Guides

Making the Choice Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation

June 15, 2022

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Choosing between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs isn’t an easy decision to make, especially if you’re suffering from an addiction like alcohol or drug abuse. On the one hand, going to inpatient rehab allows you to fully immerse yourself in your recovery and work one-on-one with professionals who can help you overcome the hurdles that come along with recovery while providing 24/7 support.

Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs are both valuable options for people who have been struggling with addiction or mental health issues, but they’re not the same thing by any means. In this guide, we’ll outline the pros and cons of each type of program so that you can make an informed decision about what would be best in your particular situation.

What to consider when choosing between inpatient and outpatient

Not everyone who is recovering from addiction needs to attend an inpatient rehabilitation program. But for those who do, choosing a facility can be challenging. There are many factors to consider, but here are some questions you should ask yourself before committing to either option 

The length of time you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol: The longer your substance abuse has been going on, typically, the more intensive your treatment will need to be. For example, someone with years of drug use under their belt might benefit from residential care at a rehab center—whereas someone who’s only recently begun using might find outpatient care sufficient. It all depends on how much support you need as well as how far along your recovery process is. If you’re just beginning to explore options, we recommend considering both inpatient and outpatient programs.

Your personal health status: If you have any chronic health conditions (such as diabetes or heart disease), it’s important that they be treated while you’re undergoing addiction treatment. Many inpatient centers offer 24-hour medical care, whereas outpatient facilities may not have such resources available.

Considerations for an inpatient program

For those who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time, or have developed an addiction that requires around-the-clock care and monitoring—such as when a patient is withdrawing from alcohol—an inpatient program might be a better fit. For example, if you’re suffering from severe insomnia or anxiety due to withdrawal symptoms, an inpatient program can help ease these symptoms so you can focus on recovery without worrying about how you’ll get through another day. Additionally, many people find it easier to make changes while they’re surrounded by others going through similar experiences. Since many rehab programs are located in beautiful locations like beachfronts or mountainsides, there’s no shortage of distractions; however, being surrounded by peers also means more support.

Considerations for an outpatient program

If you’re not ready to stay in a sober living environment, outpatient treatment can provide an alternative. People who choose outpatient programs may meet with counselors at a private practice or health facility on a daily basis, while attending support groups as often as possible. This option provides flexibility that fits well into work schedules or other responsibilities, though it tends to be less intensive than traditional inpatient rehab. Because of its limitations, many people eventually opt for an inpatient program after all. For those who are struggling with serious substance abuse issues or who have co-occurring mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety disorders, residential care is likely to be more effective and safer than trying to recover on your own. physiotherapy clinic hamilton With 24/7 supervision and support from medical professionals (such as therapists), you’ll get plenty of attention if you need help coping with withdrawal symptoms or managing emotional stressors.

Things to consider when making a decision

The ideal time for inpatient rehabilitation is typically 21 days, but it can go as low as 10. However, if you suffer from substance abuse along with mental health issues, then an intensive program of 90 days may be recommended. It’s also important to consider what type of support system you have outside of rehab. If you live alone, have few friends and family members that could help support you during recovery, then staying at a residential facility might be best.

How long will you need to be in rehab? Will an outpatient program be enough, or are you going to require more intensive treatment? Is cost a factor in your decision-making process? These are the questions you must ask yourself before you decide.

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