Deciding to get help for addiction is a big step, but before you can start your journey to a sober, happy life you have some decisions to make. Perhaps the first, and one of the most important, is whether you are going to do a residential or an outpatient treatment program. There are some pretty substantial differences between the two, so it’s critical that you review the pros and cons of each before deciding on the right one for your healing journey.
Understanding Inpatient Treatment
Residential abuse recovery treatment, sometimes called inpatient treatment, is a place where a person checks in, then lives and spends all his or her time there for the duration of the program. Residential programs can range from about 30 to 90 days, and usually they will stipulate that the patient will not see friends or family members during that time. Inpatient facilities often combine a medical detoxification period at the beginning with therapy, counseling, group support, and classes afterward. Inpatient treatment tends to be a little more intense, so it’s ideally suited for someone whose addiction has taken significant control over his or her life.
Understanding Outpatient Treatment
Others who seek addiction treatment might find that either they cannot leave their home and their life for an extended period of time to check in to a rehab facility, or they prefer to be able to live at their own home. In these cases, patients will check in regularly with counselors and addiction treatment professionals at the rehabilitation center, but will return to their homes once it’s done.
Which One is Better?
It’s important to note that neither outpatient nor inpatient is considered to be “better” treatment, and choosing the best one often means examining your own circumstances, your addiction and behaviors, and your living situation. The primary goal of any drug or alcohol addiction treatment facility is to help you focus on recovery and remove the distractions in your daily life that have prevented you from having success. If that means you need to live at the facility, an inpatient treatment option might be better. If you have significant barriers that would make checking into a facility impossible, don’t put off your recovery because of that—instead, choose an outpatient facility.
Be Realistic About Your Needs
If you require more specialized services, or you know that staying at home where environmental factors might cause you to relapse, perhaps an inpatient facility is a better option. These facilities also offer many alternative therapies that can aid in your recovery, such as yoga, acupuncture, meal preparation, and religious services, free from the temptation of drugs or alcohol (which are restricted here). This round-the-clock care might also be necessary for someone who is overcoming a long-term addiction and needs medical professionals to supervise their detox and recovery.
However, outpatient programs often cost less and it’s easier to maintain a normal life with a job, children, and other obligations. Family members and friends might also be a much-needed support system during what is sure to be a difficult time.
Before you commit to any program, take some time to examine your options and understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.