Which is Better: Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment

Which is Better: Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment

When you make the decision to seek help for a drug or alcohol problem, you’ll probably have to decide if an inpatient or outpatient treatment center in Phoenix is the right fit. Each kind of program is unique and has its own set of attributes and benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you’ll have to consider the severity of your addiction and what will help you achieve your sobriety goals.

To help you make the best decision for yourself, it’s important to know the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Let’s break down each treatment type, what you can expect as a client, and how to choose the best fit for your needs.

What is an Inpatient Rehab Program? 

Inpatient addiction rehab, also known as residential treatment, is when a person checks themselves into a controlled environment to get sober and receive counseling. Most inpatient programs last for 28 to 90 days or longer depending on the client, their needs and their insurance coverage.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to an inpatient program is that it removes the person from their environment. If you are living in a toxic environment, inpatient treatment may be the best choice. You can remove yourself from these distractions and focus on your recovery. You will also be given adequate time to process unresolved trauma and develop healthy coping strategies.

Here are the characteristics of a residential holistic recovery center:

  • Reside at the facility for a period of time

  • 24-hour medical and emotional support available

  • Best for treating serious addictions

  • Often includes detox and counseling under one roof

  • More expensive than outpatient treatment

  • Can be disruptive to normal life routines – for better or worse

  • Limited contact with loved ones

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What is Outpatient Rehab Drug Treatment? 

Outpatient addiction treatment allows clients to live at home while receiving treatment. Most programs include 10-12 hours of recovery work each week.  This model is a win-win for individuals who have a job or family, but still need continued support as the work through the long process of recovering from addiction. In this setting, clients receive individual and group therapy sessions for as long as they need them, which can be for 3-6 months or longer.

Although substance abuse is always serious, an outpatient program is best for mild-to-moderate addictions, or for patients who have already been through detox and/or outpatient programs and are now transitioning back to daily living. Detox is generally not included in the services, so clients are expected to be physically sober when they seek outpatient care. Additionally, outpatient treatment does not include 24-hour monitoring, which people often need when detoxing from drugs or alcohol. Consider outpatient program to be a great fit for recovering addicts who need additional support, structure and guidance.

Below are the key points to a holistic outpatient treatment:

  • Live at home while receiving treatment

  • Keep your support system close by

  • Choose the level of intensity that works for you

  • Schedule meetings on weekends or evenings to accommodate your schedule

  • Treat co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety

  • More affordable than inpatient treatment

Intensive Outpatient Programs: A Happy Medium? 

An intensive outpatient program, or IOP, is technically an outpatient program, but are different from traditional outpatient programs.  If you feel like you’re in the middle – you don’t want to stay in an inpatient facility but an outpatient program may be too lenient – consider an IOP. These programs give you more support and require attendance 3-5 days per week. The goal of an IOP is to make recovery a priority as you transition back into everyday life.

If you like the idea of an IOP but you want a more comprehensive level of care, you can also consider a partial hospitalization program, or PHP. A PHP is a step up and includes daily outpatient treatment in a structured environment. You can expect to spend the majority of your day working toward your recovery, but you do get to return home at night.

How to Find the Right Holistic Recovery Program 

Getting help for an addiction is the best decision you can make and the majority of people find recovery to be profoundly life changing in very positive ways. While you should give plenty of thought to the program you pick, also know that some treatment is better than no treatment. Outpatient drug rehab may be a good place to start.

That said, there are several factors to keep in mind when choosing between inpatient and outpatient rehab for substance abuse. Here are some questions we recommend asking yourself.

  • Are you exposed to drugs and alcohol in your home?

  • Do you have a safe and sober living environment?

  • Do you have a strong support network?

  • Can you leave your job, home or family for an extended period of time?

  • Do you have a co-occurring disorder that needs treatment?

  • Are you able to commute to and from therapy several days a week?

  • How much does your insurance cover?

Answering these questions will help you understand what type of treatment is best for you.

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Is One Type of Treatment Better than Another? 

Inpatient programs have long been the gold standard for treating drug and alcohol addictions. There hasn’t been much research done on outpatient programs and IOPs, until recently.

According to a 2014 study published in an issue of Psychiatric News, intensive outpatient programs may be just as effective at helping people recover as inpatient programs. This is great news because it means that IOPs can be considered effective and viable treatment options for those who don’t have the means or the desire to reside at an inpatient facility.

Of course, this does not mean that an IOP is better than another form of treatment. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment models have distinct advantages to consider. The most important thing is that each recovering addict is honest with their needs and the type of environment they will heal best in. And, for some people, the end result may be a combination of both inpatient and outpatient rehab drug treatment.

Continuum Recovery Center is a Phoenix-based boutique outpatient treatment center, offering a full continuum of holistic, individualized care from drug and alcohol addiction. This means that no matter what your needs are, we can help. Our treatment center offers PHP, IOP, OP, and MAT levels of care on an outpatient basis. All programs are holistic and treat the mind, body and spirit for a complete transformation.

To learn more about any of our programs, contact us today at 855-869-7132.