April 29, 2019 Felicia Durling

Outpatient vs Inpatient Rehab: How to Decide Which One is Right for You

If you’re reading this because you’ve finally decided to get help for addiction, good for you. You’re one of the privileged few who can give themselves a second chance.

Now that ýou’ve made a choice on the big issue, your next task is deciding on outpatient vs inpatient rehab.

It’s an important part of your journey that will affect whether you succeed or not. Don’t be part of the 95% of people that fail. Pay close attention to these tips on how to choose the right type of rehab for you.

What Does Outpatient Mean?

Outpatient rehab means that it’s up to you to report for your treatment as often as required. Sessions usually take place once a week and may involve group or individual therapy.

A psychiatrist is usually available to prescribe medication to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms or any mental issues.

Intensive outpatient programs are one step up from the conventional form of outpatient treatment. As the name suggests, these kinds of programs involve lengthier sessions held more often.

Another kind of IOP is a Partial Hospitalization program where participants meet for their sessions at a medical facility. This allows for closer monitoring of any withdrawal symptoms.

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

When you opt for inpatient rehab you will remain at a facility 24 hours a day for a minimum of 28 days. Intensive medical and psychological evaluations are part of the program as well as group and individual therapy sessions.

While in residence, almost every part of your day runs according to a strict schedule. At times it may be difficult to conform to all these rules but you’ll learn to love the predictability of the routine.

Considering Outpatient vs Inpatient Rehab

Usually, your choice will boil down to circumstances rather than preference. You’ll need to answer the following questions before you decide –

How Much Can You Afford?

If your medical insurance does not cover the cost of the rehab you prefer, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. Do you have a way to access the necessary funds?

Outpatient rehab is much cheaper since you don’t have to pay for any board, lodging or 24-hour supervision.

Can You Take Time Off Work?

Not everybody can afford to spend 28 days or more away from their job. If you have enough holiday time due, or an understanding employer you could consider inpatient rehab.

If you can’t take that much time off,  outpatient rehab is the right choice for you. Even then you could still need some time off during office hours to attend your therapy sessions.  Many outpatient facilities offer after-hours and weekend options too.

Should your employer agree to give you time off, will they pay your salary while you’re gone? If not, how will you pay the bills?

Do You Have Supportive Family and Friends?

If you have children, somebody’s got to take care of them in your absence. Unless your spouse can cope on their own, chances are you’ll need some help from family and friends in this aspect. This applies to both kinds of rehab.

Should you decide on outpatient rehab, you are going to need a lot of support from those closest to you. Will they be able to help you resist the temptations of your regular stomping grounds.

Both kinds of rehab offer family support to help your nearest and dearest through this challenging time too.

How Good Are Your Coping Skills?

One of the benefits of inpatient rehab is going through your recovery in a supportive and safe environment. If you live alone, you should seriously consider opting for the companionship that a full-time treatment center offers.

It can be lonely and frustrating trying to cope with your normal routine during the initial stages of recovery.

However, it’s also difficult to adjust back into the flow of things when you leave treatment. Many people feel overwhelmed once they leave the seclusion of an inpatient treatment center. With outpatient rehab, the process is more gradual and you have ongoing support while dealing with the normal stresses of life.

Some full-time facilities offer a halfway house option. This means you will live in a sober-living house with likeminded people but are free to come and go as you please.

Regardless, if you do enter into a full-time rehab, you must continue with outpatient treatment afterward to ensure your ongoing sobriety.

Do You Have Co-Occurring Conditions?

Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with addiction. If you are battling against these or any other psychological issues, a full-time dual-diagnosis treatment center is your best bet.

Trying to tackle these demons, manage your daily life, and give up your substance of choice all at the same time could prove too much for you. Rather opt for the comprehensive care of a live-in rehab if you can.

If you do decide to go for outpatient treatment, be honest with your counselors about these problems. The more information they have, the more they can help you. Some outpatient facilities may lack the resources to deal with complicated scenarios like these.

Do You Have a High Need for Privacy?

Addicts come from all walks of life. Yet, if you have a high profile in your community you might not want to attend a public outpatient treatment facility.

In these cases, it’s best to select a private inpatient rehabilitation center. There are some supremely luxurious places that offer rehabilitation treatment.

While these swish facilities do offer a few extra luxuries, don’t think your road to recovery is going to be any easier in a 5-star facility. It’s a tough personal battle no matter who or where you are.

It’s Your Call

The most important thing to remember about outpatient vs inpatient rehab is that you don’t have to stick with your choice. If one method isn’t working for you, don’t give up, try something else.

It’s unwise to try and beat your addiction on your own. Help is always just a phone call away.


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