Safe Harbor

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What is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment?

Alcohol and substance addiction treatment options vary depending on the place. However, they usually fall into two major categories- inpatient and outpatient. Similarly, both options are meant to help patients get better, and both are focused on patient’s well-being and recovery.

For those struggling with addiction as well as their loved ones, it is vital to understand the differences between inpatient and outpatient care. By understanding the details of both treatment types, individuals can make an informed decision when choosing a treatment program.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient care, also known as residential treatment, requires clients to check-in to a controlled environment full-time. During inpatient care, individuals receive round-the-clock access to professionals and tools to overcome addiction and any co-occurring disorders. Patients in inpatient treatment programs reside in the facility 24/7 for intensive and ongoing support.

Many individuals choose inpatient treatment programs because they provide a secure, controlled environment with easily accessible professional help. While patients live in the facility, they have no access to outside influences that may contribute to addiction. There are many benefits to inpatient care, including:

  • Personalized and group therapy options
  • Ongoing medical assistance
  • Controlled and comfortable environment
  • Structured schedules
  • Balanced diet and nutrition
  • New friendships

Outpatient Care

On the other hand, outpatient treatment is usually more flexible. During outpatient care, patients are scheduled to check into the facility for scheduled times weekly. During this time, clients receive recovery education, assessments, and ongoing support.

A number of clients choose outpatient care because it allows them to continue living their normal lives like going to school and work. Sometimes, outpatient care is part of a long-term treatment program. Some of the benefits of outpatient care include:

  • Personalized support
  • Flexible schedules
  • Group meetings
  • Ongoing educational support
  • Keeping presence at school or work
  • Daily contact and support from close family and friends

Which is Right for You?

Every addiction is different, and every individual has different needs. It is best to choose a program that provides personalized, individual care. It is important to consider all factors of the recovery process as well as an individual’s needs when choosing a treatment type to overcome addiction.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatments have advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to keep these in mind before choosing a program. Understanding the factors of each program will help individuals make the best choice. Individual factors may affect treatment also, so it is crucial to take these into account when making a decision.

Before committing to a treatment program, take these questions into account:

  • Is the individual exposed to drugs or alcohol in their environment?
  • Is the individual’s living environment stable and supportive of sobriety?
  • Do friends or family member use drugs or alcohol around the individual?
  • Is the individual able to leave their job, school, or home duties for a period of time?
  • Does the individual have transportation from home to the facility several times a week?
  • Does the individual need specialized services, such as gender-specific treatment?

Depending on the answers to these questions, men and women struggling with addiction can decide which treatment type is most beneficial to their recovery. Identifying specific needs is the best first step when choosing between inpatient and outpatient recovery care.