Outpatient vs. Inpatient Addiction Rehab

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Deciding to enter an addiction treatment program is a major decision, and fortunately there are many ways that people can seek help to free themselves from substance abuse. However, different treatment plans entail different levels of support and responsibility. Different programs will be more or less suited to you depending on your lifestyle and the severity of your addiction. The ideal program for an individual will even change over time as the addiction itself changes.

To get an idea of whether you are most suited for addiction treatment at an inpatient or intensive outpatient level of care, learn about the programs’ differences and similarities.

Intensive Outpatient & Inpatient Program Structure

The main difference between residential and intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment programs is the structure. Intensive outpatient programs provide more freedom of movement. Individuals can continue to maintain other commitments, such as work, education, and caring for family. Because they are still present in their daily lives, patients also retain greater anonymity because they do not have to explain the long absence that would be necessary in attending an inpatient program.

Inpatient programs, on the other hand, are highly regimented in order to keep clients engaged in a clear and healthful routine. Inpatient programs are designed to guide clients whose addictions have caused severe dysfunction back toward a conscientious way of living.

Exposure to Triggers & Addictive Substances

teen girl on reception at the psychologistThere are different levels of protection against substance use between the two types of addiction treatment settings. In residential programs, patients are in an entirely drug-free setting, necessarily forcing them to abstain from using.

However, in intensive outpatient programs, patients may still be somewhat exposed to the stressors and negative influences that trigger the desire to use, and may also still have access to the substances themselves. This requires more of a client’s own diligence and reliance on support networks to abstain voluntarily throughout treatment.

Support & Assistance Resources

Both levels of care provide extensive support networks through individual counseling, group therapy sessions, educational workshops, and family counseling services.

After-Program Readjustment

Intensive outpatient services have the benefit of allowing clients to apply new knowledge immediately in their home environment. After a program ends, they may have more time to take on additional responsibilities in their lives, but there is otherwise minimal readjustment. Throughout the program, they have already been making adjustments to their home environment and activities.

Individuals who return home after a residential program have a lot of immediate changes in store. One of the first tasks they will have to tackle is to create a schedule for themselves so that they can start practicing healthful habits while avoiding former negative ones. It is common for a client to attend an intensive outpatient program following successful completion of inpatient treatment in order to smooth the transition back to the home setting.

Who Should Attend Outpatient Substance Treatment?

Businesswoman Interviewing Male Candidate For JobClients who think they might need help for an addiction should seek help from an experienced professional who can conduct an assessment.  Many factors should be reviewed in determining whether inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment is most appropriate, including biological, psychological, and social influences.  However, there are a few questions that can help you determine which might be the most suitable:

  1. Do the daily stresses or influences that cause the temptation to use threaten your successful participation in an intensive outpatient treatment program?
  2. Have you tried and failed to complete an intensive outpatient treatment program?
  3. Do you have a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol that would demand the need for entering a detoxification program?

Those struggling with addiction for alcohol or substance abuse should discuss their particular circumstances with a treatment specialist. To see if you’re better suited for an inpatient or intensive outpatient addiction treatment program in New Jersey, contact High Focus Centers.