If a loved one is struggling with an addiction, it can be tempting to try any and every alternative you can think of. And while it’s important to give your friends and family the support they need, residential treatment centers vs. outpatient care can often lead to overbearing expectations and unrealistic expectations of recovery. Residential care is offered in many different types of facilities throughout the country.
It’s almost always more expensive than a similar type of care that takes place outside the institution. For example, if an individual were admitted into a low-cost facility for six months, their costs would be quite high for the same amount of time in another setting during less restrictive times. While this isn’t always the case, it’s something to keep in mind when looking at whether an individual or loved one should stay with supportive rehab or look at additional services elsewhere.
What is Residential Treatment?
Residential treatment is a type of inpatient care offered by a number of different types of facilities. In many cases, it’s a short-term program that lasts anywhere from one to six months. Individuals who receive residential care are often referred to the setting by a psychiatrist or other doctor who believes that their loved one has an addiction. The majority of residential treatment centers are certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This indicates that they are accredited and meet certain standards as far as care is concerned. However, there are some unaccredited centers out there that are associated with fraudulent treatment practices. Most residential treatment centers, however, are legitimate and certified by SAMHSA.
How Does Outpatient Treatment Differ From Residential Care?
Outpatient treatment takes place in a medical setting. Often, it’s a day treatment center or a medical clinic that offers a variety of services to help an individual learn how to manage their substance abuse and mental health concerns better. The majority of outpatient treatment centers are certified by SAMHSA and are regulated by state law to make sure that they are operating safely and appropriately. The majority of outpatient treatment is either short-term or long-term. Short-term programs are usually less than six months while long-term treatments usually last six months or longer. Outpatient treatment programs are designed to help an individual learn how to cope with their addiction and mental health concerns better. They’re not residential treatment centers, but they’re not outpatient programs either that can be helpful for someone who needs to get off the streets and back into a treatment setting.
Pros of Residential Care
- Higher Quality of Life – The majority of residential treatment programs are located in high-quality settings. These facilities are built for long-term residential care and include activities and programs designed to help individuals who are struggling with substance use and mental health concerns. Inpatient programs are also more likely to be certified by SAMHSA and regulated by state law.
- Fewer Sexual Assaults – Research has found that there tend to be significantly fewer sexual assaults in residential care settings than in other types of treatment. And while this isn’t a reason to choose residential care, it’s something that should be kept in mind when thinking about treatment options.
Cons of Residential Care
- More Expensive – Because residential care is a more restrictive setting, individuals who receive this type of care are more likely to receive more expensive treatment. In many cases, the residential care costs more than outpatient care.
- More Restrictive – Residential care has been argued to be more restrictive than outpatient care. With residential care, individuals are often locked in their rooms or in the facility at certain times during the day.
- Fewer Mental Health Providers – Some experts argue that there tend to be fewer mental health providers working with individuals in residential care than in outpatient settings. And, as many individuals who receive residential care are struggling with substance use, this can be a problem when it comes to getting treatment for mental health concerns.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, there are a variety of treatment options available. Residential treatment is often more expensive and restrictive than outpatient care, but it can help an individual maintain sobriety and get back on track with their life. Residential care is not for everyone, and it should be carefully considered. If it’s right for your loved one, residential treatment can help them gain a new perspective on life and be provided with the support they need to move forward with their lives. Residential treatment has many benefits, including higher quality of life, fewer sexual assaults, and more access to mental health treatment. Residential care has its benefits, but it’s also important to consider its cons.
Our treatment center is available to serve all members of the community who need treatment for substance abuse and information about addiction. Contact us today at 833.970.2054 to learn how we can support you.