Outpatient vs. Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs

alcohol and drug rehab program

Drug and alcohol addiction is serious business, with as much as 10 percent of the American population at one time or another battling some form of substance abuse. What does that mean for you if you’re an addict? You’re far from alone.Unfortunately, that’s exactly how it can feel when you’re abusing drugs or alcohol. You may feel like no one understands you, and no one can help you because they don’t know what it’s like. But there are people out there who do know, and that’s why it’s so important for addicts to seek out rehab programs.

What kind should you look for? Well, that’s up to you and what you think you’re able to handle or what will help you overcome addiction to live a healthy life. One of the biggest choices you’ll make when evaluating treatment programs is whether to go through inpatient or outpatient rehab.There are many differences between these two types of programs beyond the length of stay. In an inpatient program, the addict can expect to stay anywhere from 28 days to three months, though some facilities allow you to stay much longer. In outpatient care, there is no long-term stay, though programs do vary in treatment length.

How Do You Know If You Need Inpatient Care?

There are many tests available to determine whether inpatient (full-time) care is necessary. If you take these tests and they are inconclusive, or if it’s believed that you may be in denial about the depth of your addiction, a professional may be brought in to make the determination.The type of program that’s recommended is generally determined not only by depth of addiction, but whether or not detoxification is necessary. If detox is called for, inpatient care is crucial as the addict will experience withdrawal from the substance causing the problem, which is an unpleasant process and being surrounded by knowledgeable professionals will help you through it. Inpatient care is also highly recommended for patients who are suffering from substance abuse with concurrent psychological challenges, which may or may not be related to their addictions.


What to Expect in Inpatient Therapy

In an inpatient facility, the person will be made more comfortable and secure as professional care will be present day and night. In order to receive that kind of care, you’re expected to remain at a facility for the entire length of the program. There’s no checking out for vacations or breaks, because this can put you in situations where you may be tempted by your substance of choice and suffer a possible relapse.

The early part of therapy is devoted to withdrawal and detox, after which psychological and physical health therapy methods (exercise and diet) take place. In the inpatient environment, there is zero exposure to drugs or alcohol, making it impossible for the addict to continue using.

What to Expect in Outpatient Therapy

In outpatient therapy, many of the psychological and physical health care aspects are also present, though therapy can often come in the form of taking part in more public groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).Generally, outpatient care is for less severely affected addicts – those who are strong enough not to use even if drugs and alcohol are accessible. However, if outpatient care is not effective, an inpatient program is recommended.

Which Is Best?

Choosing an alcohol and drug rehab program depends on the lifestyle, preferences and needs of the addict. Inpatient care offers none of the distractions or temptations that come with life on the outside of the treatment facility. There’s also the added benefit of having professionals on site in case of emergencies, and there are often gyms, yoga classes, and other amenities that encourage physical activities. Healthy meals are available, and both meditation and religious settings may also contribute to a successful rehab program.

One challenge of being enrolled in and living in the inpatient setting, everything in the individual’s outside world is put on hold. They are unable to perform any work at their places of employment, and other than for brief visits, their family and social lives are also put on hold for the duration of the program (although they may see their family dependent on the program).

Outpatient care gives you freedom to maintain your schedule. Your personal and professional life continues unhindered, except for therapy sessions. There are no walls keeping you confined, but you’re also not in a place that is free of drugs and alcohol. Outpatient programs are generally a lot less expensive since you will not need to pay for room and board or the professional therapy you are receiving around the clock.

The obvious danger is that you’ll have to deal with situations that involve more opportunities to turn to the substances you became addicted to because you’re free to go where you please. The flip side of that, though, is that you’re learning how to deal with their addiction in the “real world”.In both cases, there’s a chance of relapse, and it’s incredibly important to find a continuing care support group that you are comfortable with. Those who successfully overcome their addiction and stay clean, going on to live healthy, successful lives are the ones who get a lot of ongoing help from family, friends, and professionals before, during, and after rehab.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

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