While deciding to seek treatment for drug or alcohol dependency is the most important step you can take on the road to recovery, it is still only the first step. Now you have to decide what type of addiction treatment is best for you. As you research, you will quickly discover that there are a number of different options.
Fortunately, all rehabs fall into two basic categories—inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Once you know the differences, you can determine which type is appropriate for your circumstances.
Know Your Addiction Treatment Options
All drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are focused on the same end-goal—they are designed to help you leave your addiction behind over the long-term, allowing you to move on with a healthy and happy life. But the way they accomplish this goal can vary based on the type addiction treatment you choose.
At its most basic, inpatient rehab is a rehab where the patient stays in the rehab facility. Inpatient rehab is also known as residential rehab. When you go to an inpatient facility, you check yourself into the facility for a specific period of time. Once checked in, you will remain at the facility 24/7 throughout the course of your treatment. An inpatient program can last from 28 days up to six months.
Some of the features of inpatient treatment include:
The majority of inpatient addiction treatment programs begin with medically assisted detox. Under the supervision of a medical professional, you will stop using the substance for a specific period of time necessary to work it out of your system. Unlike quitting cold turkey at home, medically assisted detox uses prescription medications to make the withdrawal process easier, safer and more comfortable.
In some instances, such as benzodiazepine addiction, medically assisted detox is necessary for your safety.
Supervision and Assistance
Because you are in the treatment center 24/7, you are never very far from getting assistance from a medical professional when you need it. Whether you are dealing with unexpected complications, struggling with emotional issues, or need guidance, you have access to people who can help. Ongoing supervision also helps you avoid relapsing.
A typical day at an inpatient treatment center may involve individual therapy, group therapy, exercise, meditation, walks around the grounds, etc. Your day is usually filled with opportunities to heal, something that would not be the case if you were living in the outside world. The entire focus of your time at the treatment center is to help you recover, which is one of the major benefits of inpatient treatment.
Protection from the Outside World
Addiction does not occur in a vacuum—it is the result of many different factors that often include the lifestyle and relationships that make up your day-to-day life. It can be very difficult to end an addiction when you are still in the environment that encouraged and allowed the addiction in the first place. When you are living at the addiction treatment center, you have the opportunity to leave behind all of the negative aspects of your environment and focus fully on healing.
Learning Coping Skills
While you are protected from the outside world in treatment, you will eventually have to leave the treatment center. Much of the therapy offered in your treatment center will focus on teaching you how to cope with everyday life—without turning to the substance you are addicted to. You will have the opportunity to learn valuable skills day after day while in treatment, skills that will help you maintain control after you leave treatment.
Inpatient treatment is available in both hospital settings and at residential facilities outside of hospital grounds. There are benefits to each, depending on your circumstances. Hospital inpatient programs can provide medical support in circumstances where there are significant risks of health complications. Residential programs generally offer a more comfortable environment for long-term stays.
Outpatient treatment differs from inpatient treatment primarily because you do not stay at the treatment facility. You continue to live your day-to-day life and visit the treatment center to receive treatment on a specific schedule. Outpatient treatment usually involves around 10-12 hours a week of treatment.
Some benefits of outpatient treatment include:
Good for Mild Addictions
Inpatient treatment is the preferred method for serious addictions like heroin addiction, but not every addiction is so severe. If you are not seriously addicted to a dangerous substance, outpatient treatment may be enough to give you the tools you need to recover.
Allows for Maintaining a Job, Family life, Etc.
With an outpatient program, you can continue to work, take care of your family and meet other obligations that may suffer if you lived at a treatment facility.
Outpatient treatment can also be very helpful as an addiction to your Inpatient Treatment. Outpatient treatment can be an excellent addition to an inpatient program. Once you leave the inpatient program, you can continue to get help at an outpatient facility while reintegrating into your normal life.
Because there is so much less involved, the majority of outpatient programs are less expensive than inpatient programs. If the choice is between no treatment and an outpatient program, the outpatient program may definitely the better option.
Practice in a Real World Setting
No matter how well you practice relapse prevention techniques in an inpatient facility, it will still be challenging practicing those techniques in the real world. An outpatient program offers a way to bring what you learned into the world and apply these practices in everyday life. As you encounter challenges in your life, you can seek help from your outpatient program to help you overcome those challenges.
Get the Help You Need—Rehab Options for You
If you are interested in rehab for you or for a loved one, we are here to help. You can search by state, zip code, or simply select your state to start finding rehab options in your area. We can help you find both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment based on your needs. If you prefer to speak to an adviser, please call us at 1-800-581-0754. Someone is available 24/7 to assist you.
If you have a serious emergency please call 9-1-1 immediately.