Published on May 5th, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan


Understanding the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

Treating substance use disorder is a long process, and those seeking treatment need to know that they can’t take any shortcuts. Each individual has a unique situation and a different way of overcoming their issues. Therefore, it is important for them to understand the different treatments available and to know their options for where to get treated. They may choose the nearest facility for convenience. For example, they can select an Orlando drug rehab facility if they live in Central Florida rather than one in Miami.

The treatment programs available for individuals struggling with alcohol and drug abuse are generally differentiated as either inpatient or outpatient rehab. Determining the appropriate option will depend on how mild or severe the would-be patient’s addiction is. A healthcare professional can make a recommendation for what treatment would be best, but it is important for the patient to understand the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatments. This helps to prepare them and lessens their fear and anxiety as they will have a better idea of what to expect.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment, or residential rehab, offers a more intensive program suited for those with more serious substance use disorder. It requires the patients to stay in a rehab facility for at least 30 days, but some programs may ask them to stay for as long as three months.

The controlled environment removes the patient from any distractions, allowing them to focus completely on their recovery. Once they are admitted, patients receive 24-hour medical and emotional support to ensure that they get immediate assistance. This is especially helpful when they are undergoing a medically assisted detox. During this process, they may experience painful symptoms of withdrawal and would need medical care.

Related reading: You can try a similar detox at home. Visit to know more.

As part of their treatment, patients attend individual or group online talk therapy. It is here that they explore what drove them to addiction and work on past trauma or mental health issues. Therapy also helps them learn how to deal with their triggers without depending on any substances.

One of the benefits of staying in a rehab facility is that the patient is away from people and situations that may influence them to abuse alcohol and drugs. Inpatient treatment is helpful for individuals who:

  • Have co-occurring disorders such as eating disorders and bipolar disorder
  • Fail to consistently attend therapy sessions on their own
  • Experience more aggressive substance abuse problems

However, staying in inpatient treatment facilities can be costly due to onsite medical care and psychotherapy. It can also disrupt the patient’s daily activities, and require them to be away from their family. They may also need to take a leave from their jobs, but there are also federal laws that protect them from discrimination when they return to work or when looking for housing.

As such, rehab facilities often advise stay-in patients to make preparations such as:

  • Informing their employers and filing the necessary paperwork for their leave of absence
  • Making sure their children have appropriate living arrangements
  • Settling any financial responsibilities
  • Planning transportation to and from the rehab center
  • Packing only the essentials for their stay

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs best suit individuals who need to curb mild addiction or to assist in their recovery. These patients can receive treatment by making regular visits to the center, and won’t need 24-hour assistance.

The program still requires them to attend therapy or counseling, either in one-on-one or group sessions. Therapy frequency varies depending on what the individual needs, but each one lasts for at least 60 minutes. The common discussions in these sessions revolve around their progress, the support they need, and how can they cope without any drug or alcohol use.

Should they experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, detox is also available for outpatient programs. The treatment facility can provide medical attention and prescribe medications to ease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and increased heart rate.

The benefit of being in an outpatient treatment program is that individuals can continue with their daily activities like going to work, socializing with friends and family, and exploring different hobbies. However, this also risks them being exposed to addiction triggers that could lead them to substance use and relapse.

Focus on Getting Better

Whether they get an inpatient or outpatient treatment, the important thing is that people receive treatment for substance use disorder immediately. Addiction is a chronic illness they’ll need to battle with for the rest of their lives, but they can get help. There are many treatments and facilities available all over the United States. What they need to remember is that substance use disorder is highly treatable. They must not get discouraged and continue to work on living a healthy and substance-free life.

Cover Image by Sozavisimost from Pixabay

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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