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Outpatient Vs Inpatient Rehab: 3 Key Differences

by Rocky C Rhodes

posted in Health and Fitness

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Anyone entering a drug rehab program may be overwhelmed or confused about their options. Typically, when someone is about to enter a rehabilitation program they imagine living in the rehab facility campus, attending group therapy sessions, and being stuck there for weeks at a time. Luckily, rehab programs come in all shapes and sizes. Here are three differences between outpatient and inpatient rehab facilities.
Why Get Treatment?
Often the idea of being addicted to drugs can lead you to feel overwhelmed or that it is impossible to get help. However, the modern view of drug addiction is that it is an illness or disease, not unlike physical diseases. This disease however, mostly affects the pathways of the brain.
The main characteristic of a drug addiction is an intense craving for the drug, accompanied by compulsive behavior, designed to acquire the craved substance. While the initial use is voluntary, addiction causes the brain to lose the ability to abstain from drug use on one's own. As such, if you are addicted to a drug, it may be nearly impossible to stop using that drug without the help of professional help.
Inpatient Treatment
This type of treatment is the preferred method for anyone who needs to get a break from their regular lives and temptations, so they can focus solely on sobriety. Inpatient programs, also known as residential treatment programs, offer patients a few possible features. For any addicts dealing with drugs that have potentially life threatening withdrawals, inpatient programs provide supervised detoxification and medication, as well as therapy sessions.
Outpatient Programs
As opposed to inpatient programs, outpatient programs allow addicts to visit the facility regularly for treatment, usually in the form of counseling and therapy, but are not required to stay at the facility overnight. In particular, you may undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to avoid or cope with those trigger situations that lead to drug use.
Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient
1. Where You Stay - Probably the largest difference between the two types of programs is where you stay while you are undergoing treatment. Inpatient programs allow you to get away from your normal environment and temptations, which can be important depending on the type and severity of your addiction. On the other hand, outpatient programs allow you to receive treatment for minor addictions, without interfering with your work and life.
2. Your Support Network - Yet another difference between these programs is who you receive support from while in treatment. While in an inpatient treatment program, you have the support of your healthcare staff, and the other people in the program with you. When in an outpatient program, you will likely have the support of your family and friends around you to ensure your success.
3. Sobriety Skills - In either program, you are guaranteed to learn skills for sober living that will help you avoid drug use. However the methods used differ by program. This will include a mix of detoxification, therapy, and addiction education.
About the Author: To find out whether inpatient or outpatient rehab programs are right for you, visit Guadalupe Regional Medical Center's behavioral treatment center!
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