Going to rehab can be both exciting and intimidating at once. If you’re ready to receive professional addiction treatment, learning more about your options is an excellent start. For those battling severe alcohol use disorder or severe substance use disorder, inpatient addiction treatment is highly recommended. In inpatient addiction treatment, you’ll spend the duration of your program on a closed, secure campus. You’ll have access to a vast range of in-house therapies, activities, and support services, and your treatment will last between one and three months.
Just as its name implies, outpatient addiction treatment is provided on an outpatient basis. You can live at home with your family or you can live in a sober living facility or halfway house. Outpatient rehab services make it possible for people to continue caring for their minor children, going to work or school, and taking care of many other outside responsibilities, even as they take care of themselves. Available in varying levels of intensity, outpatient treatment provides many of the same services and support tools that inpatient rehab supplies while additionally offering greater freedom and flexibility.
How to Know If Outpatient Rehab Is Right for You
In inpatient rehab, patients are completely removed from the outside world. This eliminates the temptation and pressures that come from real-world stressors. More importantly, it gives patients the ability to focus solely on getting well. They can spend all of their waking hours rebuilding their lives and gaining the skills and tools that they’ll need to maintain their sobriety over time.
Outpatient rehab doesn’t provide the same sheltered atmosphere. Most people in outpatient rehab go directly home after completing their on-campus activities. They continue to see the same family members and friends, and they have the option of going to the same hangouts that they’ve always visited. Choosing to start your rehab in an outpatient setting requires determination and the willingness to make smart, calculated decisions all of the time. You’ll be responsible for avoiding toxic, high-risk environments and relationships, and for keeping your recovery on track. For this reason, outpatient rehab isn’t the best choice for people who have multiple risk factors for relapse.
Common Risk Factors That Make Inpatient Rehab a Better Option
If you’re considering outpatient rehab, it’s important to have a caring and supportive family, especially if you intend to complete your program while living at home. If there are people in your household who still actively use drugs or alcohol, starting your recovery in a temptation-free environment is absolutely the right choice.
Common risk factors for relapse include:
- Having relapsed multiple times in the past
- A lengthy history of drug or alcohol addiction
- A history of using large amounts of alcohol or drugs
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
- Lack of social support
- Recent or past trauma
If you have one or more of these risk factors, the best way to mitigate them is by spending time in the closed, secure, and incredibly supportive treatment environment that inpatient rehab offers.
Using Outpatient Rehab As a Follow-up to Inpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient rehab can be an invaluable resource in recovery. For some people, it is an excellent starting point. For others, it’s the perfect follow-up to structured, closed-campus programs. Outpatient rehab requires a thoughtful and self-managed approach to recovery. People who succeed in these programs are committed to their own success, and they work hard to avoid subjecting themselves to unnecessary temptations and stress.
In recovery, getting some treatment is far better than getting absolutely none at all. However, getting the right type of treatment is always ideal. Ultimately, the more needs-specific treatment that you get, the better off you’ll be. Thus, if you spend just one month in an inpatient rehab facility, you can increase your likelihood of staying on track by spending another month in an outpatient program. Both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment provide people with access to:
- Services for managing co-occurring mental health disorders
- Cognitive behavioral therapy and other private therapy types
- Group counseling services
- Life-planning services
- Goal-setting resources
- Relapse prevention planning
If you complete an inpatient program but find that you aren’t quite ready to rejoin the outside world, you can either extend your inpatient treatment or sign up for an intensive outpatient program.
Basic Outpatient Programs vs. Intensive Outpatient Programs
Basic outpatient programs require an on-campus commitment of just seven to 12 hours each week. These work well for people who are ready to self-manage their recoveries and who have adequate support from their loved ones. Intensive outpatient programs work well as alternatives to inpatient addiction treatment. With these, patients are required to spend a minimum of 35 hours participating in on-campus activities each week.
If you’re having a hard time deciding whether inpatient or outpatient rehab is right for you, we can help. Give us a call today at 833.970.2054. Our counselors are always standing by.