People who need help overcoming drug and alcohol addiction have the option of seeking inpatient or outpatient care. So what are some of the differences with inpatient vs outpatient treatment?
With inpatient care, people who need help with the recovery process move into an inpatient treatment facility for a period of time. Once checked in, they stay and live in the treatment facility, while they recover. Inpatient treatment facilities offer a safe place for people to detox, stabilize and get better while under the constant medical supervision of trained staff.
Outpatient treatment serves almost the same purpose as inpatient, but on a more limited basis. With outpatient treatment, people visit a treatment center for a short amount of time, such as a couple hours or at scheduled intervals like weekly, three times a week or once a month meetings.
Inpatient treatment is best for people who have severe illnesses and diseases. Those who have not been able to withdrawal on their own or even those who have tried in the past may need to receive more intense inpatient care in order to recover. Inpatient care is appropriate for people who have severe addictions and need to detox under medical supervision before they can move forward. With inpatient care, recovering individuals receive constant medical supervision and have medical care available day and night.
Inpatient care is also appropriate for people who need a respite from the stressors and temptations of daily life. If people cannot recover in the midst of the situations they live in, seeking inpatient care can be a good way to launch themselves on the road to recovery before they have to cope with their day-to-day lives. Inpatient therapy is also appropriate for those people who are lacking a good support system at home.
People who have a condition that is not yet severe may not need such an invasive course of action. Some people may just need the support system that comes with regular meetings in order to get better, instead of actually having to move in to a facility long term. Because outpatient treatment only take a few hours out of a person’s life, they can still continue taking care of their daily commitments while taking the time out of their day to receive the help they need to recover. Outpatient treatment is also best suited to those who have excellent support systems already in place.
Whether a person will receive which of the two, inpatient vs outpatient care, is ultimately up to professionals who are in charge of the addict’s intake evaluation. There are several questions people should ask themselves before they seek inpatient vs outpatient treatment, however. First, people should be honest with themselves about the severity of their condition and the amount of help they will likely need in order to recover. If detox supervision is required, they will likely need inpatient care. They should ask themselves if they have a good enough support system at home that they can recover in spite of daily stresses or if they should take some time away to get better.
The amount of time people spend in inpatient treatment depends on how severe their condition is and how long it takes them to be ready to face the outside world again. Inpatient treatment usually lasts between four and six weeks, though it could take several months or even a year. Inpatient treatment is a time for people to work through all of their underlying issues and learn new skills for coping with the outside world. People in inpatient therapy programs usually go through detox, receive individual counseling, and attend support groups during their stay. They become educated about their illness or disease and its effects. While seeking treatment, they create a plan for recovery for themselves for their treatment duration and for after they leave treatment. Inpatient therapy is a time for people to rest and recover. It is a time to learn new coping skills and healthier activities that will take the place of their previous addictions once they return to their normal lives.
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