When you seek professional help for a substance abuse problem, you generally have two options for treatment: inpatient or outpatient. The goal of the two treatment methods are the same – to provide you with the support you need in order to get back on track to living a clean and healthy life – but they are very different in their approach. When it comes to inpatient rehab, the treatment methods tend to be a bit more intense because the experience is fully immersive. Outpatient rehab allows patients to continue their daily lives as normal, for the most part, while guiding them to make better choices.

In order to get the best treatment for you, it’s important to understand the difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab so that you can choose which will provide you with the best results.

Inpatient Rehab

When you choose an inpatient rehab program, you are choosing to live at a facility until your participation in the program has been completed. Inpatient participants have 24/7 access to healthcare, as well as the opportunity to detox under a medical doctor’s care – something that can be the difference between life or death for many people.

Detoxing is usually one of the hardest parts of getting clean and sober, and it may come as no surprise that withdrawal symptoms can be devastating enough to make one want to keep abusing substances. Inpatient detox proves to be very effective because patients have access to certain medications and comforts that they might not have at home or in outpatient treatment. Of course, it varies patient by patient and what is necessary for one person might not work for another.

Preparing for Inpatient Rehab

Your life within a treatment facility will be vastly different from life outside of it. For these reasons, it’s important to properly prepare for your stay and make sure all of your affairs are in order before your check-in date.

You may want to consider doing the following:

  • Talking to your employer, school, and/or lawyer
  • Make arrangements for family members and pets
  • Have a plan for how you will get to and from the treatment facility
  • Figure out which personal items you would like to bring and what is allowed at your specific treatment facility

Contacting Your Family in Inpatient Rehab

Although the goal of inpatient rehab is to get patients healthy without the distractions of their day-to-day lives, treatment centers know that family support is one of the keys to success when it comes to getting healthy.

The rules and regulations for family contact are different at each facility. If you’re looking around at different inpatient rehab centers in your area, make sure to research their policies on contacting friends and family – or call if you can’t find the answers. Many treatment centers also offer family therapy sessions which may be a huge help for some patients.

Detoxing & Routine in Inpatient Rehab

When enrolled in an inpatient rehab program, every activity that you do every day will be focused on getting you healthy and sober. Each day is well-thought out ahead of time and scheduled by the facility’s staff and medical professionals. All schedules include individual and/or group therapy sessions and run for anywhere between 28-days and 6-months.

Before you get into a schedule and routine, however, the first thing that will occur in inpatient rehab is medically assisted detox. Withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening so it’s important that patients are carefully monitored by a doctor and nurses. Detox is usually the point when most people relapse but getting all of the drugs and alcohol out of the body is crucial for recovery. Medical professionals can provide medications to help ease the discomfort, curb cravings, and lessen the withdrawal symptoms.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is much less intense than inpatient rehab is. Whereas inpatient rehab involves a 24/7 in-facility treatment plan, outpatient rehab is only part time and is completed through regular visits to a treatment center. Outpatient treatment plans will vary patient to patient, but they usually involve 10 to 12-hours per week of time spent in treatment while the rest of the time patients are expected to make changes to their daily habits on their own.

During the hours spent in treatment, patients will receive drug abuse education as well as individual, group, and family therapy sessions. The length of time spent in outpatient treatment will largely depend on the severity of the addiction and the commitment of the patient to staying sober.

Detoxing in Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab usually works best for those with mild substance abuse disorder, or those who are continuing treatment after leaving an inpatient program. Because outpatient does not assist with detoxing, it may be difficult for patients to get all of the drugs out of their system before they start treatment, especially if their addiction is severe.

That being said, there are still detox options for those with mild to moderate addiction and are participating in outpatient rehab. Outpatient detox can be perfectly safe and effective when don’t correctly – this means regular doctor visits for physical and mental check-ups and possibly prescription medication to alleviate some withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, nausea, depression, etc.).

Finding Social Support

One of the biggest perks of outpatient rehab is the fact that patients are able to spend as much time with their friends and family as they would like to. As treatment program meetings are usually scheduled early in the day or late at night, patients can continue living their lives as normally as possible.

If patients are looking for additional support, they may be able to find it through groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These 12-step programs are free to attend, are located in every city, and can be an excellent way for people in recovery to meet others who have similar life experiences.

Have questions? Call Intrepid Recovery Today!

Deciding between outpatient and inpatient rehab may not be an easy decision and it certainly is not one that should be taken lightly. If you have questions about either process, please don’t hesitate to call our free and confidential helpline that is open 24/7.

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