The debate has gone on forever. Is it better to go stay in a treatment center for some time? Or is it better to continue your everyday lifestyle?  There are many treatment programs available in both of these cases. The decision is a matter of personal preference. What level of supervision and substance abuse treatment do you need? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of each of these treatment options.

Inpatient Care

   Addiction treatment in inpatient care is intensive. There is 24-hour moderation of patients by dedicated staff. The pace and environment are very structured. Days are planned out to be able to allow patients to receive help for both their physical and mental health.

     There is very little exposure to the world outside of the inpatient program. You say goodbye to your phone, your social media, your family and friends and you focus on smart recovery. It is recommended that people who partake in serious drug and alcohol abuse go to inpatient rehab.

Inpatient Programs Cleanses Your Mental Health

    A quality inpatient program will make your mind feel at ease. You will have so many supportive people around you.They will provide you with love and support and allow your mind to relax. If you need a safe space to express your feelings, you always have quick access to a therapist. If you need to be around someone who understands your pain, you’ll be with other people in recovery.

    Aside from being around amazing medical staff and therapists, you’re also taking a break from the outside world. All of your mental attention can go on taking care of your alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction affects so much of a person’s choices. So much of your attention has gone to when you’ll be able to use again, or how you can relieve pain. Now that you’re in a place without your drug of choice, your mind is able to take a break from craving something all the time that isn’t good for you. Inpatient treatment therapies are made to feel like you’re on a retreat designed to better yourself.

   In cases of dual diagnosis, inpatient therapy is almost a must. Dual diagnosis can be extremely hard to manage without the monitoring of a person’s behavior. It is comforting to be able to let others take care of you while you learn how to take care of yourself.

Inpatient Care Makes it Impossible to Relapse

     Unless you decided to up and leave halfway through your treatment program, substance abuse is not an option in inpatient care. There is so much structure to how recovery goes into inpatient care, no matter what kind of program it is. You are taken care of kindly, but you’re also focussed daily on progress.

    The only possible controlled substance that would be around you might be a prescription drug. If you’re going through dual diagnosis treatment, you might need to be on some kind of drug. The medical staff give you what you need though, they’re in charge of the medicine. This sounds a little bit overwhelming, but it’s for your happiness and safety.

     Part of going to any kind of treatment program is surrendering. You will have to surrender to your addiction and to the people who work at your treatment center. When you show up there, they are going to know what’s best for you. It can seem really uncomfortable to put so many aspects of your life into someone’s hands. But, these people are saving you. You won’t have the option to touch drugs and alcohol until you’re out, and by then you won’t even want to.

    You’re living in a place that is nonstop dedicated to your wellness. There is no stressful work calls, no bad influences, no relationship drama. You’re one hundred percent focus on yourself and looking into your own mind. You will learn coping skills by the minute that will make you less inclined to use.


Your Life Does Get Put on Hold for Inpatient Care  

     Much like substance abuse takes over your life, inpatient care will also take over your life. You are literally leaving your daily life behind to stay in a facility. Inpatient treatments remove you from the problem- which is drugs and the things around you. You won’t be able to go casually see a movie or meet up with some old friends and just expect yourself to avoid substance abuse.

    The reason that inpatient care is so serious about its structure isn’t to punish anyone. It sometimes might feel that way because there’s non-stop focus on the addiction. This isn’t meant to be hurtful, it’s just to ensure that you don’t use again once you get out. It’s also to ensure that your coping skills are aligned with your lifestyle. You will have to take a huge break from your normal lifestyle to be able to focus solely on recovery.

Insurance Plans are Changing

   Surely, you had to have seen this con coming. Under the Affordable Care Act, addiction was removed as a pre-existing condition. What this means is that insurance would have covered inpatient rehab, medical detox and whatever else you really needed to ensure the success of your recovery. As recent changes have been made, the lines have blurred a little bit. Inpatient rehab is not the cheapest and it simply may not be covered by your insurance.

Outpatient Care

    Outpatient care is way more casual than inpatient care. It is less structured and there is more flexibility when it comes to treatment options. The major difference between inpatient vs outpatient is that patients come during the day for outpatient care but return home at night. They stop in for some cognitive behavioral therapy, they attend a meeting or two, then do medical detox too. But, they can go home at the end of the day.

