Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy

inpatient drug rehab patient

People who are dealing with addiction disorders have plenty of options when it comes to treatment plans. At the same time, many factors that should be considered when choosing the most appropriate rehabilitation program for a patient. These include:

  • The severity of the disorder
  • The substance taken by the patient
  • The length of time the patient has been dealing with substance abuse
  • The people who will oversee and monitor the patient’s progress
  • The type of treatment best suited to the patient’s conditions
  • Who will finance the treatment

The patient’s family and loved ones also have the choice to undergo programs that will help them address the repercussions of having dealt with addiction disorders. These individual and group therapies can provide them with the tools they need to foster a healthier and safer home environment, one that will support the continued recovery of their loved one.

Most treatment programs for addiction disorders fall under 2 categories: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. These are widely offered by many accredited drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the United States. To help patients and their families make informed decisions about their treatment and recovery, Better Addiction Care presents a brief summary of these 2 types of rehabilitation programs.

What’s the Difference between Inpatient Rehab and Outpatient Rehab?

Aside from 24/7 living arrangements within the facility, inpatient rehab is different from outpatient rehab in the following ways:

  • Inpatient rehab has a much more structured environment, designed to field off any distractions from the outside world.
  • The patient needs to be inside the center for the entire duration of their program and must engage in it full-time. Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, typically allows for part-time arrangements so that the patient can balance them with school or work.
  • Inpatient rehab offers extensive medical care throughout the person’s stay. Medical staff are trained to respond to any emergencies that may occur over the duration of treatment.
  • Inpatient rehab programs also tend to be shorter than outpatient programs. The former is intended to achieve a high success rate within 28 days to 6 months. The latter usually spreads out the treatment of drug or alcohol addiction across a period of 3 months to a year.

No two cases of drug or alcohol addiction are ever alike. The outpatient arrangement may work better for certain people, while for others, it’s intensive inpatient treatment they need. To be sure, you must get the opinion of an addiction specialist before you or your loved one check in for treatment.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Also known as residential care, inpatient rehabilitation requires a recovering patient to check into a treatment center for a period of time. A stay at a residential facility can last anywhere from 28 days to 6 months, depending on the needs of the patient. Often, inpatient rehabilitation is recommended for patients who are struggling with severe substance abuse disorders, those who have undergone rehabilitation treatments before, and patients who have co-occurring conditions.

When Is Inpatient Rehab the Best Course of Action?

That said, there are certain cases in which inpatient rehab should be considered immediately. If any of the following hold true for you, you should consider inpatient rehab the best course of action.

  • If the person in question is suffering from a serious drug or alcohol addiction and they have a high chance of experiencing withdrawal.
  • If the person has tried less intensive drug or alcohol addiction treatments before but are having difficulty staying sober.
  • If the person has undergone any type of rehab before but is going through a relapse.
  • If the person has co-occurring mental health conditions—such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder—that should also be treated alongside the addiction.

Those four indicators should serve as your cue to get the most extensive form of medical treatment for the person struggling with substance use disorder.

After Completing an Inpatient Treatment Program

There are many aftercare options for patients who have completed their residential treatment. For one, they can get individual therapy to help them address the disorder in a holistic manner. They can also find support by joining a 12-Step program or alternative support group models. But more than that, patients who are recovering from addiction can start rebuilding their lives and mending their relationships with their family and friends.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient care, on the other hand, does not require the patient to stay in a facility. However, the patient must attend treatment sessions multiple times a week for the next 3 to 6 months. This type of program is often recommended for patients who are dealing with milder forms of substance abuse disorders.

Compared to inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient treatment is less restrictive, more accessible, and more affordable. With a bit of schedule adjustment, patients can continue living with family and going to work. But to maximize their chances of recovery, they must exhibit strong discipline and an unwavering commitment to the program they signed up for.

