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How To Tell If You Need Outpatient or Inpatient Care

outpatient care, inpatient care

How To Tell If You Need Outpatient or Inpatient Care

When you have an addiction or mental health condition, asking for help can be an incredibly difficult obstacle to overcome. Educating yourself and knowing which type of treatment is the best fit for your life and responsibilities is a great way to take the first step toward recovery. In this post, we’ll break down inpatient and outpatient care to help you decide which will best suit your recovery needs. Choosing what’s best depends on many factors such as the severity of your addiction/condition, your household, familiar responsibilities, and your budget.  No matter what, your ultimate goal should be to choose recovery. We’re here to help you find the best option, and we believe it is best to do something instead of nothing in order to break the cycle. 

What’s The Difference Between Outpatient & Inpatient Care?

Addiction treatment programs typically fall into inpatient and outpatient categories. The big difference between outpatient and inpatient is simply that — the “out” and the “in.” With outpatient care, you’re able to resume your life and responsibilities and live at home while you go through your program. Inpatient care requires staying at a residential facility with round-the-clock supervision. Every day at the facility is entirely devoted and dedicated to your recovery.

You can also think of inpatient programs as full-time programs designed to treat serious substance use disorders and addictions while outpatient programs are part-time and allow for the flexibility to undergo treatment without missing work or family responsibilities.

Inpatient Care: What To Know

Inpatient care is also known as residential treatment commonly referred to as “rehab.” This is the most effective option for those dealing with severe addiction issues and those who have other coexisting mental health conditions.

Staying at a rehabilitation facility helps you avoid the triggers, temptations, and influences in your life that encourage substance use. These facilities offer a healthy, drug-free environment that is entirely dedicated to your recovery. An inpatient care facility will offer 24-hour support and intensive care. This will include medical treatment, psychotherapy, group meetings, health and wellness, and the learning of life skills to take into the outside world upon completion of your detox program.

The goal is to help you adopt a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle that you continue on after treatment. Often, inpatient care includes a step-down approach that encourages patients to continue their treatment in outpatient treatment programs. 

Who Is Inpatient Care Right For?

Inpatient facilities are best suited to those who need intensive addiction treatment and round-the-clock support to overcome addiction. The early stages of detox involve intense withdrawal symptoms that are best handled in a professionally-supervised environment. Treatment is highly structured and focused on treating all aspects of addiction.

Safe housing and a supportive community are offered to those in inpatient care and medical attention is available 4 hours a day. This program requires a larger commitment than outpatient programs but is the best option for those who have severe addictions and need help with the detox process. 

Outpatient Care: What To Know 

Outpatient care allows you to live at home while you undergo treatment. You can continue to work and resume your daily responsibilities while you structure your treatment and recovery program around your life. Outpatient care typically costs less than inpatient treatment, but you will also receive less intensive support and no round-the-clock supervision. In short, outpatient care offers much more freedom and flexibility than an inpatient recovery environment. 

Programs will typically involve a mix of individual and group therapy, meetings, and behavioral therapies in addition to monitoring your drug and alcohol intake.

Who Is Outpatient Care Right For?

First off, outpatient care is a sensible next step for those who have recently completed an inpatient program. Intensive outpatient care programs (IOPs) allow you to put to use the skills you learned in residential treatment while you resume your life and responsibilities. You’ll build your support network and continue your recovery in a less structured setting.

Outpatient care also suits those who have less severe addictions but still need help. You may not require 24-hour supervision during the detox phase or need to stay in a residential facility, but you could benefit from creating a peer support network and learning life skills to steer you away from substance use. Outpatient treatment is also a much more affordable treatment option and is flexible to your life and schedule. There are many different types of counseling and therapy to choose from, so you can choose the level of intensity and care that works best for you, your needs, and your schedule. 

Get Help Choosing the Right Care Program

While the flexibility and freedom surely sound great, outpatient care does require some discipline. You need to show up for your group sessions, therapy sessions, drug tests, and meetings on your own. Your success in recovery depends on your ability to regularly attend and participate in these sessions. If you feel you need a more structured and monitored environment to help you avoid triggers, you may be better suited to an inpatient facility. Furthermore, if you have any co-occurring mental health disorders, an inpatient facility will be staffed with a professional team who knows how to properly treat you. 

The good news is you don’t have to choose the appropriate program on your own, we can help. Give us a call, and an empathetic, dedicated member of our team will talk through your current situation and help you choose the best program for your needs. Contact us today!


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