Treatment Programs – Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient

Treatment Programs – Inpatient or Outpatient?

The decision to go to drug rehab can often develop into one of the most important choices of a person’s life. Turning from a life of substance abuse to a healthier one filled with fulfilling relationships is a change that people may only appreciate fully after they have left their past habits behind. The professional counselors and therapists at treatment centers across the country are well-experienced in helping people improve their lives, even when those who are struggling with substance abuse may not know how to do it themselves.

In fact, it may be completely natural for those who have decided to seek treatment to not know what to expect. With enough motivation to get and stay sober and plenty of support from family, friends and loved ones, though, those working through recovery can choose one of the many treatment programs available.

One of the most significant differences in plans is inpatient versus outpatient treatment programs. While many people may have heard these terms used in medical settings before, their application to the addiction recovery process carries added significance when it comes to choosing the right program for each person who has chosen sobriety over substance abuse.

For patients with severe symptoms
Unfortunately, long-term substance abuse can have serious negative effects on a person. Aside from health issues, a person who drinks or consumes drugs heavily may exhibit hostile or unpredictable behaviors. For these reasons, inpatient treatment programs may be appropriate.

According to The New York Times, inpatient treatment, also called residential treatment, is generally suited for people whose substance abuse or alcohol consumption places them or others in danger of physical or emotional harm. This may manifest in physical altercations with friends or family or even disappearing for days at a time, as the person with the history of substance abuse may be engaging in dangerous and risky situations that could result in injury.

In inpatient programs, patients are held in facilities for a period of around 30 days. These locations may include hospitals and other traditional medical settings, but the majority of inpatient programs take place at dedicated addiction treatment centers that specialize in helping people kick destructive drug and alcohol habits. These facilities have specialized medications, equipment and staff to help patients through the stages of withdrawal, detoxification and therapy sessions.

For patients with other obligations
While breaking a substance abuse habit should be the most important thing to anybody in recovery, some people simply do not have the time to stop working or going to school for the space of a month. These people are not bereft of treatment options, though, as outpatient programs cater to people who want to get clean but do not have the time for inpatient treatment.

Psych Central explained that while the form of outpatient programs may be different from the inpatient variety, both use similar methods to help patients progress to a healthier life. Medications and therapy sessions are used in both forms of treatment, yet after the day’s or night’s sessions are completed, people in outpatient treatment programs go home.

This may be a blessing or a curse for some people, as there is no isolation from drug-seeking in outpatient programs. This may require patients to exhibit higher willpower and resist cravings even when they could get in their cars and drive somewhere where they know they could buy drugs. However, with enough determination, those in outpatient programs can experience as much success as their inpatient counterparts.

Regardless of the treatment programs people choose, taking the first step toward a sober life is the most important part of the process.

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