What Is The Difference Between Outpatient And Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs for people struggling with substance use disorders are categorized into two groups: outpatient and inpatient rehab. Offered on a residential basis, inpatient rehab programs are designed to deal with severe substance use disorders and tends to be more intensive. On the other hand, outpatient rehab is non-residential, which means you will be able to keep up with responsibilities at home, school, and work while also receiving treatment for your addiction.

Types of Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs

a) Long Term Residential Treatment

In many cases, long-term rehab programs will last for 90 days or longer. They will also be focused on helping you rebuild your social structure and ongoing interactions with the rest of your community.

The major components of treatment will revolve around a combination of group and individual therapy; also, some facilities will have a family therapy and counseling program.

b) Short Term Residential Treatment

In a short-term residential treatment program, you will be either in a specific inpatient rehab center or in a hospital setting. After you have gone through this type of treatment - which is mostly based on therapy that involves talks in the short term - you might get a discharge and go home. However, you will still be expected to continue with treatment through outpatient rehab programs.

The main goal of short-term inpatient treatment is to help you detox from your substance of abuse. You will also be introduced to various talk therapies that you can continue working on when you check into an outpatient rehabilitation program.

What Is Inpatient Drug Rehab Like?

When you choose inpatient treatment, you will have either to stay at facilities that provide residential services or to be hospitalized. This will allow you to be completely immersed in your addiction treatment program because you will be staying at the rehab center, eating there, and getting structured activities.

These activities will typically include a medically managed detoxification program, skills training, medication management, ongoing therapy and counseling, relapse prevention, aftercare planning, and more.

Residential programs will generally range in duration from as little as a month to 3 months or even more. The intensity of these programs will also vary greatly depending on how long you stay in the facility, your medical requirements, and your individual emotional capacity to handle stressful and depressing situations. Today, you might even be able to find a program that lasts as long as 6 to 12 months or more.

What Are The Benefits of Inpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab?

It is impossible to understand the differences between inpatient vs outpatient treatment unless you have a clear idea about the benefits that you stand to gain when you enroll for inpatient treatment. Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:

  • The therapy programs can help you gain a better understanding of your substance use disorder
  • These programs come with structured schedules to ensure that you can keep your mind away from the intoxicating and mind altering substances that caused you to develop an addiction
  • You will be removed from the environment that could potentially trigger your relapse or provide you with access to substances of abuse
  • You will have access to care, supervision, and management by medical staff around the clock

Who Needs Inpatient Drug Rehab?

There are many reasons that you might want to choose an inpatient addiction treatment program. However, research studies have found that some people will have a higher likelihood of faring better in these programs than others. To this end, you should choose such a program if:

  • You do not have adequate social support back at home to keep you away from mind altering and intoxicating substances
  • You do not live near any outpatient rehab center
  • You have additional mental and physical health issues that will also require ongoing medical assistance to overcome over and above your substance use disorder
  • You have been in an outpatient rehab program and were not successful
  • You have difficulty commuting to an outpatient drug rehab facility
  • You need extensive and consistent medical oversight during your medically managed detox program
  • Your personal relationships, school, work, or home have too many triggers that could cause you to start using drugs again

Types of Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab Programs

There are several types of outpatient addiction treatment programs. The most common among these include, but are not always limited to:

a) Partial Hospitalization (PHP)/ Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOT)

Although these types of outpatient drug rehab are not quite the same, they come with the same structure and benefits. While involved in such a program, you will still be able to go back home once you have completed your daily or weekly sessions.

However, you will also be required to go for individual counseling, group therapy, and medication management. These treatment services will most likely take several hours of your day, and some days of your week.

In many cases, the duration you spend in treatment will range from 4 to 8 hours a day and 3 to 5 days a week. Even so, you will also enjoy some structured breaks in between so that you can continue focusing on the other commitments that you might have outside of the treatment facility.

Most partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment programs will spread 20 hours every week over a couple of days. Typically, you will enroll in such a program after you have successfully completed a medically managed detoxification program - which could either be provided on an inpatient or on an outpatient basis.

Detoxification will allow you to successfully withdraw from the intoxicating and mind altering substances that you have been abusing. In many cases, you might find that you need to do this in a hospital setting.

b) 12 Step and Peer Support Programs

Although 12 step programs cannot technically be classified as a form of outpatient drug rehab, they are sometimes seen as being part of the same mode of treatment. However, they do not provide professional care and you should only use them as part of a larger, more expansive program of treatment.

This type of addiction recovery gained popularity back in the 30s when it was used to help people who were struggling with alcohol use disorder. Today, it has been making changes in how people view substance abuse and addiction. This is because it provides a new way for addicts to continue working on their problems but in a structured and supportive environment.

12 step programs are also beneficial because they can help you learn more about your negative habits - particularly those related to your ongoing substance abuse. Further, you will learn how to overcome all the impulses that might cause you to continue drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

These programs have exploded in terms of popularity and you might find that they are ideal for you. When you join such a group, you will attend the regular meetings and work with sponsors who can help you stay accountable to your ongoing recovery after a period of drug abuse.

12 step programs are also peer led although hospitals have not accredited them. Even so, the social setting they offer can provide you with the social structure and support that you need to continue dealing with your risk of relapse.

c) Others Types of Outpatient Drug Rehab

There are other types of outpatient drug rehab programs. Your doctor might prescribe these services, and they are mostly found in university medical centers, at hospitals, and in separate and specialized facilities.

All these programs also come with a component of group therapy. They might also actively involve you, your family, community, friends, and colleagues to ensure that you have the best chances of success in recovery.

Duration of Outpatient Rehabilitation

According to NIDA, you should spend at least 90 days minimum in any drug rehabilitation and treatment program. However, outpatient drug rehab will range much more in terms of the duration of involvement in comparison to inpatient treatment.

For instance, a typical partial hospitalization program will typically require you to participate for anywhere between 3 and 5 weeks. Other forms of treatment might be open in terms of the duration it will require you to overcome your substance abuse and addiction. In fact, you might even choose to continue attending outpatient drug rehab over the rest of your life because addiction is a chronic condition that might crop up at any time.

What Are The Benefits and Drawbacks of Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Rehab?

Outpatient drug rehab provides many benefits, including:

  • Ability to continue maintaining your current ties in the community
  • Ability to enlist the help of your social support system even as you continue dealing with your addiction
  • Better ability to continue maintaining your commitments to your family, career, and school
  • Privacy and anonymity because you won't have to miss too much school or work
  • This type of treatment is cheaper in comparison to inpatient rehabilitation
  • You will still be living at home

In the same way, there are some drawbacks to outpatient drug rehab, including but not limited to:

  • Some programs do not provide detox services, so you will have to look for a facility to help you withdraw
  • There a high risk that you will continue facing triggers and stresses that could cause you to relapse
  • There is less structure, which means that your mind might wander back to substance abuse
  • You might still have access to drugs because no one will be monitoring you when you go back home
  • You will be responsible of your own transportation to doctor's appointments, and therapy meetings

Now that you understand the difference between inpatient vs outpatient treatment, you should consider your choices very carefully and talk to addiction rehabilitation professionals before you make your final decision. The important thing is that you choose well and check into a facility that will increase your chances of achieving full recovery from your substance abuse.

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Call now to speak with a treatment specialist to find out if your health insurance provides benefits for addiction rehabilitation.

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