Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
A person with a headache visits a doctor for help and goes home after the appointment to get better in the comfort of their own home, while a person with a heart attack might have to spend some time in a hospital bed to receive continuous care until they are completely healed. These are common examples of the medical decisions that people all around the world make daily, and it is uncommon to second-guess these situations. We realise that some situations require inpatient attention, whilst others can be handled in an outpatient setting.
However, when a person has an addiction, they may find it difficult to understand which setting is best for them. A common question that addicts ask is: is inpatient or outpatient treatment best? The answer is not so straightforward and depends on certain criteria.
Understanding the Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab
In medical terms, ‘inpatient’ describes treatment that takes place within a medical community, and requires the patient to stay inside the facility for the duration of their treatment. On the other hand, ‘outpatient’ refers to the treatments that the patient receives whilst they continue to stay at home. Consider a person who has to undergo open-heart surgery. They would be better off with inpatient care because they require a monitored recovery period. If another person is just getting a vaccination then they only need to be at the hospital for a short amount of time so they can receive outpatient care, which allows them to go home after the appointment.
Inpatient care tends to be a more expensive option, because fees include therapy, basic necessities (such as food) and other services. People in outpatient programmes will take care of these things on their own, so they usually end up paying significantly less.
Though many people would choose outpatient treatment on this basis, price should not be an issue with the type of treatment that a person receives. Instead, the recovering addict must determine which programme will help them make a successful recovery.
The variations between inpatient and outpatient care greatly exceed the cost because there is often major differences between the way that inpatient and outpatient treatments operate.
Benefits of Inpatient Rehab
An inpatient programme focuses on giving people a secure and safe environment where they can live and heal from their cocaine addiction. All of the treatments take place inside the facility, so they do not have to worry about keeping appointments or arranging transportation. A person in an inpatient centre can just walk to their sessions and go back to their rooms when they are done.
Since addictive substances are prohibited on the facility’s grounds, there is a lower risk of relapse. Patients that have abused cocaine for a long time, or those who have been unsuccessful at outpatients, can significantly benefit from this type of care. Additionally, those in inpatient centres can fill their days with activities that are beneficial to their recovery, such as:
- Group therapy meetings
- Support group meetings
- Medical appointments
- Individual therapy sessions
- Art therapy programmes
- Recreational therapies
Because their days have more order to them, people often do not have the time to daydream about drugs. Many inpatient centres are located in beautiful settings, which can help the recovering addict realise that pleasure can come from sources other than drugs. This simple outline may not encompass all of the characteristics that make up an inpatient centre because programmes can vary in a number of ways, such as intensity, duration and treatment structure.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of inpatient rehab is that the person is focusing on getting better for a specific amount of time. The benefits of inpatient rehab occur on all levels of treatment: emotional, psychological and physical.
- Emotional benefits – Emotional safety and peace of mind are evident in inpatient centres. People are given the opportunity to focus on themselves and their healing.
- Psychological benefits – The variety of treatment options will assist the individual in a way that is unique to their situation.
- Physical benefits – Detoxification tends to be the initial focus in reputable inpatient centres and helps with withdrawal symptoms. Qualified staff members can assist with uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, and also monitor for any developments that could be a physical threat.
In general, inpatient rehab tends to have higher success rates as well.
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Benefits of Outpatient Rehab
In an outpatient centre, the addict is given a number of treatments that would be used in an inpatient programme. They often attend support group meetings and therapy sessions, but they return to their own home at the end of the day. This allows them to go about their daily lives and tend to their responsibilities, whilst working on recovery.
Outpatient programmes can be very different in intensity. Some programmes only require several hours per week, whilst others may require daily participation. Some programmes even personalise time requirements based on the stages of recovery, by allowing patients to spend less time per week once they start to learn and improve.
Outpatient rehab poses more risks and is not suitable for everyone. It is likely to be more suitable for early interventions, or after completion at an inpatient centre. With outpatient rehab, patients are still exposed to all the temptations and stresses that caused the addiction in the first place. This makes it easier for them to relapse, or return to their original state of addiction.
There are a few benefits of outpatient centres that are the reason it can be recommendable in some cases.
- Lower costs – Outpatient programmes tend to be less expensive because the person is taking care of their own daily expenses, and is only paying for the treatment.
- Support system access – Support is necessary for recovery. In outpatient centres, patients can still be close to their support system, such as family and friends.
- Ability to continue working or studying – Some people cannot, or do not want to, disrupt their work or studies whilst undergoing treatment.
Which One Should You Choose?
Both inpatient and outpatient rehab can be beneficial. Each treatment facility varies in their level of care. You can start to think about answers to the following questions in order to determine whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is best for you:
How much can I spend?
In general, outpatient treatment tends to be cheaper because there are no housing costs, less treatment hours and often less types of therapy.
Am I willing to do the extra work that is necessary for outpatient rehab?
Outpatient treatment requires a lot more work in order to be successful since you are not under round-the-clock supervision and are still engaging in your regular daily life. Those who are afraid that they cannot resist the temptation of drugs should opt for inpatient treatment instead.
How severe is my condition?
The severity of your condition can impact whether or not you should have inpatient treatment and must be discussed with a professional.
Many people find that the daily temptations are too much to deal with and choose inpatient treatment to get away from it all and start working on themselves in a private environment. However, a high-functioning addict may want to try outpatient treatment so that they can continue to work without anyone knowing that they are undergoing addiction treatment.
Ultimately, you and a professional will need to discuss the treatment options that cater to your situation. It is important to be completely honest about your addiction and to consider how dedicated you can be if you sign up for outpatient rehab. Whether you choose inpatient or outpatient rehab really depends on your unique needs and abilities.
There are a variety of screening tools that can be used to match patients to the right level of care. Screenings take into account a person’s physical health, mental health, family ties, living situation, employment situation, prior rehab experience and financial situation. Proper evaluations allow individuals and families to make the right choice, because they know that the best treatment option is based on facts instead of opinions.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment have life-changing benefits, and finding a programme that works best for you is a key component in long-term recovery. Contact us to take the first step towards becoming sober and start looking for inpatient or outpatient treatment facilities today.