The Road to Sobriety: Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment
People hoping to overcome chemical dependency typically have two options—inpatient or outpatient treatment programs While both provide effective care, they do so in different ways. What may be right for one individual at one time may be inappropriate for someone else, or even for the same person at a different stage of recovery.
Selecting the most appropriate form of rehabilitation is therefore a highly personal choice that depends upon each individual’s needs, preferences, and lifestyle. In order to make an informed decision, it’s important to understand the difference between outpatient rehab and inpatient centers.
What Is Inpatient Rehabilitation?
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of rehabilitation. Also called residential care, it involves checking into a facility for a certain period of time, typically ranging from 28 days to half a year. By physically removing themselves from the outside world, patients not only immerse themselves in a healthy, controlled environment, but they also place themselves out of the reach of temptation.
Although each center is different, the typical residential care treatment program includes:
- Medically supervised detox programs
- Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy
- Individual and group counseling sessions
- Medication distribution, when needed
Why Choose Inpatient Treatment?
There are many reasons someone might choose an inpatient care facility. Perhaps they want to get away from unhealthy relationships and the seductions of everyday life. Perhaps they simply want the benefits of round-the-clock care and support. For those who have the time to take a sabbatical from their normal routine, inpatient treatment can provide the ideal experience.
There are other, more urgent reasons people choose inpatient programs. Those who suffer from serious alcohol or drug addictions, for example, may face painful and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. In extreme cases, withdrawing from substances such as alcohol, synthetic opiates, or heroin can be fatal.
Because of the potential consequences, medical supervision may be necessary to ensure safe and effective withdrawal. Residential care centers typically have qualified healthcare professionals on staff to monitor patient progress, check vital signs, and modify treatment plans.
For those who aren’t able to pursue full-time inpatient care, but who need sustained medical supervision, there is the option of partial hospitalization, which provides a more flexible solution for overcoming chemical dependency. Instead of entering a residential facility, patients check into a hospital at specified times during the day to consult with medical staff and undergo therapeutic treatments.
Do Inpatient Care Facilities Allow Contact with Family?
While inpatient rehab centers are designed to isolate patients from the dangers of unhealthy environments, they are not meant to separate them from the love and support of well-meaning family and friends.
To the contrary, most treatment providers understand how important support and encouragement are to the rehabilitation process. Family involvement remains one of the most crucial factors in determining the eventual outcome of recovery.
In order to facilitate positive interaction with loved ones, most inpatient facilities allow patients to contact family members. Some even provide additional family counseling services designed to help both loved ones and patients cope with the effects of addiction.
Preparing for Inpatient Care
Checking into an inpatient care facility requires a bit of planning and foresight. Before starting treatment, patients must first get all of their affairs in order. Specifically, they should:
- Obtain leave from work.
- Prepare alternative living and care arrangements for dependents, such as children or elderly parents.
- Arrange transportation to and from the care facility.
- Pack enough clothes and personal items to last through the treatment period.
Patients or their loved ones should talk with the staff to figure out what amenities the facility provides and what items the patient needs to bring with them.
Making the Most of Inpatient Care
Inpatient rehab centers usually provide a highly structured environment. With each day carefully planned out in advance, the only thing a recovering addict needs to focus on is rehabilitation. Strict schedules, guided recovery strategies, and distraction-free environments take the burden off patients. In order to make the best of the experience, patients need only bring the right attitude—an honest willingness to cooperate and an earnest desire to achieve sobriety.
What Are Outpatient Treatment Programs?
Outpatient centers provide a non-residential treatment option for those recovering from drug or alcohol dependency. Instead of living in a facility, patients visit a treatment center at regular intervals, typically ranging from 10 to 12 hours each week for three to six months at a time.
At RECO Intensive, each patient maintains a schedule of four to five visits per week, with each visit lasting for several hours, although exact timelines could depend on the needs and progress of each individual.
Although outpatient substance abuse treatment focuses on people with less severe forms of addiction and therefore provides a less immersive experience, it is just as effective as a recovery strategy. For the right individual, an intensive outpatient treatment program is the only option that offers both acute care and flexible scheduling.
Although clients can maintain their normal work and even personal routines, the typical outpatient program employs a similar treatment plan as inpatient programs. RECO Intensive outpatient addiction treatment, for example, emphasizes:
- Group and individual therapy sessions
- Family counseling
- Addiction education programs
- Relapse prevention instruction
- 12-step recovery training
Why Choose Outpatient Treatment?
In general, outpatient treatment programs are designed with mild or moderate substance abuse problems in mind. Nevertheless, for many
recovering addicts, it constitutes the second phase of a long-term recovery plan that includes both inpatient and outpatient care. For those who suffer from more extreme addiction problems, inpatient treatment is often followed by outpatient care.
An intensive outpatient program also helps clients maintain their everyday routines. Unlike inpatient care, outpatient programs don’t disrupt employment schedules or family life. By going about their usual business, recovering addicts can learn to handle the responsibilities of normal life while freeing themselves from crippling chemical dependencies.
The Goal of RECO Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs
RECO Intensive strives to provide the most comprehensive treatment and the most compassionate care to all of its patients. Our primary goals are to:
- Prevent drug or alcohol relapse
- Encourage and maintain the process of healing
- Inspire confidence and create hope for the future
In order to achieve those goals, we deploy a team of highly trained specialists, including:
- Behavioral health experts
- Case managers
Each member is critical to the overall mission. As a team, they work together to ensure that each client gets the care he or she needs.
How to Make the Most of Outpatient Treatment
Since outpatient programs don’t remove individuals from the outside world, it is critical that patients maintain a healthy support structure. In particular, family members and friends can and should offer emotional support at such a critical time in their loved one’s life.
Since outpatient care is less structured—no one will be there to ensure compliance or give reminders—it’s important for patients to maintain a reliable schedule, and show up on time for counseling sessions and medical check-ups. By cooperating fully and acting responsibly, recovering addicts and substance abusers can go a long way toward realizing their own recovery goals.
The RECO Intensive Difference
There are many roads to recovery. No matter which path you choose, RECO Intensive can help you achieve and maintain sobriety. In order to achieve that goal, we offer treatment that is:
RECO Intensive is a progressive treatment provider. That means we’re determined to stay on top of the latest addiction research and counseling methods. Through our innovative treatment plans and our comprehensive knowledge of addiction recovery options, we help our patients get whatever care they need, wherever they need it.
Our personalized treatment plans take each patient’s unique situation and personality into account. We know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery, which is why we work hard to design individualized programs.
We believe in an integrated approach to chemical dependency treatment. That means combining different techniques, principles, and methods to achieve the best overall result for each and every client.
Substance abuse recovery requires hands-on involvement. It also demands a holistic strategy that takes patients out of the clinical environment and helps them achieve overall wellness. To help clients along the long and hard road to sobriety, we provide unique experiences that push them out of their comfort zones and help them grow as individuals. Our therapeutic programs include everything from animal rescue and community service, to healing walks and team rope exercises.
Talk to an Addiction Treatment Specialist Today
If you or someone you care about suffers from chemical dependency, give us a call at 855.799.1035 to talk to one of our specialists. You can also email us at [email protected] or fill out our online info form to receive confidential help. Find your path to a sober life at RECO Intensive.