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Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: What Might the Right Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment Facility Be for You?


More than 21 million adults in the United States struggle with abuse of drugs or alcohol, and many of them are in need of high-quality addiction treatment. Many options are available when it comes to rehab programs, and each patient has a few choices to make, such as whether they’d rather enter an inpatient vs. outpatient rehab or whether they’d be most comfortable getting faith-based treatment. When it comes to the former, many addicts have unanswered questions, such as, “What is inpatient treatment?” or, “Is inpatient treatment more effective than outpatient treatment?”

Treatment for drug or alcohol addiction should address three goals: stopping use of the substance, staying sober, and returning to being a productive member of society. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment are focused on accomplishing these goals. Inpatient treatment is a rehab program in which you reside at the treatment center for a short period of time, usually a few weeks. Impatient programs usually focus first on detoxifying your body of the substance you were dependent on and then on equipping you with the skills you need through counseling to stay sober and resist relapsing once you are on your own again. During your time in impatient treatment, you will have around-the-clock support and may receive medications that facilitate a safe detox and curb withdrawal symptoms.

In an outpatient treatment program, you receive addiction treatment during certain hours of the day but are allowed to continue living at home and maintaining your daily routine outside of treatment. Outpatient treatment can be every day, a few times a week, or on a weekly basis. It generally entails individual and/or group therapy as well as visits with a psychiatrist, but it does not often address the detoxification aspect of addiction therapy.

An inpatient facility offers the benefit of a controlled, safe environment free of access to triggers or to the substance you are addicted to, and these programs often result in a lower overall relapse rate than if you start right away in outpatient therapy. Inpatient treatment can disrupt your work and personal life, however, and does require a larger commitment.

Outpatient treatment can offer a solution to addiction that allows you to receive the care you need without interruption to your work or other duties. It allows you to still have contact with friends and family, whose support can be vital during the recovery process. Outpatient therapy can be risky, however, as you are on your own outside of treatment hours without supervision and have the potential to relapse when left unmonitored.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which Is Right for You?

Equipped with knowledge of the differences between what is impatient treatment and what is outpatient treatment, you can better decide which type of rehabilitation program is right for you. At the beginning of your journey toward recovery, inpatient treatment is highly recommended, especially if you have a high dependency on the substance you are abusing. During inpatient treatment, medications may be administered to aid in detox, and the withdrawal effects you may experience will be monitored by professionals. During outpatient treatment, medically assisted detox is typically not offered.

If you have already attended an inpatient program, are not currently using the problem substance, and no longer have an active dependency on it, then outpatient therapy may be right for you. A sober living environment combined with regular therapy sessions can provide the support network you need to stay on the right path and avoid a relapse.

Get Help at White Sands Treatment Center

White Sands Treatment Center offers personalized, high-quality inpatient and outpatient addiction recovery programs. Our accredited private drug and alcohol recovery center offers ongoing support from our professional staff of nurses, psychiatrists, and board-certified doctors, making sure that you receive adequate physical and emotional support during your stay. Call us 24/7 at (877) 855-3470 to speak with one of our highly trained staff today and get the help you need.

Contact us today for more information on our treatment programs.

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