Tips On Deciding Between Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment

Tips On Deciding Between Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment

in Overall Health by
Tips On Deciding Between Inpatient And Outpatient Treatment
By: LydiaCC BY 2.0

When treatment for alcohol abuse, drug addiction, an eating disorder, a mental illness, or a combination of any of these disorders, what kind of treatment is right for you?

Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment are the two main forms of formal rehab that you can utilize. What are the differences, and how can you decide which one is most appropriate for you at this time in your recovery process?

Detox Is The First Step

Well, first of all, if you are addicted to any substance, detoxification is the first step. You must be clean and sober to move forward with your life. After that, either form of treatment can be extremely effective.

Inpatient treatment means that you live at the facility that is treating you. There is not an opportunity to leave, unless an outing is part of the program. Otherwise, you stay in the treatment facility for the duration of the program, generally 30, 60, or 90 days. You are unable to use any substances, or to engage in any behaviors that are detrimental to your physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual self.

Continuous Accountability

The continuous accountability provided in an inpatient setting gives those in the early stages of recovery, a great chance at sustained abstinence from substances, eating disorder behaviors, or self-destructive and dangerous behaviors of a mental illness.

Outpatient treatment, however, means that you live at home, or somewhere other than the rehab facility. You attend the treatment program’s services during the day, or evening, but then you return home. While 100% abstinence from substances and eating disorder behaviors is required, and monitored through random weekly drug screens, you have more responsibility than you do with an inpatient treatment program.

Develop Tools To Cope

If you feel that abstaining can be done more on your own, but you need treatment to help you develop tools to cope with everyday life without the use of substances, food eating or restriction, excessive exercise, self-harm, or acting out, then outpatient treatment may be right for you.

Tips on deciding between inpatient and outpatient treatment can be helpful, so here goes:

Choose an inpatient treatment program if you can answer yes to any of the following:

  • Do you need 24-hour monitoring to stay symptom-free?
  • Will you engage in the harmful behaviors of your addiction, your eating disorder, or your mental illness if you do not have support at any point in the day?
  • Have you tried slowing down or stopping your substance use, or your eating disorder behavior, but you also return to it?
  • Is this your first time in a formal treatment program for your disorder?
  • Are you around people in your everyday environment who drink and use drugs on a regular basis?
  • Does your health insurance plan cover residential inpatient treatment programs for addiction, eating disorder, and mental health rehab?

Choose an outpatient treatment program if you can answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Are you unable to miss work or school? Will it be nearly impossible to be away from your responsibilities at home?
  • Have you completed an inpatient treatment program?
  • Do you have longer than 30 days of abstinence from substances or behaviors?
  • Is the financial aspect of rehab a real concern for you? Without insurance coverage, outpatient services can be an affordable way to seek treatment when you are serious about healing.
  • Do you have a substance-free support system around you in your everyday life?
  • Does your health insurance plan limit your coverage options to outpatient services?

Whichever form of treatment you feel is the best fit for your situation overall, contact treatment centers now to start the process of recovery from your disorder, or combination of disorders. Inpatient and outpatient rehab is most effective the sooner you begin.

Marissa Maldonado is the director of outreach for Sovereign Health, a dual diagnosis treatment center designed to help people with substance abuse and mental health issues.