Inpatient or Outpatient: Choosing Your Treatment

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There’s a common theme in the stories of those who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, which is the notion that addiction is terrifying for both the addict and their family, friends, and loved ones. While no one wants to be addicted to drugs or alcohol, many find themselves powerless against the drug and unable to rehabilitate without professional help. So now the question begs: inpatient or outpatient?

Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment?

Addiction is a disease that, like others, requires treatment in order for an individual to live a healthy, productive life. As such, there will come a time when the choice must be made to seek treatment for addiction, which begins by learning about the treatment programs that are available in order to choose the program that best meets individual needs. Most of the treatment programs that are available will fall under one of two categories: inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.

Although when it comes to choosing inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, they are fundamentally similar, they differ structurally and offer different levels of protection from triggers. They share the goal of helping individuals who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction to achieve sobriety in order to live a healthy life free from addiction and substance abuse.

There are strengths and weaknesses to each type of treatment program. Individuals who are unsure about which type of treatment, inpatient or outpatient, would best meet their individual needs can speak to specialists by contacting Drug Treatment Center Finder to find the right recovery program today.

Inpatient Programs for Treating Addiction to Alcohol and Drugs

Many individuals who have experienced long-term addiction would benefit the most from an inpatient program at a residential treatment facility. In these types of programs, those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction live together in a facility for the duration of treatment, which can help to foster a sense of community among the patients. Additionally, this allows the patients to participate daily in a variety of rehabilitative treatment. Since the treatments take place daily, this allows for maximum effectiveness.

There are many inpatient facilities that are designed to meet more specific sets of needs; for example, there are a variety of facilities that cater to upper-level company executives, members of the LGBT community, and programs that are just for women. However, the majority of inpatient treatment programs are inclusive, allowing anyone in need to enroll and begin their journey toward sobriety and recovery.

Benefits of Inpatient

One of the main strengths of inpatient treatment facilities is that they often begin with a detox period. The detox period is usually the first week of treatment during which the addict’s body rids itself of the substance that was being abused. Many individuals who seek treatment are becoming sober for the first time in a number of years, which makes the detox period an intense, uncomfortable, and emotional process. However, individuals in an inpatient program benefit from detoxing under professional supervision, which allows them to be monitored for signs that withdrawal symptoms are approaching a dangerous or life-threatening level.

While providing individuals with a safe environment in which they can separate themselves from enabling circumstances and access to their substance of choice, inpatient treatment programs at residential facilities offer a variety of daily treatments that have proven to be effective in treating addiction.

Some of those intensive treatments include group therapy with peer groups, one-on-one therapy with licensed therapists and counselors, family therapy with the addict’s loved ones, skill-building, and education on addiction and recovery. The objective of inpatient programs is to help individuals to learn the tools required to build a healthy, productive, fulfilling life after treatment.


Outpatient Programs for Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Considered to be less effective than inpatient and residential treatment programs, outpatient programs are a less intensive form of treatment for alcohol and drug addiction in which the individual continues to live at home while commuting to the facility in order to participate in the treatment activities.

Despite being a lower level of intensity, there are some individuals who might prefer the flexibility of an outpatient program or who would be unable to participate in rehabilitative treatment without continuing to live at home.

Benefits of Outpatient

Perhaps the greatest advantage of outpatient treatment programs over inpatient programs is that it’s easier for the individual’s family and loved ones to participate in treatment activities, especially treatments that are designed to be shared with family members. Since addiction often affects the afflicted individual’s family, friends, and loved ones, it’s not uncommon for feelings of resentment and anger to occur.

However, outpatient programs that offer family counseling and treatment activities are an opportunity for loved ones to learn more about addiction in order to gain a better understanding of addiction as a serious disease. Family members can commute to the treatment facility with the individual who suffers from addiction, and professional counselors can help to facilitate healthy, empathic discussions between family members. This is a great way to not only increase understanding of addiction but also to fortify the addict’s support network.

Individuals who suffer from addiction while having other important obligations such as being a parent, caretaker, or having a rigorous job schedule may prefer the flexibility of an outpatient recovery program. Outpatient treatment allows individuals to incorporate treatment into their existing schedule, which makes recovery an option for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to benefit from treatment.

What’s more, some outpatient programs—day treatment and intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment, for example—are designed to offer a level of intensity that’s comparable to that of inpatient and residential programs while allowing the individual to continue with their other obligations and responsibilities.

When to Choose Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment

A common reason why individuals don’t participate in rehabilitative treatment is due to the perceived expense of treatment. While inpatient programs tend to be much more expensive than outpatient programs, there are many facilities that offer either inpatient or outpatient programs while accepting many types of personal and government health plans. Additionally, there are many facilities that offer flexible payment options in order to make treatment a viable, obtainable solution for as many people as possible.

Those who have suffered from long-term addiction would benefit more from an inpatient program, which can offer a safe and drug-free environment in which addicts can detox, learn more about addiction and recovery, and acquire the tools that are vital to sustaining recovery.

However, individuals who have a strict employment schedule, have children or other dependents, or some other obligations that would prohibit a residential program would likely prefer an outpatient program; there are even certain outpatient programs that can offer an intensity comparable to an inpatient program, but with no sacrifice in flexibility.

Finding the Help You Need

Drug Treatment Center Finder can help individuals suffering from addiction to alcohol and drugs find the inpatient or outpatient treatment program that will best fit their needs. Addiction might be a disease, but your suffering can end. Call us today and let us help you begin your recovery.


Staff Writer :