3 reasons to choose inpatient substance abuse treatment vs. outpatient


For those who experience addiction or for those who believe they have a substance abuse problem, inpatient versus outpatient treatment will be among the many decisions made when seeking treatment. Although it might seem like a better scenario to be able to go home after a day of treatment, this might not be the best avenue for those seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder.

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities are full-time experiences for those who suffer from substance abuse problems. Outpatient rehab is when a patient receives treatment throughout the day but is free to go home in the evening. As one can imagine, there are pitfalls to having free time at home unsupervised, especially during such a vulnerable moment.

Is Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Better Than Outpatient?

If you’re thinking about getting inpatient substance abuse treatment, it’s a good idea to understand the many benefits of taking this avenue. Below, we go over a few reasons to choose inpatient substance abuse treatment as opposed to outpatient treatment.

1.) Safe Detox Environment

Residential treatment centers are more appropriate for severe addictions and offer care 24 hours, 7 days a week. This is a safer and more controlled environment for a patient looking to overcome addiction. Inpatient treatment centers are non-hospital settings that are still able to provide a community of a high level of support for recovering addicts. Individuals can generally attend long-term residential treatment as well as short-term residential treatment.

2.) A Higher Rate of Success

If a patient is attending an outpatient program, they have the ability to deviate from their program’s guidelines and requirements when they are not physically at the treatment center. This means a patient can go out and procure their chosen substance and use — all while still attending a program. This can be detrimental to the individual in question, obviously, but this can also be tremendously damaging in a group setting.

Outpatient treatment programs come with the added challenge of having to make countless decisions not to use during their free time, while at an inpatient treatment facility, patients are in a supportive environment day and night and often have resources at their disposal whenever a craving or trigger arises.

Numerous studies support that more inpatient programs have a higher completion rate, not to mention that patients experience more reliable and lasting sobriety as a result. Other studies suggest those patients who attend and remain in treatment experience increased social, psychological, and occupational functioning. Inpatient program attendees also experience decreased criminal activity.

3.) Decreased Risk of Future Disorders

Patients who take it upon themselves to complete an inpatient substance abuse treatment program learn many tools that will help prevent relapse, not to mention decrease a patient’s chances of developing future substance use disorders.

Even though it might seem like the odds are stacked against you, treating a substance abuse problem is something you should never try to do alone. It’s important to give yourself the best shot at a successful recovery, which is what an inpatient substance abuse treatment stands to offer.

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