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Addiction, Drug Rehab

Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatment for Addiction: Which is Better?

Are you looking for treatment for drug or alcohol addiction for yourself or a loved one? Addiction is a treatable disorder, so you’re making a great first step by putting in research. It’s time to make the choice between outpatient vs inpatient treatment. Both types of rehab are valuable and beneficial, but some people favor one over the other based on various factors. 

We want to help you make the decision that’s right for you or your loved one. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab so you can make an informed choice about your care. 

Inpatient Rehab

During inpatient rehab, the person recovering from substance abuse stays in a treatment facility full-time. 

Inpatient treatment can be short-term or long-term. Some inpatient or residential treatment is only for the post-detox period. Other treatment centers prefer to provide long-term care post-stabilization. 

Here are some benefits of inpatient treatment. 

Benefit: Time Away

Some people need time away from the stressors of their day-to-day lives if they want to recover. Whether this is short-term time away or several weeks or months, it can be beneficial to avoid anything that might have led to the addiction in the first place.

This helps the patient avoid any further temptation to continue their substance abuse. It allows them to stabilize before they’re ready to go back out into “the real world.”

That said, this time away can add extra financial stress to a treatment that’s already expensive. Make sure to look into insurance and payment options to see if you can support it. 

Benefit: Social and Medical Support

Another benefit to residential treatment is the inherent social and medical support that it offers. 

While outpatient treatment also has this kind of support, inpatient ensures that it’s around at all times. There’s never a period of isolation (which could also lead to relapse without proper support). 

Having medical professionals nearby helps patients avoid any post-withdrawal problems. They can start medication management for underlying mental health disorders early on.

Benefit: Intensive Therapy

All rehabilitation programs offer therapy, but when you have a residential program, this therapy is intensive and full-time. 

All kinds of therapy are beneficial. That said, starting someone off with routine rounds of therapy that they aren’t distracted from sets them on the right track. 

Some unique forms of therapy that require larger time-commitments may be more appealing or beneficial to treatment-resistant patients. 

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehabilitation is another great option. It comes in both standard and intensive versions depending on the needs of the patient. The patient won’t stay at the rehabilitation center, but they still get post-detox support to facilitate their recovery.

Here are a few benefits of outpatient rehab. 

Benefit: Cost

Cost is one of the major factors in the decision between inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab is more expensive. When you’re unable to maintain your job and make money, this isn’t always accessible. 

Because outpatient rehab doesn’t require the costs associated with your housing or full-time care, it’s less expensive. While there are still costs involved, it’s more accessible for the average person who can’t afford to lose their income. 

If you need treatment but you have a tighter budget or insurance plan that doesn’t support your needs, outpatient treatment is a valid option. 

Benefit: Routine

Some people in recovery benefit from routine. Getting back to their normal lives can help them recover and adjust. While inpatient treatment centers also have routines for patients, these routines don’t emulate the ones that exist outside of treatment. 

When you have a good routine, you maintain better health, reduce your stress levels, feel more productive, and form better habits. For those who can structure their own lives, this can be an important step towards a transition to a normal life.  

On the other hand, someone who isn’t good at establishing structure, who is too stressed by their day-to-day life, or who has a hard time resisting temptation, may need an inpatient recovery center to help them avoid relapse. 

Benefit: Family and Friends

Inpatient services provide social support in the form of other patients. This support is helpful as you’re engaging with peers who understand your situation. 

Some people, however, benefit more from direct support via family and friends. Your personal support system is crucial in your recovery process. 

When you’re doing outpatient treatment you may still attend support groups or group therapy. This gives you that peer-to-peer engagement that you’d get in inpatient, just on a smaller scale. 

Overview: Outpatient vs Inpatient Treatment

Both outpatient and inpatient treatment have their pros and cons. In reality, it’s best to combine the two if you can. 

After inpatient stabilization and intensive therapy, the patient is stable enough to go back to their normal lives and reduce their treatment. Maintaining therapy sessions and medication management post-inpatient allows the patient to transition with less of a struggle. 

After inpatient, all patients should seek outpatient treatment. Choosing between them is ideally only for patients who feel that outpatient is the best and only option for them. 

A good treatment center also offers post-treatment counseling to prepare their patients for a sober lifestyle and encourage them to seek out fulfilling relationships, experiences, and lives. 

Which Treatment Type Is Right for You? 

At the end of the day, the best form of treatment is the one that you can commit to. When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient treatment, they both have benefits and downfalls. The patient’s lifestyle and needs are the key factors when you’re making your decision. 

If you choose inpatient treatment, make sure to establish some form of outpatient therapy and medication management so that you don’t undo your progress. Sobriety is a journey rather than a destination. In other words, it’s a lifelong process.

Are you looking for intensive rehabilitation in New Jersey? We want to guide you on your healing journey. Contact us so one of our admissions coordinators can lead the way.

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