When it comes to addiction treatment, there are two main categories of care: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient rehabilitation treatment means that the individual lives in a residential treatment center for a set period of time. They receive intensive therapy, group counseling, and strategies for living life as a recovering addict. Outpatient rehabilitation treatment allows the individual to live at home and report to the facility for treatment on a daily basis. As time goes on and the recovery process continues, they will have counseling sessions less frequently. Outpatient rehabilitation treatment is a good choice for many people. Here are some of the advantages of outpatient rehabilitation as well as considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision with the help of your doctor.
Allows for Family Support
When you go to an inpatient or residential treatment program, you have limited contact with your family and friends outside of the facility. This means that their ability to support you is limited. When you go to outpatient rehabilitation, you will still have contact with your family and friends. In fact, you will live with the people you have been living with to this point (or you might choose to move in with family members if you were living on your own or with someone else who was using substances).
Of course, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. If you do not have supportive family or friends, outpatient rehab can leave you feeling alone and unsupported during the times that you are not at the facility. In addition, if your family and friends are also using or abusing substances, that is not the environment you should be in at this time. It is important to weigh the benefit of being with family and friends against the risks of being with those who might be enabling or even encouraging unhealthy behaviors.
Allows for School and Work Obligations
Put simply, most people cannot simply stop working for a period of time while they go to an inpatient rehabilitation facility. While there are medical leave laws, it is possible that you might miss out on needed income. If you are a student in school, missing school could mean that you need to repeat the year or lose credits that you have been working toward completing. While your health must come first, outpatient rehabilitation can allow you to maintain your presence at work and school while still getting treatment. Many times, treatment can be arranged around your working or school hours.
The drawback here is that if you are overwhelmed by work or school, adding outpatient rehabilitation treatment to an already packed schedule can be nearly impossible. It can add stress to an already stressful situation, which is not good for your mental health or the recovery process. Talk to your care provider about whether it is feasible for you to continue working or going to school full-time while you are in treatment. One compromise might be that you can go to work or school part-time for the time being.
Outpatient Rehabilitation Costs Less Than Inpatient Services
If the cost of inpatient services is an issue, outpatient services will be less expensive than inpatient services in almost every circumstance. You will not be living at the facility, so you won’t be paying anything toward room and board (other than your own rent or mortgage and grocery bills). The treatment is not as intensive or constant, so the cost for the professionals involved in your case will also be less.
With that being said, keep in mind that health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare can all contribute toward the cost of inpatient care. If your care providers feel strongly that you need the support of a residential facility, there is usually a way to make it possible, financially speaking.
Allows for More Privacy
There is a certain stigma surrounding mental health care, and this is particularly true when it comes to addiction treatment. It is understandable if you do not want the world to know that you are in rehab. If you go to live in an inpatient facility, it is likely that people in your life will wonder where you are and they might find out about your situation. While there is nothing to be ashamed about and you should feel proud for seeking the care that you need, it is your right to keep your medical information private if you want to.
Do remember that all mental health and addiction service providers are bound by HIPAA, so whichever type of treatment you choose, your privacy will be respected and protected. What you choose to tell others about your experience and treatment is completely up to you.
Encourages Individual to Find Community Support
While in inpatient rehab, participants create a circle of support within the facility. When they leave and go to their home cities, they need to find a new circle of support by joining local support groups, finding counselors, and learning how to function again in an area where they meet people and go past places that remind them of their drug or alcohol use.
In outpatient rehabilitation, however, you would learn how to deal with these challenges and create community support for yourself while still living in your city. This means that you would emerge from the intensive phase of recovery treatment with a circle of support already in place. You would already have practice avoiding people who were enabling and encouraging your addiction, and you will already have made new friends who will support your healthy habits.
Making the decision to go to either inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation is an excellent step in the right direction toward a drug- and alcohol-free life. The decision is up to you, but your doctor, therapist, or addiction specialist can help you make it based on what would be best for your individual circumstances. Talk to your doctor today about getting yourself into treatment and on your way to recovery from your addiction. It will be one of the most important steps in your life and can set you up for a lifetime of success.