Where to Get Help: Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment Programs

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Last Updated on April 7, 2021 by

When questions such as outpatient vs. inpatient treatment programs arise, you must note that it is an important first step in healing that helps users to improve the relationship with drugs or alcohol. But restoration is a phase that drug and alcohol rehabilitation services will support. Many forms of therapies are available in outpatient vs. inpatient programs, including detox, therapy, and advice.

Treating drug and alcohol addiction typically includes one of two categories: outpatient vs. inpatient rehab. Every form of outpatient vs. inpatient has its unique characteristics and advantages, while often focusing on recovery. Intense, inpatient care facilities for the treatment of extreme dependency are hospital rehabs.

Outpatient rehabs are part-time services that enable the participant to go to work and school during the day. Before selecting a therapy program, both the addict and his beloved must understand the differences. You or a dear person on the way to sobriety can find the right treatment program between outpatient vs. inpatient.

The term outpatient vs. inpatient is not distinctive to the field of addictive behavior when comparing outpatient vs. inpatient. Outpatient vs. inpatient could be applied to almost any type of medical or mental health intervention a person could receive, and they have a significant impact on the overall cost and treatment outcome of someone in need of care.

Experts such as those at Medicare encourage all healthcare consumers to understand the distinction between outpatient vs. inpatient care so that they know what charges they are responsible for and can make sound healthcare decisions. However, when it comes to addiction treatment, the options of outpatient vs. inpatient can be a little befuddling.

The Outpatient Program

The overwhelming majority of treatments for addiction in this country provide outpatient treatment. 80 – 81 percent of the centers contacted provided outpatient care in the 2012 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

In a certain way, this makes sense because outpatient programs, without removing them from their jobs, families, and communities, provide very genuine treatment for people with an addiction. People who participate in such programs work with local providers and receive care during hours of the day and return home during the night. There is no hospitalization involved, and no address change is needed, but people can work with experts on their addiction issues.

In terms of intensity and time commitment, ambulatory programs can vary greatly. For instance, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, people who take part in so-called ‘intensive ambulatory therapy’ programs are frequently required to spend up to 30 hours every week in their therapies and may also access a team in the event of a crisis for 24 hours.

They Might Have Access to the following as a Result of their Participation in this Program:

  • Personal counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Education on addictive behaviors
  • Monitoring their substance abuse 
  • Vocational education
  • Managing their meds 
  • Managing cases 
  • Training on parenting skills 
  • Psychotherapy
  • Mental evaluations
  • Access to a support group 

Programs like this may remain at home, but it’s clear that they have to do a lot of work every day to overcome their dependencies.

They may not be able to work, care for their family, or otherwise return to their daily lives while participating in a program such as this, but they may be free to live a life that seems relatively unimpeded during the nights and weekends.

On the other hand, low-intensity outpatient vs. inpatient programs could provide much less therapeutic contact. Clients who participate in programs such as this may be given a counselor and may attend sessions several times a week, and work in a service group at night, but they may be able to work, spend time with their families or live a life similar to that lived before the addiction took over.

Since all outpatient programs offer people who are addicted at least some free time, they are the best way to help people with strong home support and a strong wish to improve. Specialists call these people highly functioning dependents, as they can influence their lives on some of the most harmful aspects of addiction. You still need help to improve, but you also tend to have the strength to continue living in their home and to face your daily demons while attempting to recover from their addictive habits. This is not always the case for all addicts, but it is best for some people.

These extra treatments of outpatient vs. inpatient can offer people skills to overcome stress and put people into contact with their inner strength and creativity, which can also be protected if an urge to use starts.

Inpatient treatment also provides 24-hour monitoring so that an outpatient program is only not feasible. People on a rehab site can’t just sneak away to find a dealer or buy a quick drink. They live with assistance at any time in a sober setting. This is all the difference for others.

For those with extremely serious addictions that cannot be amended by less intense methods, it may be critical. You need medical attention and you will receive it in an inpatient program.

What you Should Note About Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment option comes with a lot of advantages that make it best for a lot of patients:

  • While you receive medication, you should live in your house. This works by providing support for your family and friends.
  • Usually, the cost of medication for ambulatory care is much lower than for stationary treatment.
  • In this setting, you can select the intensity of treatment that fits better for you. There are several kinds of counseling and therapy available.
  • Terms may be arranged for work on the evening or the weekends.
  • Some outpatient programmers, such as depression, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, or after-traumatic stress disorder, may treat patients with co-occurring disorders or diseases.

Outpatient Detoxification Treatments 

Outpatient detoxification may be a suitable treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate withdrawal symptoms. Outpatient detox is safe, efficient, and less time-consuming than stationary detox.

For physical and mental checks, patients must visit a hospital or other care center during ambulatory detox. Medication may be given on-site to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, such as anxiety, depression, and elevated heart rate, by clinicians or physicians.

The Inpatient Treatment Plan

As people who engage in outpatient vs. inpatient programs, some opt for outpatient treatments, some choose to remain in their home, others who decide to register for inpatient programs, transfer from home to a treatment center that offers intensive care. They are people who put the rest of their lives at risk, take a step back from the people, places, and circumstances that could cause a return to substance use, and stand up to the addiction they are under.

Inpatient services in the outpatient vs. inpatient debate last a little longer than ambulatory programs and are usually associated with a lower drop-out rate. The median period in 2010 in an outpatient program, for instance, is around 120 days, while an extended residential program lasted about 90 days according to the Treatment Episode Data Set. Long-term dropout rates were around 30%, while outpatient treatment had a decrease of 60%.

