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Home » Basics of Addiction » Inpatient Rehab vs Outpatient Rehab – How to Choose?

Inpatient Rehab vs Outpatient Rehab – How to Choose?

inpatient rehab

Among the other important things that influence your decision when entering rehab are the seriousness of your abuse or addiction and the type of treatment you should choose. If you struggle with addiction of any type, whether it’s alcohol, drug or a combination with a co-occurring disorder like anxiety or depression, you need treatment.

If you feel ready to go to rehab, with strong motivation and will, you’ll succeed to get clean and get better. Now, we understand that you don’t want to go to rehab. It’s an exhausting process, especially being apart from your loved ones, which would be the case if you choose inpatient rehab. So, outpatient rehab might seem as a better alternative. However, you need to think about what you need at the moment, and which alternative will bring you progress.

inpatient rehabWe’ll be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches, inpatient, and outpatient, leaving the final call to you. Note that before entering rehab, regardless of the type, you should always advise with an addiction counselor, maybe undergo addiction evaluation and assessment that will point out the level of abuse and will help you decide which approach is the best for you.

Read the second part of our Three Part Series of Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Center

1. What is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is a type of treatment where the patient is living at an addiction facility where it’s provided with 24-hour care. The patient is under constant medical supervision. Many facilities provide an inpatient medical detox with constant monitoring.  Also, patients in inpatient rehab go through various assessments during the entire stay, and the medical team supervises their progress. Each patient has an individual therapy plan suiting their needs and can include individual, group, family therapy, holistic approaches and more. In average, inpatient treatment lasts from 30 to 120 days, and it’s recommended in cases of heavy drug or alcohol abuse and addiction as well as mental disorders.

2. What is Outpatient Rehab?

inpatient rehabOutpatient rehab is a type of program useful for patients that are less affected by their addiction or abuse and can continue with their everyday activities. This type of treatment includes a couple of hours visits or counseling at the nearby facility. It may involve one’s family and the plan for treatment is flexible, made to suit the person’s needs.

There is a high risk when the person attends outpatient rehab because it’s completely exposed to the factors that might have lead to the addiction. It’s a difficult situation where the person has to find a way to fight the addiction and survive in the same environment. Most of the people that choose outpatient rehab choose it because it’s flexible and it brings them safety. Many don’t realize the danger of being in the same environment while trying to recover.

Outpatient rehab costs almost half the price of inpatient treatment, which makes it suitable for people with financial struggles. However, choosing treatment because of the cost is a beginner’s mistake. If you don’t enter the right treatment center and start the therapy you need at the moment, once it fails, you’ll realize you’ve doubled the cost.

Learn more: Pros and Cons of Free Rehab

inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab

3. How to Know Which Type of Rehab Should You Choose?

Inpatient Rehab – Pros

  1. Location – Usually, inpatient rehab is located in a peaceful setting, far from any triggers, and the person can’t get near drugs or alcohol.
  2. Treatment Approach – inpatient rehab offers a range of treatment approaches. From individual to group therapy, then family and behavioral therapy, the person can find the most suitable treatment. A good approach is choosing a treatment center that addresses the underlying issue and that has an intensive level of care.
  3. Treatment duration – as research show, the longer you stay in rehab, the better. Inpatient rehab lasts enough to get you better.
  4. 24/7 Supervision – useful in any aspect. Especially if you face some other medical condition that needs medical attention.
  5. Focus on the most important – Recovery. In inpatient treatment, you focus on yourself. There are no distractions, no triggers, no work – unless you choose so – and no taking care of someone else. This is an advantage as much as it’s a disadvantage. You don’t get to see your family, feel their love every day, care for them and just be present in your family life. This can bring a certain instability in some patients, but it’s important to understand that their recovery is critical, because only that will lead to a successful life.

Inpatient Rehab – Cons

  1. Prison like environment – in some cases, you might feel trapped. No regular phone calls. There will be times you’ll feel away from home. You might feel like in a prison because of the facility’s everyday schedule.
  2. Leave things behind for a while – some of them unfinished. You leave your family, work, and friends. This might make you feel alone. But you need to stay positive and believe in yourself. Because once you go through the process of recovery you’ll live fulfilled. Remember, no one can guarantee your recovery. Not even you.
  3. Not covered by insurance – many facilities partly cover inpatient treatment. After a while, if you decide to leave treatment, you won’t get your money back. If you don’t finish the treatment entirely, you will pay for a service you won’t get.

Learn the Key Differences between Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

outpatient rehab

Outpatient Rehab – Pros

  1. Continue with your everyday life – aside from regular therapy sessions, when it comes to daily activities, your life will be pretty much the same.
  2. Adjusted counseling sessions – you can hold your counseling sessions in the evenings or weekends. As long as they are regular, you can adjust them to your schedule.
  3. Real-life changes – outpatient treatment allows you to try different approaches to recovery. You can test and apply some changes in your life, immediately, and see how they work for you. In case they don’t, you can always find a different, more suitable approach that will work in the given situation. In outpatient treatment, you can see how you’ll manage to balance your life and recovery.
  4. Affordable – it’s cheaper than inpatient rehab and in most cases covered by insurance.
  5. Regular family sessions – it’s always good to have the support of your family. It’s one of the biggest advantages of outpatient approach.

Outpatient Rehab – Cons

  1. Exposed to the same influences – the triggers that may have contributed to your addiction or abuse are still in your surrounding. You’ll continue seeing the same people, go to the same working place, and do the same things every day. This may affect your recovery on a negative way.
  2. Access to drugs and alcohol – this is really important. You’ll have to fight the feeling of not going to the place where you used to buy drugs or alcohol.
  3. It might get overwhelming – with time, you might feel the pressure of being in recovery, being a parent, going to work, and just take care of everything. Beware of the risk of losing the focus from your recovery.

Before you decide on the type of treatment, try asking yourself a few questions:

inpatient rehab

  1. Can you dedicate your entire time and devotion to getting sober or clean if going to outpatient rehab? Are there any triggers in your surrounding that you should entirely avoid to get better? Is so, can you avoid them? What is your plan when dealing with your previous situation – the one that you are about to change – in the same old environment?
  2. How long have you been using drugs or alcohol? How many times per day? Do you have any mental issue you need to treat? How severe is your condition?
  3. Do you have the support from your friends and family in case you go to outpatient rehab? Will they visit counseling sessions with you?
  4. Have you tried outpatient rehab or tried to get better by yourself? What were the results? How many times have you relapsed? Do you feel safe in your home and workplace? Is it a drug-free environment?

Hopefully, the answers to these questions will give you some guidance when you need to choose the right approach. When it comes to finances, try to take the risk and choose the type of treatment you need at the moment. The most important thing is to get better. And there are always great facilities with effective treatment approaches that can help you recover, at a midrange price.

For more information please call our Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a Free and completely confidential call. We are available 24/7. In many cases, your health insurance company will cover 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now.

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