Outpatient Vs. Inpatient Drug Recovery Programs: Which One Is Right For You

If you’re considering treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be confused as to which type of facility is best for you. What are the differences between outpatient and inpatient rehab? And how do you know which one is right for your needs?

Choosing between outpatient and inpatient drug rehab depends on several factors including the severity of your addiction, co-occurring conditions, absence or presence of a support system, and your budget.

Let’s break the factors down here.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient drug rehabilitation programs allow participants to live at home while attending drug recovery sessions during the day. These programs often include individual counseling sessions, group therapy, and specialized educational classes.

Outpatient treatment may also include recreational activities and 12-step meetings. Individuals in outpatient programs usually meet with their counselors for 9-to-5 sessions three to five days a week.

Inpatient Drug Recovery Treatment

Inpatient drug rehabilitation requires that participants take up residency at the treatment facility for the duration of treatment.

A typical schedule at inpatient drug rehabs includes individual counseling sessions, group therapy and 12-step meetings. In addition, most facilities provide recreational activities including art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy and yoga.

An inpatient program lasts anywhere from 30 days to 90 days or longer depending on the severity of someone’s addiction.

What factors determine which is right for you?

● The Severity of the Substance Use Disorder

Outpatient drug rehab programs are best suited for people who are experiencing mild to moderate drug abuse or addiction. Outpatient treatment is typically suitable for those who can take time away from home, work and school to attend therapy sessions on a regular basis. Outpatient treatment gives individuals the freedom to continue with their daily responsibilities while still receiving expert care for addiction.

Inpatient or residential treatment is typically recommended for those struggling with more severe addictions. For example, an individual who has developed a physical dependence on alcohol or drugs may benefit from inpatient treatment because of the extreme withdrawal symptoms that can occur when stopping use.

Other people who may require inpatient care include those who have been unsuccessful at outpatient treatment in the past and those who have been sober but have recently relapsed and need more intensive care to get back on track.

● Co-Occurring Conditions

The first thing you need to consider when deciding on a program is whether or not you have any co-occurring conditions. This refers to mental health issues that occur simultaneously with substance abuse disorders such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

If you have any co-occurring conditions, an inpatient program will be best suited for your needs because it allows the staff to monitor and treat multiple issues at once.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any co-occurring conditions and are only dealing with an addiction, an outpatient recovery program is a suitable option.

● Your Current Health

You should always consult with your physician before enrolling in any kind of drug rehabilitation program. If you have a physical condition that requires regular medical care, such as diabetes, kidney disease or cancer, you may be better suited for an inpatient program. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you enter a medically supervised detoxification program before beginning any other type of treatment.

● How Much Support You Have From Family and Friends

Inpatient programs require patients to live at the facility while they’re enrolled, so their family members and friends can’t be with them every day. If you’re able to rely on your family and friends for support, an  Outpatient Addiction Treatment program might be a better fit for you.

But if you think you’ll need more around-the-clock support from peers and counselors, an inpatient program could be a better option for you.

● Your Education, Employment and Financial Status

If you can afford to take time off of work or school, an inpatient program might be worth considering. If you have a job that is stressful or doesn’t provide health insurance coverage, it might be helpful to seek treatment at an inpatient facility because you’ll be able to focus on your recovery without having to worry about other things.

● Your Legal Status

If you are dealing with legal issues related to drugs or alcohol, it may be best for you to attend inpatient treatment so that you can stay away from negative influences while you get sober.

Winding It Up

The decision to enter rehab is a difficult one but also one that gives you hope of a better life. And once you have made the decision to get help for your addiction, you need to decide what kind of program is right for you. There are a number of different programs available that all offer different types of treatment and work in different ways.

Choosing the right program will make all the difference in your recovery and is an important part of ensuring that you remain sober.

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