Types of Outpatient Rehabilitation Programs

Outpatient treatments for addiction disorders also have subtypes. These are:

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs – IOPs are conducted according to the goals of the person who signed up for the program. Right at the start, each patient comes up with well-defined and achievable goals for their treatment, and these will serve as a way to track their progress. As the patients reach these milestones during the course of their treatment, the hours they are required to spend on the outpatient facility grows shorter. Intensive outpatient programs can involve counseling sessions, membership to a 12-Step program, relapse prevention classes, or group therapy. These sessions may take place multiple days a week and last for several hours.
  • Standard Outpatient ProgramsA standard outpatient program requires the participant’s attendance for about an hour or two each day. One hour per week is dedicated to a session of individual therapy.
  • Day or Partial Hospitalization Programs – Day programs require the patient to stay in an outpatient facility for several hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week. This type of outpatient treatment requires a high level of commitment, but it also provides patients with a high level of care. While at the facility, the patients take part in individual or group therapy. At the end of the day, they may go back home or stay in a sober house. Unlike other outpatient programs, day programs have a more rigid structure, and signing up for one can prevent the patient from going to work or school.
  • Continuing Care – Patients can also choose to attend continuing care programs in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, among others. These programs can help them renew their commitment to sobriety and provide them with encouragement and support when they are going through a tough time. Continuing care programs may also serve as after-care programs for those who have completed their inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient Care vs. Outpatient Care: Which Is Better?

Some cases of substance use disorder need the exhaustive treatment that inpatient care can give. But others can be remedied with outpatient care. The latter proves a great option in the following cases:

  • If the severity of the person’s addiction to drugs or alcohol is mild or just in the early stages. They may not need to receive rigorous medical care 24/7. The earlier that the patient and their family can respond to the warning signs of addiction, the less intensive the treatment will be.
  • If it’s the best fit budget-wise for the person and their families, as inpatient programs tend to be rather costly. A number of participants choose outpatient arrangements because they’re both effective and affordable.
  • If the person is both fit and willing to carry out everyday responsibilities—such as parenting, working, or studying—alongside their treatment. The additional freedom of movement, mobility, and exposure to their day-to-day may contribute a great deal to their healing process.

For some people struggling with addiction, a lot of intervention is needed to get them back on the right track. But some benefit more from having few disruptions to their everyday lives. In this sense, outpatient care is the ideal option for those who are capable of managing their addiction as well as their other responsibilities.

Those who pursue outpatient care don’t have to worry about it being inferior to inpatient care. Just because the treatment plan is done on an outpatient basis doesn’t mean that it will be any less responsive to the addiction case. Just like for any other serious illness, one type of treatment for addiction may be better suited to the patient than the other.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Program

It’s important to choose a treatment facility and program that suits the particular needs of the patient. When narrowing down your options, consider the following:

  • The types of addiction the facility treats. Some facilities specialize in treating drug addiction, others are focused on alcohol addiction, while there are also facilities that address both conditions as well as other co-occurring disorders that the patient might have. Choosing a facility that specializes in treating the conditions that the patient has can give your loved one a better chance of making a full and successful recovery.
  • The facility’s credentials and licenses. Not just anyone can offer rehabilitation programs. An effective treatment center must have the right facilities and a staff that is made up of addiction specialists and medical professionals. Before signing up for any program, check the accreditation and licenses of the facility and its staff members. This way, you can ensure that your loved one is getting the care and support they need during treatment.
  • The therapies offered by the facility. There are thousands of addiction rehabilitation centers in the United States, and each offers different therapies. This gives patients plenty of choices, but it also means that your loved one can end up signing up for a treatment that’s not suited to their needs. Do your research beforehand and find out what your options are when it comes to addiction therapies and treatments. This will help you narrow down your list of facilities and help you make the best possible choice for the patient.
  • Their aftercare programs. Once the patient has completed their treatment, what can the facility offer them? Do they have support groups, post-treatment counseling, or educational programs that the patient and their family members can attend? These can offer a great deal of support to the patient and help them maintain their sobriety.

In addition to these, one should also consider the cost, location, and other supplemental services that the facility offers.

Contact Us Today for Help

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction disorders, but getting proper help from experienced addiction specialists and clinicians is always a step in the right direction. Our team at Better Addiction Care can help you and your family make informed decisions when it comes to your loved one’s treatment programs. If you’re not sure what your options are or if you need information about the rehabilitation centers near you, call (800) 429-7690.

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