What Is The Difference Between Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Treatment for Substance Abuse?
Drug and alcohol treatment programs include inpatient and outpatient services. Both are equally effective at treating substance abuse problems; however, they each offer unique benefits. The goal of treatment is the same for each–putting a person on the path to recovery.
Inpatient treatment for substance abuse typically involves a 30, 60, or 90 day stay in a hospital-type setting. Individuals who opt for inpatient treatment will check into the facility and prior to admittance, will need to ensure that all personal affairs are in order. There is limited contact with family and friends once admitted, therefore, if there are child care, work, or housing issues that need to be tended to, this should be done prior to admittance. One of the benefits of inpatient treatment is the 24/7 care that one will receive including medical and emotional support. Another benefit is the structure provided with the sole intent of allowing the individual to focus on recovery without outside distractions. The individual will attend groups and meetings throughout the day and also have an opportunity for quiet reflection to focus on healing the self. Family support is available and encouraged during inpatient treatment. Family members can visit the facility and participate in groups and individual sessions to support the recovering addict. The number of visits allowed will depend on the facility. Inpatient treatment also provides detoxification (detox) services for those who may need medical intervention when quitting drugs or alcohol.
If an individual has outside responsibilities that might prohibit inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment can be an option. Outpatient treatment is less restrictive than inpatient treatment; however, this does not necessarily diminish the effectiveness. Outpatient treatment can last anywhere from one to 12 months and hours required per week are dependent on the facility’s requirements. Individuals who opt for outpatient treatment will need to visit the facility and check in each day. Meetings and group activities are typically scheduled in the morning and evening hours to accommodate an individual’s work and school schedules. Participants who opt for outpatient treatment can maintain contact with family and friends during treatment, which can be beneficial for those who need a consistent social support network. One added benefit to outpatient treatment is cost. Outpatient treatment is considerably less expensive than inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment is also an option following inpatient treatment. This will allow the individual an opportunity to continue with treatment while living at home.