Opiate Addiction Treatment: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Centers

Opiate addiction is a devastating disease that not only disrupts the addict’s life, but also the lives of friends and family close to the individual. Opiates are relatively common drugs that are very accessible on the street. The category includes the illegal substance heroin, but also prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin. These drugs literally change how the brain and body function. Because of this, most addicts require some sort of outside help in the form of opiate addiction treatment and detoxification in order to successfully recover.

Why Is Treatment Necessary At All?

Statistically speaking, those who attempt to quit “cold turkey” are almost certain to fail. The truth is that even individuals with a genuine desire to stop using opiates generally won’t make it past the detox phase and the painful withdrawal symptoms on their own. A professionally administered pharmacological approach along with support groups and counseling is a near necessity to a successful recovery. Ultimately, this is opiate addiction’s true nature. It’s a vicious cycle, an endless revolving door that, without the help of a specifically tailored opiate addiction treatment plan, is destined to continue turning. Whether you choose an outpatient or inpatient program, it’s the decision to begin recovery and admit your disease that’s important. With that said, understanding the differences between the two types of treatment is necessary for deciding which one is right for your situation.

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What Is Inpatient Care?

Inpatient care involves staying at an opiate addiction treatment center 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 30 days or more. During your stay, a staff of medical professionals and recovery specialists will provide medical monitoring and administer an addiction recovery plan suited to treat your specific addiction. Opiate abuse typically requires extensive detoxification and rehabilitation. Detox will get you clean while rehabilitation will teach you how to stay that way.

What Is Outpatient Care?

Outpatient care is essentially the same program as its inpatient counterpart, but you don’t have to stay at the facility. Instead, you’ll visit the center each day and receive maintenance medication for detox, along with counseling and therapy to help repair any emotional and psychological damage done by extended opiate abuse. The maintenance medications used are the same as with an inpatient program and may include methadone, Suboxone, Subutex or naltrexone. Counseling and therapy sessions are also similar, and you may actually attend the same groups as inpatient clients.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient

So, if the two are so similar, then what’s the difference? Well, the major differences are fairly obvious. Inpatient care provides a more intensive treatment that’s also far more restrictive, while outpatient care is less expensive, covered by more insurance providers and allows for greater freedom with less disruption to your life. Unfortunately, outpatient treatment also leaves you exposed to more addiction triggers and a greater potential for relapse.
A large debate has gone on for years regarding the effectiveness of one program over the other, with no definitive answer yet determined. Any studies that have been conducted, which is surprisingly few, have been inconclusive or varying in results. Essentially, the choice comes down to what will work best for you.

The main thing to remember is the importance of making that initial decision to quit. Give our hotline a call at 800-447-9081, and let us help you decide how to change your life for the better.

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