Addiction can look very different from person to person. As such, the available options in treatment are capable of meeting a very diverse range of needs. While some people need the comfort and security that a closed campus provides, others are both willing and able to tackle recovery using a largely self-managed approach. Although there are many different kinds of rehab facilities to choose from, nearly all of them fall into two primary categories: inpatient and outpatient programs. Understanding how they differ is a critical part of choosing the right program for your needs.
Inpatient programs are held entirely on closed campuses. Apart from family visitation days and the periodic issuance of day-leave passes, inpatient facilities often keep patients onsite throughout the duration of treatment. These locations provide lots of options in on-campus recreation. However, clients cannot come and go as they please. Moreover, many inpatient programs require people to surrender their cellphones upon arrival too. By completely removing them from the outside environment, inpatient rehabs make sure that recovering addicts are not subject to the temptations, stressors, and other challenges that exist in the outside world. Comparatively, outpatient programs offer sufficient freedom and flexibility for patients to continue maintaining their regular schedules. People in outpatient programs often go to work or school when they aren’t in treatment. They also have the opportunity to spend time with their families every night and on the weekends, and to continue caring for small children or other dependents.
Is Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab Right for You?
If you’ve got a job to maintain and cannot easily take time off of work for treatment, outpatient rehab will give you the opportunity to both receive quality addiction treatment and stay on top of your job duties. However, the pressing demands of work, school, or other personal obligations should never be the determining factor when choosing between inpatient and outpatient treatment. After all, until you get the right level of addiction treatment and the necessary amount of support, you won’t be able to perform well in any life area. Getting the treatment you need is always the utmost priority.
Rather than considering your responsibilities, it’s important to think about your risk factors. These are life habits, familial connections, environmental factors, and other things that increase your risk of relapsing both during and immediately after treatment. Given that outpatient programs do not completely remove people from outside temptations, you must be prepared to weather these challenges on your own. You may be better suited for a closed campus if:
- You’ve tried a recovery but have already relapsed once or more before
- You have a co-occurring mental health issue
- You don’t have a loving and supportive living environment
- Other people in your home are currently using substances
- You have a family history of addiction
Outpatient rehab isn’t the ideal choice for initial addiction treatment for anyone who’s been using a highly addictive substance. This is also true for those who’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol heavily for many years.
When Is Outpatient Treatment a Good Idea?
Outpatient treatment is a good choice for people who are ready to take control of their lives and have few or no major risk factors for relapse. However, if you have recently completed an inpatient program and are worried about your return to post-treatment living, you may find that extending your treatment time through outpatient rehab instantly allays your fears. In these instances, outpatient programs provide the extended structure and accountability that people often need for staying the course. They also work well after inpatient treatment when additional therapies are required or when co-occurring disorders such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, or schizophrenia have yet to be fully managed.
What to Expect When Attending Inpatient or Outpatient Rehab
Apart from providing dramatically different levels of personal freedom during recovery, inpatient and outpatient programs are structured very much the same. In both program types, patients:
- Work with dedicated case managers
- Receive both private and group counseling
- Have access to medical support
- Engage in goal-setting and life-planning activities
- Craft needs-specific plans for relapse prevention
While inpatient programs consistently provide high levels of treatment intensity, outpatient programs vary in intensity. In inpatient addiction treatment, you’ll spend nearly all of your waking hours focusing on healing, adopting new life habits, and developing new life skills. In outpatient rehab, you can choose between basic, minimal-support programs or intensive outpatient programs. Basic outpatient programs require an on-campus commitment of approximately seven to 12 hours weekly. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) require a weekly commitment of 35 hours or more. In terms of benefits and support supplied, IOPs are the most like inpatient programs.
Choosing between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment isn’t always easy. If you need help assessing your risk factors and finding the right program for your needs, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us now by calling 833.970.2054.