When looking into different treatment programs for dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, there are two main categories to choose from – inpatient programs and outpatient programs. While inpatient programs, also known as residential treatment programs, rely on…
When looking into different treatment programs for dealing with drug or alcohol addiction, there are two main categories to choose from – inpatient programs and outpatient programs. While inpatient programs, also known as residential treatment programs, rely on removing the addicted individual from their everyday life and putting them in a 24 hour care centre, outpatient programs allow the individual with more freedom and movement.
Inpatient programs and outpatient programs have many similarities, but are centered on different environments. In outpatient treatment programs, patients are not provided with a completely safe and secure environment that removes the addicted individual from negative influences that may lead them to abuse drugs or alcohol. Rather, they are given the freedom to continue with their regular day-to-day activities – but without the negative, damaging addiction and related behaviours. Individuals undergoing an outpatient treatment program are typically able to continue working during their treatment, and are able to maintain responsibilities they have with friends and family as well.
Individuals in outpatient treatment programs are still required to attend sessions with healthcare and psychological professionals, but are then able to return home afterward and therefore do not need to explain a lengthy absence to their friends, family, or coworkers. Because the individual is not monitored to ensure their abstinence, individuals enrolled in outpatient treatment programs must be voluntarily abstinent in order for the program to be successful. Patients are also supplied with a support network, as well as counseling, to ensure a successful recovery.
Outpatient programs, like inpatient programs, also rely on support from the family of the addicted individual, as well as consistent involvement from the family.
A major benefit to outpatient programs is that they allow the individual going through treatment to immediately apply any lessons they learn during their therapy or counseling sessions to their everyday lives – as opposed to individuals in inpatient programs who will not be able to apply any new knowledge to their everyday lives until they are released from the program.
When trying to decide which program is best for you or your loved one, the main thing to consider is how independently dedicated the individual can be to adhering to the program. If you feel the addict will have trouble staying on course alone, then perhaps an inpatient program is a better fit. But if removing the individual from their support system during treatment would cause more damage than good, then an outpatient program may be the way to go.