It is difficult for people who have addictions to drop off of their services for all kinds of reasons to generalize of outpatient vs. inpatient debate extensively. But people taking part in inpatient programs, once they have made a strong dedication to sobriety, will remain in those initiatives. Those comparing outpatient vs. inpatient decided to give up things, and have broken with the past cleanly. This will give them the courage to see their treatment until the end. While the care environment can play an important role in the success of a hospital program, the outpatient vs. inpatient treatments given can also be very useful.

In an inpatient program, patients may undergo a range of the same procedures as an outpatient program, but will also have access to a variety of other treatments, including:

  • Exercise therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Yoga
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Equine therapy
  • Art/music therapy

This extra outpatient vs. inpatient treatments can provide people skills to overcome depression and bring people into contact with their inner strength and imagination, which can also be protected if an urge to use starts.

Comparing outpatient vs. inpatient, inpatient services also provide 24-hour monitoring so that an outpatient program is only not feasible. People on a rehab site can’t just sneak away to find a dealer or buy a quick drink. They live with assistance at any time in a sober setting. This is all the difference for others. For those with extremely serious addictions that cannot be amended by less intense methods, it may be critical. You need intensive care and you will receive it in an inpatient program.

Getting Ready for Inpatient Rehab

Recovery from outpatient vs. inpatient treatment must be adequately planned. No time to prepare for treatment is needed. Before that date for the outpatient vs. inpatient treatment, it is necessary to have an entry date and to have business settled. A few things to do before you reach rehabilitation include:

  • Speaking with your employer on the outpatient vs. inpatient program you’ll take
  • Get a good living environment for your family members 
  • Preparing how to enter and leave the outpatient vs. inpatient program
  • Asking the center the personal items you should bring 

What You Should Consider when Going for An Inpatient Program

The inpatient rehabilitation centers provide various advantages, making them the best choice for some:

  • Both short and long-term inpatient recovery services are tailored to help you detox and prepare you for life.
  • Treatment is provided 24/7, typically in a non-hospital environment by residential facilities. When you work to conquer your addiction, you’re never alone.
  • The treatment is organized strongly and focuses on all facets of dependency. That may also include social and psychological factors relevant to your background and circumstance, including your relationships and your lifestyle.
  • Safe accommodation and medical care are available 24 hours a day. For patients with serious disorders that may be compounded by other mental health issues, this is particularly necessary.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outpatient vs. Inpatient Treatment Options 

A study in the journal Addiction shows that comparative tests of the efficacy of outpatient vs. inpatient are not very helpful, since certain studies apply various criteria to assess its intrinsic value. Furthermore, each person who is addicted could be slightly different from his or her peers and may need slightly different forms of care either from outpatient vs. inpatient programs. Very different individuals could not have the kind of knowledge that anyone could profit from by comparing outpatient vs. inpatient in terms of sustainable sobriety.

However, the benefits and drawbacks of outpatient vs. inpatient type of treatment are easy to understand and should ease the selection process in outpatient vs. inpatient. For example, reports show that patients in some local outpatient recovery facilities have had to wait weeks or even months for openings. If a person suffering from addiction lives in an area where drug use is rampant and few facilities are available to manage the request for help that can lead to long delays between accepting medical needs and the start of care.

For persons like this deciding on outpatient vs. inpatient, it may be possible to register for an inpatient treatment option in a different area without delay. For others, this might be beneficial. But outpatient services appear to be cheaper than their hospital counterparts, and an addict’s willingness to continue to function could further reduce the cost. This could result in certain families being forced into outpatient treatment after comparing outpatient vs. inpatient because they’re unable to afford forms of care that would further hinder the budget of the family.

Some people will also have a social component of treatment in the outpatient vs. inpatient debate. People with multiple drug uses will find that leaving the group helps them to make new friends who can act as sober models of how real sober life can be. However, people with strong family relations can find it far too difficult to leave their social support behind and even damaging. Staying at home and learning on the fly about outpatient vs. inpatient comparison is important for people like this.

The Duration of an Addiction Rehab 

Treatment results from either outpatient vs. inpatient programs can increase over longer care times, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Ideally, recovery should last at least 90 days to maximize the chance of long-term sobriety.

During the registration period, the prescribed 3-month treatment span is not generally mandatory in outpatient vs. inpatient treatment. In this prescribed treatment period, structured ambulatory dependence treatment efforts may also be successful components, if not a primary treatment source.

It often takes a longer period of initial treatment before a person can transition to aftercare in both outpatient vs. inpatient therapy. Most systems will create a recurrence management plan as it happens and will provide extra guidance and support.

How to Choose the Right Program

When selecting a treatment scheme between outpatient vs. inpatient, many factors have to be considered and some can find it difficult to select as too many factors exist. In general, a specialist should help the family decide about the right placement for care – you can compare outpatient vs. inpatient. The seriousness of addiction and a desire for the person to improve can be assessed by psychiatrists, psychologists, and interventionists, and specific suggestions may be made as to which type of treatment (outpatient vs. inpatient) is right for the person in need.

As you compare outpatient vs. inpatient treatment options, remember that only a person with a medical condition should not have to determine if an operation should be done on an outpatient vs. inpatient basis, no one who has an addiction needs to know whether or not to cut life threats through hospital or outpatient services. We have experts that can assist you with that.

Please be aware that you are not alone if you struggle with this decision of outpatient vs. inpatient. We want to help. Please call us and you can get a Foundations Recovery Network treatment package from our admissions coordination officers who can help you understand your choices and make an educated decision about care. Calling is free and trusted, and we are always here to assist. Call us today to find out more about outpatient vs. inpatient treatment options.