The Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Drug Addiction Rehab Centers

Making the decision to seek treatment for addiction is a major step in the right direction. It takes willpower and courage to realize the problem and admit the need for help. The next step, and one that’s just as important, is deciding on what type of treatment is right for your specific situation. Based on your own preferences along with the advice of your primary care physician, you should take an honest account of your addiction and decide whether outpatient or inpatient treatment is the right direction. Most drug addiction rehab centers offer both, so it really comes down to the length and severity of your drug abuse history, affordability or insurance coverage of a particular program, and personal obligations and life responsibilities.

What Is Inpatient Drug Addiction Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is a form of intensive, full-time treatment offered by drug addiction rehab centers. It requires that you voluntarily, or involuntarily under a court order, admit yourself to a facility that employs medically trained staff who monitor and care for your recovery needs over the extent of your stay. The length of treatment depends on many factors, including recommendations from a doctor or recovery expert, the substance of abuse and the severity of the addiction. Typical programs last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, with some therapeutic communities offering stays as long as six months to one year.
Inpatient rehab offers several steps of the recovery process that are focused on specifically treating addiction. The most important and beneficial aspect of inpatient recovery at a drug addiction rehab center is monitored detoxification. This step allows medical professionals to help patients through the most difficult part of getting clean: withdrawal. Through a pharmacological approach utilizing maintenance medications such as methadone, Suboxone or Subutex on a weaning schedule, the abused substance is deliberately removed from the body while limiting painful withdrawal symptoms.

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What Is Outpatient Drug Addiction Rehab?

Drug addiction rehab centers also offer outpatient programs. These programs are essentially identical to inpatient treatment with a couple of important differences. Outpatient care doesn’t require that you stay at the facility. Instead, you must check-in every day of the week to receive medication and counseling. Outpatient treatment focuses more on behavioral and cognitive therapy, and teaching how to cope with and avoid cravings and relapse.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Addiction Rehab

Because these programs both offer similar treatment regimens, deciding on one over the other can be difficult. It’s important, however, to understand that they’re fundamentally different in certain aspects, and one may meet your needs better than the other. For example, inpatient care is far more intensive than its counterpart, and a drug addiction rehab center will provide continuous monitoring and specialized assistance such as meditation and mindfulness classes, acupuncture and even Yoga. You’ll be removed from the pressures of everyday life and better able to focus entirely on recovery.

Alternatively, outpatient rehab will allow you to get treatment without completely stopping your life and career. It’s also typically cheaper and covered by most insurance providers. An outpatient program will enable you to carry on with your life while still receiving comparable, albeit less focused, care.

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Ultimately, the most important thing is that you begin rehabilitation, no matter if it’s inpatient or outpatient. Taking this first step will set you on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call our helpline immediately at 800-447-9081.

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