Inpatient vs. Outpatient
It is very difficultto overcome an addiction on your own. If you have tried to quit using a substance in the past, only to find yourself relapsing over and over, it can feel like it will be impossible to quit. This does not have to be a reality; however, you will need professional help.
Addictiontreatmentcan include both medical assistance and therapy to help you overcome the underlying triggers of your addiction. If you are ready to commit to overcoming your addiction, it is time to attend a rehab program. The first thing you will need to decide is whether you would like to seek inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Inpatient treatment is also known as residential treatment. In this kind of program, you live in a treatment facility, usually for a period of 28, 60, or 90 days. While there, you are entirely focused on getting sober and developing strategies to stay sober. You are not able to work, and many programs also do not allow you to leave the facility or have any visitors.
While the idea of being completely cut off from your daily life can be overwhelming, it is also highly effective. Inpatient treatment programs allow patients to pay full attention to their recovery, without any distraction from outside demands.
Generally, inpatient treatment programs have higher rates of success than outpatient programs because the patient is so focused on the treatment. They are also much more expensive because the cost covers housing, food, treatment, and 24/7 care. Your insurance may cover a portion of inpatient treatment.
An inpatient treatment program will typically have a few components. It will begin with detoxification, which is the medical process of withdrawing from the addictive substance. For the remainder of the time, you will receive both individual and group therapy, learn new healthy habits, and focus on developing a plan to stay clean.
If you have a severe addiction or have tried to quit before and failed, inpatient treatment is a great option to pursue. This kind of program allows you to put your recovery first. You will need to find other ways to have your outside responsibilities, such as a job or childcare, covered. While you are in treatment, you will be focused on addressing both the physical addiction and any underlying mental health concerns so that you can get clean and stay clean.
Outpatient treatment programs are less intensive than inpatient programs. They are also less expensive and less disruptive to daily life, which is why many people try them first. If you believe that you simply need a little bit of professional and social support to overcome your addiction, an outpatient program can be a great place to start.
You will generally undergo detox under medical supervision and then return home once the addictive substance is out of your body. From there, you will visit the treatment facility once or twice a week for counseling and check-ins. You will have a professional keeping track of you and helping you to address potential concerns. If you feel yourself triggered or experiencing cravings, you will have someone to talk to who can help you navigate your addiction.
Outpatient treatment programs can also help you develop a new support network made up of people who are not using. These new relationships can help you to stay clean.
Generally, people who complete an inpatient program will enroll in an outpatient aftercare program to stay on track with their goals.
Choosing the best option
Choosing between inpatient and outpatient treatment can be difficult, and there is not always a right answer.
You might choose outpatient treatment if you cannot afford inpatient treatment, or if you are unable to leave your home and job for the time that inpatient treatment requires. This can work well if you are not surrounded by other users.
For many people, the structure of their daily life is a comfort, and they would be uncomfortable in an inpatient facility. You will also need to get yourself to regular meetings. If you believe that you would benefit from inpatient treatment but cannot afford it, consider intensive outpatient programs, which provide a similar level of support.
Inpatient treatment is excellent for people with a severe addiction. They provide a high level of structure and are very effective at preventing relapse during the course of the program. They allow you to focus on your recovery fully and are ideal for those who are too overwhelmed by their daily life to focus on overcoming their addiction.
Whichever kind of treatment you choose, you are now on the path to a better life. Any type of treatment program can help you get clean. It is a difficult journey but a rewarding one.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): Types of Treatment Programs.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP), 47.
- Start Your Recovery. https://startyourrecovery.org/treatment/rehab-centers/outpatient-vs-inpatient
- Alcohol.org. Comparing Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Options. https://www.alcohol.org/inpatient/or-outpatient/
- McCarty, Dennis et al. “Substance abuse intensive outpatient programs: assessing the evidence.” Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) vol. 65,6 (2014): 718-26. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201300249
American Addiction Centers. Rehab Success Rates and Statistics. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/success-rates-and-statistics