Outpatient vs. Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

The standard approach to substance abuse treatment involves detoxification and management of the withdrawal process in a medical setting. An overall treatment program goes beyond these stages to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction. There are two basic forms of treatment—inpatient and intensive outpatient therapy.

What Is Inpatient Treatment?

Often referred to as residential treatment, this substance abuse treatment model may be short or long term and involves 24-hour, round-the-clock care. Longer programs can last six to 12 months and are highly structured (shorter term ones span 30 to 90 days). The staff and other residents are involved in re-socializing the individual. Activities in the program focus directly on the concepts, beliefs, and patterns of self-destructive behavior. Support services and even employment training may be located on-site.

Inpatient rehab allows the individual to focus all of their effort on their recovery process. Through the inpatient recovery process, the patient will learn about how addiction affects their mind and body, and those around them, as well as excellent guidance on how to continue the path of sobriety once treatment is completed. Patients in inpatient rehab will be part of a well-structured schedule and accompanying environment to help them through recovery. Inpatient programs will also offer psychiatric, spiritual, and nutritional help and services as needed.

How Is Outpatient Rehab Different From Inpatient?

Patients in an outpatient program maintain their routines and can go to work, school, and home while being treated. They visit the treatment facility at predetermined times for check-ins, treatment, and meetings. A more flexible option, it requires individuals to work at sustaining sobriety even while not under supervision.

Patients at an outpatient treatment center have a greater degree of freedom. The help they get contributes to a substance-free life, more positive relationships, and other factors contributing to a fulfilling life of sobriety. Outpatient care offers a great deal of help, assuming an individual regularly attends and actively participates. Although outpatient rehab requires a lower time commitment per week, outpatient programs generally last longer than the average 30-day inpatient programs.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Outpatient rehab focuses directly on the patients’ addiction and co-occurring conditions that influence their habits and recovery. Medications vary case by case, but intensive outpatient therapy (IOP) deals, ultimately, with the skills needed to live a drug- or alcohol-free life.

An intensive outpatient program for substance abuse can focus on the same aspects of addiction as an inpatient program. Patients also learn the coping skills that enable them to tackle life’s problems while remaining sober. As drugs and alcohol are regularly used to cope with hardship and negative feelings, a focus on these skills gives patients tools to sustain long-term sobriety and restore parts of their lives impacted by drug and alcohol abuse. There are biological, sociological, physiological, and spiritual aspects of addiction that are managed through the various components of an IOP.

Intensive outpatient programs may consist of:

  • Medications to manage withdrawal, cravings, and other issues
  • Treatment for depression, anxiety, and other co-occurring disorders
  • Revealing underlying behaviors that contribute to addiction
  • Motivational interviews to help patients seek lasting change
  • Therapy sessions in individual, group, and family settings
  • Relapse prevention and life skills education
  • Educational sessions to increase awareness of addiction
  • Support groups and ongoing recovery coaching

The Goal of IOP

The goal of IOP is to provide intensive, comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of the person’s life that might contribute to their substance use disorder (SUD). This approach encourages a holistic approach to addiction recovery, equipping clients with the skills they need to stay sober while still living a full life.

With this method of care, individuals can learn how to cope with their triggers and manage their emotions without using drugs or alcohol. They can also build a strong support system that will help them in times of weakness. Ultimately, the intensive outpatient program provides individuals with the tools to maintain a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which Should I Choose?

There is no singular answer for this question, as the right road to recovery may be different from person to person. We highly recommend calling our office to discuss the best possible treatment option for you. Screening our clients helps us to create the best treatment plan for them as an individual.

As we said, while there is no one answer for the best form of rehab for everyone, here’s a quick comparison side-by-side, so you can see the main differences:

Inpatient Treatment

  • Best for those who suffer from moderate to severe addiction
  • Requires 24/7 commitment
  • Fully immersive care
  • Removes patient from day-to-day activities like work and family
  • Generally a 30-day program
  • Typically more expensive than outpatient
  • 24-hour medical care and supervision

Outpatient Treatment

  • Best for those requiring less intensive levels of care
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Allows patient to continue working and living normal day-to-day life
  • Therapy sessions are less frequent
  • Lower time commitment per week
  • Lasts for a longer period of time
  • Generally less expensive than inpatient

Alcohol and Drug Rehab in NJ at BlueCrest Recovery Center

Intensive outpatient programs are an important part of addiction recovery. This is particularly the case for those who require more frequent treatment than what is provided through traditional outpatient rehab.

To learn more about the intensive outpatient therapy program provided by BlueCrest Recovery Center, focused on clients’ holistic wellness and led by a team of licensed, experienced professionals, contact us online or call our Woodland Park, NJ facility at 888.292.9652.

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