When looking at outpatient addiction treatment and comparing it to inpatient programs, it’s important to set aside the myth that one is better than the other. Each option is effective for the individuals it was designed to help, so it’s important to judge the options on a case by case basis. What may have worked for your friend, may not be the right choice for you. This requires an honest look at yourself and your characteristics, so you can make the choice that will help you the most.
In some instances, an individual may not take the time to examine the aspects of an outpatient program. Instead, he or she may only be focusing on the freedom this type of program offers without realizing that it also requires a great sense of responsibility. When the treatment program fails, the program is blamed. In fact, the individual simply made the wrong choice for his or her circumstances. This is just one reason it’s better not to judge the value of a treatment program based on the experiences of others.
Is Outpatient Treatment Easier?
Another common myth is that outpatient treatment is somehow easier or less demanding than inpatient rehab. This is a misconception that’s partly responsible for the idea that outpatient treatment is less effective. In fact, an intensive outpatient program requires you to participate in the same types of therapy, counseling, and training that is available in the inpatient setting. You’ll be required to be present in a treatment facility for 8 to 10 hours a day and for five to seven days a week.
The real difference between the two types of treatment is that outpatient treatment allows you to go home at the end of each day. This gives you the opportunity to work and spend time with your loved ones, before going to sleep in your own bed. Additionally, the outpatient treatment program lets you draw on the support of those closest to you, and social support is essential to a sustained recovery.
Is Outpatient Treatment Right for You?
An outpatient addiction treatment program is not intended for those with severe addiction problems. What is meant by a severe addiction problem? This is a situation in which the individual doesn’t have the ability to resist cravings, or to stop themselves from using. If you don’t have the will power to stay away from drugs and alcohol, the outpatient option may not be in your best interests. Additionally, you should consider inpatient treatment if you typically have a hard time making it to your scheduled appointments. If you have been disciplined at work or school for tardiness or excessive absences, this indicates you’ll have similar problems making it to counseling sessions.
Another indication that outpatient treatment may not be your best option will come as you undergo the initial evaluation. You’ll receive a medical exam that will evaluate your physical and mental health. It’s not uncommon for addicts to also be suffering from a co-occurring mental illness. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder can contribute to the addiction problem. If you are suffering from a mental illness, you may need inpatient treatment, so both conditions can be treated simultaneously.
The Benefits of Outpatient Treatment
There’s no denying that there are benefits to outpatient treatment. The most obvious benefit is that you can continue to live at home. As long as you can meet your treatment obligations and stay clean, the outpatient option gives you more freedom. Additionally, treatment costs less than an intensive inpatient program, mostly because you’re using fewer resources. An inpatient program requires that the facility provides beds, meals, and other services that outpatient clients pay for out of their pockets.
Finally, you have more leeway in customizing your treatments. From choosing your availability for treatment to selecting from among different types of treatment, you have some choice in making decisions. You can also choose the intensity of your program, which can help you fit other responsibilities into your daily routine. However, the fewer hours or days you attend treatment, the longer you’ll be in treatment. As long as you accept that trade-off, you can choose how you pursue your recovery.
If you’re still unsure about which type of treatment is best for you, call one of our counselors at 833-762-3739. We can answer any questions you have about addiction recovery, and we will ensure you get the help you need. We’re available 24 hours a day, so call us at your convenience.