Are Inpatient or Outpatient Drug Treatment Centers Better?

When you come to terms with an addiction, the next big step is to try to determine which type of rehabilitation is right for you. Essentially, there are two main kinds of addiction treatment: inpatient and outpatient rehab. While you might think it’s easy to pick the one that sounds the most appealing, it’s important to look at the characteristics of each type of program. While outpatient addiction treatment offers more freedom and is less expensive, it’s also limiting in who it can benefit. For instance, if you require a medical detox to help you get clean, an outpatient choice may not be your best option. Additionally, some addictions produce stronger cravings and more severe withdrawal symptoms that require the supervision of trained medical personnel.

How Do Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Programs Differ?

Before taking a deeper look into each type of drug rehab treatment, it may be helpful to outline the biggest differences between inpatient and outpatient services. An overview of the differences can be helpful in outlining why one type of treatment may be preferable over the other. Since each situation is different, it’s important to compare your circumstances to the features of each program to help you make your decision. Inpatient treatment features include:

  • Patients live in the facility full-time
  • Medical and psychological support is available on a 24-hour basis
  • Programs can be completed in 28 to 180 days
  • Severe addictions are treated more successfully

Outpatient treatment features include:

  • Patient attends daily treatment sessions
  • Ability to meet career and family obligations
  • Longer programs, which typically last three months to one year
  • Ideal for mild addictions

A Deeper Look at Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment programs offer a more structured and supervised type of recovery that is especially helpful for patients facing intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, the individual first goes through a medicated detox, either in another part of the same treatment center or at another facility. Once the individual is clean and sober, the addiction treatment program focuses on helping him resist cravings. The daily routine in the facility will be well-organized. You’ll be required to attend individual therapy sessions that will help you learn more about the triggers that caused your addiction, while group therapy sessions will help you learn coping mechanisms. These two aspects of therapy will prepare you to resist cravings more successfully. In addition, you may be provided with opportunities to engage in physical fitness programs, take yoga classes, or learn about meditation. The goal is to help you build a healthier way of living that will help you resist using drugs upon your completion of the program.

What Does Outpatient Treatment Entail?

An outpatient addiction treatment program is more desirable in some cases, because patients can continue to meet their daily obligations. When they’re not in therapy, they can go to work and meet parenting responsibilities. In many cases, patients are required to attend up to 12 hours of therapy four to seven days per week, so this is still an intensive treatment program. As a part of treatment, patients are expected to check in with counselor or caseworker each day and are subjected to random drug tests to ensure they remain clean. The patient goes through a brief detox program that lasts just one week and helps the individual get clean, while also helping the individual manage mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms require medication, which will be administered by medically trained personnel.

Positive Support is Important

Regardless of which type of treatment you choose to pursue, building a positive and reliable support system is vital. This is why inpatient programs make use of group therapy and other group activities. Additionally, many inpatient programs offer opportunities for each patient’s family members to get involved with the recovery process. Similarly, outpatient programs offer the patient with an opportunity to maintain a strong support network. While those who influenced past drug or alcohol use should be eliminated from one’s social circle, recovering addicts should seek to surround themselves with loved ones who support the individual’s sobriety. When you are ready to begin treatment, call our counselors at 770-299-1677 to learn more about your treatment options. We’re available 24 hours a day, so getting help is convenient at any time of the day or night. Making this call can help you begin to put your life back in order, so you can live a healthier and happier way of life.