Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment North Jersey Recovery - A man who is attending outpatient drug rehab arrives at the drug rehab center after work to start his group therapy session.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: Recovery Options

Last Updated: Nov 11th 2020

Reviewed by njrc

Recovery from drug abuse and addiction is a difficult journey.

The first step to sobriety is admitting that drugs have taken over your life, and you need help in your recovery.

Your level of addiction will usually determine the best type of addiction treatment; the two options to consider are inpatient vs. outpatient treatment.

There are several methods to treat drug abuse and addiction.

The most common way to receive treatment is at a drug rehab center.

Drug rehab centers implement different kinds of therapies and treatment methods specific to each person and their addiction.

There are two kinds of treatment programs you can select—inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

There are advantages and disadvantages to both when you look at inpatient vs. outpatient treatment programs.

Despite the differences, both treatment programs will teach you many skills to help you in your recovery.

It will teach you how to become motivated without drugs and the self-discipline it takes to remain sober.

You will not be alone in this process, as you will be around others who are on a similar path to recovery and weigh the options of inpatient vs. outpatient treatment.

Our drug rehab center will offer their recommendation as to what kind of treatment program will be most effective for you.

It is important that you understand the treatment options you have in inpatient vs. outpatient treatment when it comes to your recovery.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, typically requires a 28-day stay at the drug rehab center as you receive therapies and treatment.

However, this may vary based on your diagnosis, current situation, needs, and your insurance coverage. Inpatient treatment is usually recommended for people who are severely dependent on drugs.

Factors such as physical and mental health are also considered when a drug rehab center recommends your treatment. Staying at a drug rehab center for four weeks will allow you to remove yourself from the environment where you abused drugs.

Like all treatments, there are pros and cons to inpatient treatment.

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Pros

  • You are never alone, which prevents early relapse. You will receive 24-hour supervision by staff, including therapists and physicians.
  • You will build relationships with other people who are on the path to recovery. They will be a support system that you can relate to as you relearn to integrate into a community.
  • You will learn to construct your daily life productively and positively. You will relearn how to adhere to a schedule designed and put in place to address your recovery needs.
  • You are provided with an intensive level of care in a setting that you can grow. Being in a new environment can produce feelings of a new beginning. This can allow you to focus purely on your recovery without outside influence or distractions. Your usual daily activities and routines will be altered for the better.
  • You will spend a lot of your time focusing on your recovery in individual and group therapies. Other life skills will also be taught through various exercises, which will become a key to remaining sober when you are discharged from inpatient treatment.

Cons

  • You are not allowed to leave and come back of your own volition. It is essential that you are supervised at all times during this fragile and difficult process. This might seem invasive or unfair, but inpatient treatment is specifically designed to keep you from leaving to obtain drugs. It is a part of the path to recovery. You must be treated for your drug addiction and learn to cope before you can return to life outside of rehab.
  • You are not allowed to make your schedule. You will be given a routine with the time you wake, eat, and participate in therapies and exercises. You may consider this as a con, but it is one of inpatient treatment’s primary functions. The program is structured to implement a sense of discipline and responsibility that you can bring with you once you complete treatment.
  • If you have children, you will need to find a temporary arrangement for their care when you are in inpatient treatment. This may be difficult to do, not just because you will be away from your children but because it may be difficult to find childcare. If a trusted family member or friend cannot care for them in your absence, it may be an additional cost to pay for a temporary childcare arrangement.
  • Most, if not all, of the time, you will need to take a leave of absence from your job to be admitted into inpatient treatment. Taking this time off may cause some issues with your employer because of the unexpected absence. This may interfere with the overall production of your work, depending on your occupation. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 protects you from termination.
  • Many insurance companies will not cover any or all the cost of inpatient treatment. They may only cover outpatient treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows you to receive therapies and exercises while still being able to remain in your environment.

It is less invasive than inpatient treatment. Many people choose this option because it is less restrictive. Outpatient treatment is typically designed for people with a mild addiction and who do not have as severe a drug addiction as those who may need 24-hour treatment to remain sober safely.

In this program, you will receive treatment 10 to 12 hours a week in the drug rehab center. It can last three to six months, depending on your needs. You will also receive the same therapies and exercises as you would in inpatient treatment.

As with inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment has its pros and cons.

Pros

  • You can return to your daily schedule because you only attend treatment a few hours a day. This allows you to continue to work or care for your children and still receive the treatment you need.
  • Many of the therapies and exercises are held in the evenings and weekends to accommodate your weekly schedule. You may not have to make alternate arrangements or sacrifices in your routine to receive treatment.
  • You can immediately implement the skills and coping mechanisms outside of treatment. You will have the chance to improve in your real-life environment without having to wait until you complete the entire treatment.
  • Outpatient treatment is often a more affordable recovery option. It is also usually covered by many insurances. This is a great choice if you are unable to pay for outpatient treatment.
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Cons

  • You remain in the environment that you abused drugs. This can lead to an early relapse due to being around the triggers and influences that made you abuse drugs. It can be a great risk during this fragile time of recovery.
  • Without professional supervision, it may be tempting to use drugs again. Being outside of the drug rehab center allows you access to drugs.
  • You do not get to spend much time making relationships with those on the same path to recovery. You may miss out on the opportunity to build a support network within the drug rehab center. Support systems are important, and not having one may make recovery more difficult.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment at North Jersey Recovery

Choosing to recover from drug addiction is challenging, but it is a brave choice.

Being informed of all your options is important so that you know what to expect.

No matter which treatment you choose, inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, rehab can positively change your life. Help is available.

Do not hesitate to reach out to a drug rehab center today. Recovery is one step at a time.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by njrc

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