These programs, however, will require that you continue seeking treatment for anywhere between 10 and 20 hours every week.

During your addiction treatment sessions, the program will offer a wide variety of services, including but not limited to:

  • Drug abuse education
  • Group counseling
  • Individual therapy
  • Living without drugs

These programs can be provided as a continuum of care - meaning that you can choose them after you have already been through an inpatient treatment program. Alternatively, you can enroll in one as a stand-alone treatment option. However, this would only work if you have a mild addiction.

Typical Day in Outpatient Rehab

If you experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, you might be able to benefit from an outpatient detoxification program. Otherwise, inpatient medically managed detoxification services would be called for.

During outpatient detox, you would be required to visit treatment facilities like hospitals for mental health and physical check-ups. Your doctors and clinicians might also administer certain medications at the site of treatment to help you overcome any adverse withdrawal symptoms that arise.

After detox has been deemed successful, the outpatient treatment program will offer you the opportunity to enjoy social support for your recovery. This is because you can check into the recovery center for various treatment services before going back home.

As a result, you could activate your social network of friends and family. This network could potentially improve your chances of full recovery. For instance, they can help you when you feel the temptation to state abusing drugs again.

Choosing the Right Treatment Program

The main differences between inpatient treatment and outpatient drug rehab revolve around the following factors:

  • The availability of supplemental services and therapies
  • The cost of your addiction treatment
  • The duration of the treatment program
  • The insurance coverage available
  • The intensity of the drug rehabilitation services provided
  • The types and levels of substance use disorders that will be addressed
  • Where you will live during your treatment
  • Your engagement in treatment, groups, and therapy on a daily or weekly basis

Irrespective of the treatment option that you pick, you can rest assured that rehabilitation can turn your life around for the better. Talk to an addiction recovery specialist today for help in choosing between outpatient and inpatient treatment.







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