When choosing to seek help for a drug or alcohol addiction, there are multiple options to choose. The biggest choice is deciding which program is better for you: an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient treatment program. There are benefits to each program, so it is important to consider all the factors involved to ensure the best treatment plan is followed.
Inpatient Treatment Programs
The defining characteristic of an inpatient treatment program is that it requires the addicted individual to check into a facility and remain in the facility for the length of the program. The program can be as short as 28 days or as long as 90 days, depending on the patient’s needs. Typically, the patient goes through a detoxification process during the first part of the program, followed by counseling or therapy for the latter part of the program. Inpatient treatment programs are one of the most common treatment plans for addicted individuals.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient treatment programs go through the rehabilitation process at a centre, but are able to stay in their homes during the process. Although the patient stays at home during the program, they are required to check in with the rehabilitation centre everyday, excluding weekends and holidays. The addiction treatment therapy is basically the same for inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, however inpatient programs are more intensive.
Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment Programs
The major advantage to an inpatient treatment program is that it allows the patient to completely focus on recovery, without any of the distractions that come with everyday life. The patient has no access to drugs or alcohol, so the chances of relapse are very low. Inpatient treatment programs also offer care at all hours of the day, which is particularly beneficial for individuals who have regularly abused drugs for an extended period of time, have used drugs that cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, or who live in unsafe or unstable environments. The secluded nature of inpatient treatment programs can also be the biggest disadvantage of the program. Being separated from the rest of the world can make it difficult to maintain employment and foster personal relationships.
Outpatient programs typically cost less than inpatient treatment programs because room and board are not included. It is also easier to maintain personal relationships and employment in outpatient treatment programs. Outpatient programs are not recommended for everyone, however. Treatment specialists do not recommend outpatient treatment programs to patients they feel are at risk from dangers associated with their particular addiction. Moreover, the risk of relapse is higher with outpatient treatment programs because they still have access to drugs and alcohol during the rehabilitation process. That being said, outpatient treatment programs also allow the patient to see how to be sober in the real world and are therefore able to use the skills they learn during therapy right away, whereas individuals undergoing inpatient treatment programs have to wait until they are released to use their newfound skills.