Is Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Right for Me?

Is Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Right for Me?

You should be applauded for the fact that you are pursuing treatment options for your drug abuse. Acknowledging that you need help is the first step. You now need to focus on whether inpatient or outpatient treatment is the right choice for you. To learn more about choosing the right treatment program for you, you might want to investigate the value of doing a needs assessment, gather more information about inpatient and outpatient treatment, and ask for insights into how to make the right choice.

Needs Assessment

The post, “Choose the Right Addiction Treatment Center for You” provides insights on how to assess your needs for treatment. Some of the fundamental needs of a treatment program can be answered by asking questions including the following:

  1. What is the goal of your drug addiction treatment program?
  2. What licenses and certifications do your treatment center and its staff have?
  3. Is there a waiting list to enter and, if so, how long is the wait?
  4. What therapeutic models or theories form the foundation of your treatment program?
  5. Are there staff members who have experience dealing with my specific addiction(s)?

Even with just these few answers you can better focus your search. For example, if there is a waiting list of several months and you feel that you would benefit from more immediate attention, you need to look for another option. Another major aspect of finding treatment is the costs associated with treatment which can be answered by asking questions including the following:

  1. How will I be billed for your program? Do you take insurance? Is there financing available?
  2. What kinds of services are included in your fee?
  3. What kinds of medical services are available if I need them?

The answers to these questions will continue to help you narrow down your options. If you have received answers from several facilities that you would consider, you still want to dig deeper and ask follow-up questions including the following:

  1. If residential, how long do you recommend that I stay? Will family and friends be able to contact or visit me? Will they be asked to participate in any counseling with me?
  2. What activities will I be required to participate in?
  3. Will I have access to faith leaders or spiritual advisors if I need them?

These answers give you better insights into the daily activities that you will encounter so that you can determine if this makes sense for you. Finally, you may want to explore the services that are provided that can assist you with you life after treatment including the following:

  1. What will you do to prepare me for my return to the real world?
  2. Will you work with me on a discharge plan? If I don’t live close to the treatment center, will you help me find resources for continuing care in my own community?

Once you have a clear picture of your needs and which facilities might best meet those needs, you now want to look into the similarities and differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a reliable source for much information about addiction, abuse, treatment and more. The post “Types of Treatment Programs” provides insight into the differences and similarities of inpatient and outpatient treatment including the following.

  • Inpatient treatment, also referred to as residential treatment provides care 24 hours a day, generally in a non-hospital setting. These programs bring together a variety of resources including other residents, staff and the social context as active components of treatment. In these programs treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as learning skills to have socially productive lives. Treatment is highly structured and includes activities designed to help residents examine damaging beliefs and destructive patterns of behavior. More importantly, there are activities that encourage residents to adopt new and constructive ways to interact with others.
  • While outpatient treatment varies in the types and intensity of services offered, these programs often have lower costs. In addition, due to the flexibility of the schedule, these programs are more suitable for people with jobs or extensive social supports. Some of the outpatient models, such as intensive day treatment, can be comparable to residential programs in services and effectiveness, depending on the individual patient’s characteristics and needs.

Both programs often have similar services with a focus on medical management, individual counseling, group counseling and aftercare support. Therefore, it is important for you to explore the individual services of each facility or option you are exploring.

Making a Choice

The post “Substance Abuse Therapy: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Therapy” summarizes some of the benefits of each therapeutic setting including the following:

  • Inpatient therapy has access to therapy on a daily basis, offers interaction with other people who are recovering, ensures that meals and other daily needs are taken care of, and provides lots of structure. In this setting, people who dedicate more than 30-days at an inpatient programs have nearly double their rate of success for long-term sobriety.
  • Outpatient therapy allows people to still engage in daily activities while getting treatment. In addition, people in outpatient therapy feel that staying independent can help them feel stronger and more in control of themselves.

Between analyzing your needs and speaking to specific facilities, you are able to identify the right treatment source for you.

Get Help to Learn More

It is important to find the right treatment program; however, we understand that the search can be overwhelming. Please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and provide you with useful resources.