    Outpatient care is commonly used for a number of reasons. The most popular of these reasons tend to be when an addict is weaning off of inpatient care. Other times, people with very competitive jobs go into outpatient therapy because they can’t take too much time off of work.  


Outpatient Care is Perfect for People with Families

    If you’re a parent, you don’t want to leave behind your children for too long and that’s understandable. Outpatient drug rehab is the best option for you. You are able to go to your treatment center during the day for different therapy programs. You can do alcoholics anonymous once a day, you can even do medical detox and still go home at the end of the day. You’re able to spend some quality times with your loved ones while still helping yourself grow as a person.

   Outpatient rehab is covered by Medicare B, so if you’re covered by Medicare and have a family, this also helps with affordability. Raising children is stressful. It can be good to have a break from the stress of being a perfect parent to recover. But, with outpatient care, what makes it so amazing is that you can still be present in your children’s lives each day. This is amazing for the children because they get to see a healthier version of the parent or guardian that they love so much.


It is More Flexible Than Inpatient Care

    While Inpatient care is essentially on a schedule, outpatient care is what you make it. Some parts of inpatient care can be really intense. If you partake in substance abuse but aren’t quite at the level of being an addict yet, this is perfect for you. There are some parts of addiction treatment that are overbearing for people who just want to go to rehab to stop something before it’s too late.

    Additionally, if you have a job that’s very demanding, outpatient drug rehab is amazing. Not everyone is able to take off time from work, even if it is to recover in a treatment center. Drug and alcohol addiction is serious, but if you have a high stakes job, it could be detrimental to your mental health to take time off. This is due to how stressful things could be when you get back. Working is also a great coping mechanism for some people. It’s amazing to put energy into something you love doing and if you need to keep doing that, going to cognitive behavioral therapy for some part of the day is a great alternative to more serious rehabs.

Relapse is Way More Likely

   While it’s awesome that you can continue your usual daily life in outpatient rehab, it’s very easy to relapse if not careful. Drug addiction happens when stress isn’t handled the right way. If you’re continuing your lifestyle and things get stressful, you have access to drugs and alcohol. You have access to a casino.

   It’s crucial that you’re able to be honest with yourself about your drug addiction. If you know that you’ll be tempted to use, outpatient rehab isn’t going to be your ideal option. While the idea of giving up life for a little bit to go to drug rehab seems really stunning, nothing would be more stunning to work hard at a recovery and then fall back into drug or alcohol abuse.


The Lack of Structure Can Make It Harder To Take Seriously

      Even as a mature person, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated on our goals. Sometimes, we need people to regularly push us to work hard, especially during a rough time. Treatment programs that are more hands on are great for this. If you’re not feeling motivated to go to therapy all the time, you could feel the need to skip it. If you know that you don’t absolutely have to go talk about your drug addiction, why would you want to?

   If you’re someone that is very busy or gets apathetic about recovery, you may want to consider inpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab can easily be swept under the rug and forgotten about if you’re not taking the time to prioritize it. If you need that extra push, the medical staff and therapists at an inpatient care center will gladly help you. If you think you will be able to keep the routine of going to outpatient care often, then you should be just fine with this more balanced plan.


No Matter What, Addiction Treatment Can Be Successful

  Whether it’s inpatient vs. outpatient, remote or close by, short-term care or long-term care, you are making a huge change in your life. Surrendering to addiction and choosing to live a sober lifestyle is a major lifestyle improvement. You can be successful and happily sober in inpatient rehab. You can be equally as successful, happy and sober in outpatient rehab. There is no right or wrong choice.

   Take the time to be honest with yourself and your loved ones about what is best for you and your mental health. If it’s going away to an inpatient rehab for some time, your drug addiction will be taken care of in a structured manner. If you choose outpatient care, you’ll still receive amazing treatment therapies and see success if you want it.

    The differences between inpatient and outpatient therapy do not make one better or worse. Remember that no matter what you choose, you are making an amazing choice. If you know someone else that has gone through the process of recovery, let us advise you not to compare plans. You will be tempted to curve your interests towards what worked for them, and this choice is none other than yours.


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