Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. It is not just a case of having the will power to stop, it requires professional help and most times, medical care to overcome. Drug and alcohol treatment programs combined with appropriate clinical support and other helpful activities offered by professionals provide realistic opportunity at positive change and addiction recovery to any person impacted by addiction in a negative way.
With the decision to get treatment for an addiction, there are majorly two types of drug and alcohol treatment:
Inpatient Drug and Alcohol treatment and Outpatient Outpatient Drug and Alcohol treatment
But how do you know which treatment is best for you?
Truthfully answer the following questions:
How severe is the addiction? Is it mild, moderate, or severe?
Do you have a stable home?
Do you have a support system? That is, family or close friends that are available to help you through the recovery?
Do you have good healthcare insurance, or can you afford expensive treatment?
Have you been relapsing?
Do you frequent places where drug and alcohol use is prominent or are you surrounded by people that trigger your addiction?
Do you have a long history of addiction?
Do you have co-existing mental health challenges?
These questions help you get the right perspective on the type of treatment that will be effective for you.
Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment
This form of treatment requires you to live in a medical clinic, rehabilitation centre, or approved facility for a long period. This treatment is often necessary if an individual's level of addiction is severe, if the individual has co-existing mental health challenges, if there is a long history of addiction with frequent relapses, or if an individual's environment triggers the addiction.
The purpose of the inpatient treatment is to detox the individual where necessary, keep the individual under constant medical surveillance with support, while also teaching life skills, having therapy sessions, and other programs to help get the individual on the path of recovery.
Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment
The outpatient drug and alcohol treatment process is designed to provide a drug and alcohol support program specifically developed to support individuals on their journey to recovery, while allowing them to be with family, work, school, and do other activities.
This is a type of treatment where an individual gets the needed help but does not reside in rehabs or clinics. Rather, the individual has the freedom to live at home, perform other responsibilities like work, school, and other tasks. This form of treatment can be made flexible to work around your schedule, but it also depends on the type of outpatient treatment you subscribe to.
Is Outpatient Treatment Better Than Inpatient Treatment?
Firstly, remember that the better treatment for you depends on some factors we have mentioned above, the most important two being the severity of the addiction, and the existence of co-occurring mental or physical health issues.
If an individual’s addiction is not extreme, there are some reasons to consider outpatient treatment as an alternative to inpatient treatment.
Despite addiction being a disease, it is still viewed in a negative light by many, with the society also appropriating blame on the victims. This has placed a stigma on people who go away to rehabs or clinics for treatment. In a bid to avoid the stigma, some people seek treatments where they can still live within their society and go about with their normal lives. Outpatient treatment allows people to do just that.
(Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. You are fighting a disease).
One of the major benefits of outpatient treatment is that it allows workers, students, and stay-at-home parents to get the treatments they need to recover from addiction, while still being able to carry out their businesses. There may not be any need for absences from work or school. So an individual can go to work, go for treatment, then go home all in the same day.
3. Community Integration
Outpatient treatments teach individuals how to handle addiction triggers in their environment and react to challenges. It also aids them in repairing damaged family relationships caused by addiction.
This form of treatment has programs that get individuals involved in their communities, thus giving them a sense of purpose. Outpatient treatment is better than inpatient treatment in the sense that the individuals are not in a controlled environment so they can put their teachings into practice when they face real-life challenges in recovery head-on.
The outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is cheaper than the inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, mostly because you are not a resident patient, rather, you take care of your feeding and accommodation by attending the treatments from your home.
The two forms of treatment are not exclusively different, rather they work hand-in-hand. Recovery is a process and different individuals may start their journey from different points. If an individual undergoes inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, the individual will still need to go through the outpatient treatment because it helps re-integrate the person into the community and acts as a support system while the individual transitions into a full member of society once again.
Likewise, if an individual starts the recovery process with Outpatient treatment but keeps relapsing because of the environment or the inability to keep up with treatment meetings as scheduled, the individual may have to undergo Inpatient treatment where there will be no distractions.
Recovery is a journey, and outpatient treatment has proven to be a crucial part of it.