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Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: What’s the Difference and Which is Best for Me ?

There are several different options to choose from when looking for drug and alcohol treatment. It’s important to know the different features and treatment types so you can choose what’s right for you. When it comes to addiction treatment, there are typically two main categories – Inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. When comparing inpatient vs. outpatient rehab, both are focused on helping you recover. Still, each has different pros and cons when it comes to its structures.

When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient rehab, there are many different factors to consider. These include convenience, cost, and level of treatment. While there’s no right or wrong choice when making decisions based on these factors, it’s crucial to understand each of these before jumping into treatment. Inpatient treatment is typically more intensive and involves living in a rehab center. Outpatient treatment is much more relaxed and is best for mild to moderate cases of addiction.

Whichever treatment option works best for you, the most important thing is that you’re taking the first step towards recovery. Sometimes, people don’t realize the detrimental effects addiction can have on their lives until it’s too late. Taking the first step may be difficult, but it’s necessary for living a healthy and sober life. At Florida Center for Recovery, we make sure all your needs are taken care of. Don’t wait to get help, start your journey towards recovery today.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse (or alcohol abuse) involves a person checking into a supervised and controlled environment and living there for a while as they receive addiction treatment. This enables a person to get help without distractions and the possibility of using the drug again. Inpatient treatment is also referred to as residential treatment. People who choose inpatient treatment will live in a safe facility with 24/7 surveillance and support.

One of the great benefits of inpatient vs outpatient rehab is the constant availability of help and support that inpatient rehab provides. Recovery can be a very stressful and sometimes even dangerous journey. This is why it’s essential to have addiction treatment professionals at your side to keep you safe and treated. Throughout the entire addiction recovery journey, you’re always guided by those who are willing to help you.

How to Prepare for Inpatient Rehab

Since you will be moving into a rehab center for a period of time while in inpatient rehab, it’s important to be informed and prepared. There is no set-in-stone time needed to prepare for treatment. However, it’s crucial to set some kind of entry date for rehab so you’re prepared when the time comes. Here are a couple of things you might need to take care of before you start your inpatient rehab journey:

  • Take care of living arrangements for your children or spouse
  • Speak with your employer beforehand
  • Make a plan on how you’ll get to and from the center
  • Take inventory of what you’ll need and what isn’t allowed at the rehab center

Family support is extremely important during the recovery process. During treatment, a person can contact loved ones and family members for support. Depending on the rehab center a person attends, there may be a specific policy on when or how often you can contact loved ones though. Even if you’re far from your loved ones while in addiction treatment, they’re not completely out of reach during your recovery journey.

What Does Daily Life look like During Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse is distraction-free and recovery-focused. During your stay, you will have a set schedule that will be specialized just for you. Over the course of your addiction treatment, you’ll meet with psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, in individual or group settings. Inpatient rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to six months.

Before inpatient treatment (or outpatient treatment) a person will undergo medically assisted detox. This is a process that purges the body of all substances and alcohol. Detox is vital for addiction recovery. Thus, it’s always the first step in recovery.

Inpatient detox is highly monitored for safety (and to ensure the detox is effective). After inpatient detox ends, a person can choose which treatment option works best for them.

While in inpatient treatment for substance abuse, recovering addicts will follow their schedule closely as they meet with several therapists for specific sessions. The good thing about inpatient treatment is the overwhelming support you get there at all times. This can create a safety net for any unforeseen feelings or events during the recovery process. By sticking true to a regiment and a set schedule, recovering addicts can slowly begin to cope and overcome their addictions.

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is a much more flexible and convenient approach to addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment typically only requires 10-12 hours of visits per week. You’ll not be staying at a rehab center while in outpatient addiction treatment. Instead, you’ll be attending weekly sessions while you continue to live your home and work life. This can be an especially good option for those who have other responsibilities (school, work, children, or other obligations).

The weekly outpatient sessions you attend will be primarily focused on individual/group counseling, drug abuse education, and other counseling measures. This is an effective standalone addiction treatment option if you have mild to moderate addiction.

Outpatient treatment can also be a part of your long-term treatment program as well. This form of treatment typically lasts between 3-6 months but can last up to a year. Outpatient treatment is not recommended for more severe cases of addiction. Inpatient treatment is better in those cases.

How to Detox During Outpatient Treatment

In some instances, a person can use outpatient detoxification as an alternative to inpatient detox. Outpatient detox can be just as safe/effective as inpatient detox (it also takes less time). However, this should be used in much milder cases of addiction treatment. During the outpatient detox process, there are physical and mental check-ups (sometimes done in another facility) to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Outpatient Treatment Support and Cost

One of the good things about outpatient rehab is that it allows you to stay at home throughout the day (apart from the weekly sessions). This allows you to continue working while staying close to your family and friends. Additionally, the sessions occur at night or in the morning, which allows you to maintain your schedule at school or work.

Additionally, support groups (12-step groups) can be used during outpatient treatment. These include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), among others. These support groups can help you stay sober for the coming years ahead.

In some cases, you can use the outpatient treatment after your inpatient treatment has ended. This can be a very good transition back into life, all while staying sober and clean in the process.

Outpatient treatment also costs much less than inpatient treatment because you’re not living at the rehab facility. Typically, the support and psychotherapy available to patients raise the costs during inpatient treatment. However, price should not dictate which form of addiction treatment works better for you.

It’s important to be honest to yourself about what your addiction treatment needs are and which form of rehab would best suit those needs. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to addiction treatment. What matters is you taking the first steps towards sobriety.

A Look at Some of the Therapies Available During Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

Psychotherapy is usually an integral part of addiction treatment. Addiction affects not only the body, but the mind as well. It’s important to learn how to cope with triggers and life’s stresses to avoid relapses and dangerous habits. When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient rehab, both use several individual and group therapies during the process. Some of the most common forms of therapy/treatment include the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic treatment
  • 12-step programs (AA, NA)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)

Many of these are used to teach coping techniques while simultaneously trying to unravel the deep thoughts associated with your addiction. While some of these forms of therapy/treatment programs may not apply to all addiction cases, these are benchmarks of every addiction treatment case. Forming close bonds with your therapists and those around you is also part of the treatment process (especially during inpatient treatment).

Start Your Journey at Florida Center for Recovery

Whether you choose inpatient treatment for substance abuse or outpatient treatment, it’s important to choose a rehab center that will work for you. At Florida Center for Recovery, we make sure to guide you through the process. Our passionate staff is ready to help you live the best life possible. Take control of your addiction today before it’s too late. Contact us today to learn more about Florida Center for Recovery and our addiction resources.

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