inpatient vs outpatient rehab

Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab: What Option is Best?

The first step toward recovery is to change your relationship with drugs and alcohol. You may have come to this decision on your own, or you may have been encouraged by friends and family. Drug and alcohol detox facilities are available to help you through this process. Once you are clean, you can start a treatment program that includes counseling and therapeutic support. The two main types of treatment are inpatient and outpatient.

Let’s talk more about inpatient and outpatient treatment, the pros and cons to both and which option is the best fit. To find a treatment center that meets your needs, contact Drug Help Line at 800-591-0343.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehab, or residential rehab, is best for those who have severe addictions to drugs and alcohol. Many people in these programs also struggle with mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. With this type of treatment, clients live at the facility and have access to support 24 hours a day.

Inpatient treatment is generally offered in 30, 60 or 90 day programs, though some may be shorter or longer. Usually, the longer a person stays in treatment, the more successful they are in their recovery. The reason for this is that they have more time away from temptations that may compromise their sobriety. They also receive more counseling and support.

Pros of an Inpatient Program 

The benefits to a residential treatment program are plentiful and include:

  • Continuum of care. Most inpatient rehabs offer a full continuum of care that includes detox, counseling and aftercare. There is no lapse in treatment, helping addicts to stay on track with their goals.
  • Reduced relapse rates. The longer a person is in treatment, the more likely they are to stay sober. It’s ideal to let the brain heal in a safe, supportive environment, and residential rehab provides this.
  • Removal from triggers. In the real world, triggers are everywhere. Some newly recovering addicts are not prepared for them, and this can make it difficult to stay sober. In residential treatment, triggers, temptation and toxic relationships are eliminated.
  • 24-hour care. Medical attention and safe housing is available 24 hours a day at an inpatient rehab facility. This is especially important for clients with dual diagnosis, or a diagnosis of both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.
  • Structured environment. When recovering addicts complete treatment, they must learn to maintain a structured schedule to prevent boredom. The transition is made easier when coming from residential rehab because clients work on building healthy routines.

Considerations for Inpatient Rehab

The biggest drawbacks to inpatient rehab are the cost and the commitment. Because clients live at the facility, the costs are much higher than they would be with an outpatient program. Most insurance plans do provide some coverage for inpatient care, but because the overall costs are higher, there is usually a bill for the client's portion.

Additionally, inpatient treatment is usually a minimum of 30 days. Not everyone is able to leave work, school or their family for this long. That said, there are laws to protect employees from discrimination, so it’s worth talking to HR about. Employees can take a leave of absence to focus on their health and have a job when they return. It’s also possible that friends and family can assist with child care. The alternative of continuing to use drugs and alcohol is almost always worse. 

Let’s move on to outpatient treatment and what you can expect from this level of care.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment involves daily treatment that includes counseling, skills development, education, interpersonal process groups and more. This type of care takes place every day or several days a week. At the end of each day, the client returns home to their family. Because they don’t live at the facility, outpatient care is known to be more flexible, convenient and affordable.

Outpatient care can be used in a couple of different ways. People who are dealing with drug or alcohol abuse but do not have a severe addiction can seek outpatient treatment. By being held accountable for their actions, these individuals can break the cycle of abuse and find alternative ways to have fun and handle stressful situations.

Also, some recovering addicts join an outpatient program after completing inpatient treatment. They recognize that they still need structure to keep on track with their goals, and an outpatient program helps with this.

Pros of an Outpatient Program

There are many advantages to taking part in outpatient rehab, including:

  • Live at home. The ability to return home each day is attractive and may encourage someone on the fence to get the help they need. Clients can continue working, going to school or caring for their family. 
  • Affordable. The costs of outpatient programs are affordable and accommodate most budgets. Insurance will also help pay for these programs to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Varied levels of care. Intensive outpatient treatment usually requires more hours of care each week compared to regular outpatient care. There are also many different therapies included, allowing for highly personalized care.
  • Support for dual diagnosis. Outpatient programs are especially beneficial for those who need additional treatment for a dual diagnosis. You can find programs that specifically work with those who have eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder.

Considerations for Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient treatment is not the best choice for those who have severe addictions or those who require treatment for multiple disorders. Also, if around-the-clock medical attention is needed, outpatient care is not ideal. Generally, these programs are best for those who need extra support and structure in their days while growing stronger in their recoveries.

At the same time, some treatment is better than no treatment. If someone is struggling to pay for rehab or take time away from family, outpatient treatment should not be overlooked. To be successful in outpatient rehab, a person should keep their expectations realistic and be willing to show up and participate in their counseling sessions.

Start Your Recovery Today 

No matter what type of treatment you choose, it will start you on the path to getting clean and sober. With so many options available, let Drug Help Line narrow down your search and find a treatment center that accommodates your needs and budget. We specialize in Florida treatment centers, including inpatient, outpatient and many others. Call us today at 800-591-0343.