There are several benefits to both inpatient and outpatient care. If you’re looking for treatment for a substance problem, there are many factors to keep in consideration. You’ll need to think about all sorts of things, ranging from cost-effectiveness to time management. Of course, there are many reasons why inpatient care can be the best option for many individuals. Nonetheless, outpatient care is the most popular setting for substance abuse treatment. This is because this type of care is not just a treatment program that allows patients to stay home while getting help for substance dependence. It’s also an effective and lasting solution that helps to treat the problems that arise from a history of substance abuse.
Outpatient Care vs. Inpatient Care for Addiction
Inpatient care requires admission into a rehabilitation center. This method is pretty common amongst patients who are confronting a severe addiction for the first time. To be formally admitted into a rehabilitation center, a doctor must approve and sign paperwork stating that the individual needs to be admitted. To be discharged, a doctor must write a discharge note. However, some facilities allow patients to check out at any time. The amount of time the process takes can range; it can either be short-term or long-term. The length of treatment mainly depends on the kind of the addiction, the needs of the individual in recovery, and the judgment of the medical professionals. Patients may attend outpatient care facilities after going through an inpatient program and once their symptoms lessen or become manageable. Besides location, another main difference between inpatient and outpatient care facilities is that inpatient treatment is generally more expensive than outpatient.
Outpatient care offers a much less restrictive experience than inpatient care. Patients don’t have to live at the treatment facility in order to get the help they need. Instead, they are asked to come to the treatment center for regular therapy or checkup sessions. Patients are allowed to go home after their appointments; however, they may be subject to occasional drug testing. This helps to maintain the necessary element of accountability. During recovery, it’s critical for individuals to remain accountable and have a system of support as they work towards overcoming substance abuse in their lives. Occasional testing paired with helpful therapies and education can help people to stay on track. Many individuals who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse seek treatment at outpatient care facilities. And even once the individuals stop using, they may choose to continue their treatment to prevent a relapse in the near future.
Why Many Choose Inpatient Care
Many people have the idea that there are levels of substance abuse and dependence. For example, some individuals believe that a person who is suffering from heroin abuse is worse off than someone who is dealing with an alcohol problem. A lot of people feel that substance problems which involve illicit drugs are more intense or severe than dependence on pain medication or alcohol. People also tend to think that if an individual has been abusing a substance for a very long time, he or she is in a worse position than a person that has only recently become dependent on that substance. In other words, they believe that time equates to severity. The longer a person has been using, the worse the abuse problem is. Often, these thoughts prove to be misunderstandings. They are not always true at all. But, it’s thoughts like these that form opinions about treatment.
When people think about substance abuse treatment, they think about whether or not it can help people. A lot of individuals are unsure of whether or not treatment can actually help those who are dealing with severe cases of substance dependence. Sometimes, people feel that treatment will be more helpful if it’s administered in an inpatient setting. The general belief is that inpatient treatment offers one of the most effective approaches for serious and potentially dangerous cases. Naturally, inpatient care facilities offer prescription medication services on-site for patients that need prescriptions filled. Some patients prefer inpatient care if they are seeking treatment for their substance abuse and they have a history of relapse.
For some, inpatient care may be the best option. But, it’s important to realize that outpatient care is very effective and it might be what you need in order to overcome an alcohol or drug abuse problem.
The Benefit Choosing of Outpatient Care
One of the main reasons why people do not get treatment when they need it is fear. They fear the discomfort of living away from home while they get help. They’re afraid that they will have to quit working or attending school in order to get treatment. Residential treatment is one of the first things people think about when they consider getting help for a substance problem. They immediately think about moving away from home and living with people they don’t know as they all work towards recovery together. Although this approach has proven to help many people, it’s just not the best choice for others. And the thought of attending an inpatient facility often causes people to decide against getting treatment altogether. Of course, this isn’t good because individuals who do not get help may fall farther into substance abuse, bringing more pain to them and their loved ones.
Thankfully, residential treatment isn’t the only approach to recovery. Outpatient care is a convenient option for recovering patients who would like to continue working and spending time with family while seeking treatment. Many outpatient care facilities realize that patients have jobs, families, friends, and children that require their attention. This is why they provide flexible hours of operation to accommodate the needs of every individual. Most rehab centers operate during the day and night, Monday through Friday. However, some treatment centers allow patients to attend sessions on the weekends. Appointments typically last a couple of hours, so patients will have plenty of time to fulfill the other obligations they have throughout the week. Outpatient care is considerably less expensive than inpatient care since patients aren’t staying at the facility. Individuals who have struggled with substance abuse in the past but want to prevent relapse may choose to seek outpatient care.
Getting Outpatient Care Through Diablo Valley
Outpatient care facilities have several clinically proven approaches to treating substance abuse. Motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are two examples of talk therapy treatments that help individuals to overcome the varying aspects of their substance use problems. Motivational enhancement helps substance abusers find the inspiration to end their alcohol or drug abuse. Also, professional therapy works to dig deeper than the surface when it comes to substance dependence and abuse. It’s important to understand that drug or alcohol dependence usually has more than one underlying cause. Often, people who are suffering from these issues are also dealing with the effects of other things like chronic pain, trauma, or stress. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a style of therapy that identifies the reasons for an individual’s addictive behavior. Then, it helps those individuals find methods of gaining satisfaction or peace without the use of drugs or alcohol.
For example, if an individual developed an alcohol use problem as a result of stress, therapy works to help the person find a better remedy for stress. After all, even when the person is free from alcoholism, he or she will still deal with stress from time to time. So, in order to avoid the alcohol problem from redeveloping, the individual will need to gain relapse prevention skills. While in recovery, people can gain these skills from therapy. These methods will help them to deal with triggers (like stress) in a healthy way.
Choosing a Treatment Option to Suit Your Personal Needs
Finally, outpatient treatment helps individuals to feel more comfortable. Withdrawing from substance use can be very difficult for those who are working to overcome drug or alcohol abuse. When people stop using substances on which they’ve become dependent, their bodies go into a sort of “shock” called withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can be very intense and extremely uncomfortable. As a result, people may struggle to get through recovery. But outpatient treatment here at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services offers a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. Medical professionals can administer medication along with therapeutic sessions to ease the withdrawal symptoms and help those who are in treatment.
Different treatment options are appropriate for different situations among patients. If you’re curious about which style of care best suits your situation, then give us a call here at Diablo Valley. Our phone number is (925) 289-1430. Finding a rehabilitation center that meets your specific needs can be difficult. But, we are here to offer quality outpatient care!
Originally posted on December 18, 2018. Updated on March 18, 2019.