Choosing Between Inpatient and Outpatient Drug Treatment

It is hard to help a drug addict when they are not ready to be helped. But if you are at the point where you know you need help, or you are a loved one of someone ready to look into drug treatment options, you are then going to need to discuss with a professional about whether to have inpatient care or outpatient. To decide here is a look at the differences between those two options.

What do they have in common?

Outpatient and inpatient addiction programs do have some things in common. Both will involve group therapy as well as individual therapy. Often programs will also offer some kind of therapy to family or partners too, as well as help to educate them. A large part of the process will be about setting goals and working towards them.

What are the differences?

Of course, the obvious first difference that is clear from their names is that one keeps the patient onsite at a treatment facility and the other allows the patient to stay living at home but come in for sessions.

Inpatient programs – Patients live on-site for on average three to six weeks and are not allowed off-site. They can eat, get medical treatment, sleep there and get therapy and are monitored 24 hours a day. This is to prevent the chances of relapse, it is intensive and often after an inpatient program patients move to an outpatient program after.

Outpatient programs – Outpatient drug treatment programs let the patient live at home during the treatment so they can still live their lives, go to work and such. During the day they come in for treatment and therapy sessions. How long programs last can vary depending on the patient on the policies of the treatment center. 85% of those needing to attend a recovery program will opt for outpatient programs.

Partial hospitalization – It is worth mentioning this though it does fall under an outpatient program it is for those who need more frequent drug treatment sessions but still want to live at home. They get to sleep at home at night and then attend treatment sessions in the day. Usually, they attend between 3 to 7 days a week and between 3 to 12 hours a day.

What are the advantages of choosing an Outpatient drug treatment program?

Being in an outpatient program suits people who;

  • Need to work while going through treatment
  • Need to be near family
  • Cannot afford inpatient programs as they are a lot more expensive
  • Have people helping them in terms of meeting their drug treatment goals and attending sessions

Outpatient programs are only good for people who can cope with the real world while their addiction is in recovery. Some people find the temptation too hard, and some find daily live and responsibilities keep them strong.

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