Is Outpatient Addiction Treatment As Effective As Inpatient Drug Treatment?

If you are really motivated to beat your addiction and return to the land of the living, you will probably be relieved by the time you reach the front door of the rehab facility. You should be relieved after setting your life on fire by deciding to abuse your drug of choice. Once you get to the front door, there will be decisions to be made about treatment options.

Back about 20 years ago, the emphasis was on inpatient treatment. Any thoughts about rehab would revolve around people having to gather in residential treatment centers during the duration of treatment. Then a strange thing happened. Outpatient treatment programs became a lot more effective. That led a bigger body of addiction sufferers to choose the outpatient route if it was available. When you get to rehab, you too might have to choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment. A lot of factors should be considered when making your decision.

First and foremost, you need to strongly consider the recommendations put forth by the rehab’s staff members. They are the experts and will have a better sense of what would be best for you. In all fairness, there is a good chance that inpatient treatment will be what’s put on the table. This would especially be true if your addiction problem is significant. In that case, you would best be served by choosing the option that gives you the best chance for a full recovery from your addiction illness. With that said, there are plenty of reasons why incoming clients choose to go with outpatient treatment. The most common reasons given include:

  • Time constraints would make inpatient treatment too restrictive
  • Too many ongoing resonsibilities at work or school
  • Inpatient treatment is too expensive
  • Inpatient treatment seems like overkill for a moderate addiction problem
  • Loss of income while confined to inpatient treatment would be detrimental
  • Care responsibilities for a child or adult parent

Clearly, these are all good reasons for an incoming client to strongly request access to an outpatient program. If that is where you land on your decision tree, here is the question you should be asking, “is outpatient addiction treatment as effective as inpatient drug treatment.”

Is outpatient addiction treatment as effective as inpatient drug treatment?

The answer to this question is an indecisive reply of it could be. Here’s the thing. Both types of programs can include a detox program, plus the same types of individual, family, and group therapy options. What it really boils down to is how much time can you devote and do you need to devote to treatment? Remember, inpatient treatment would require you to remain in the facility 24/7 while going through treatment.

Outpatient programs are designed to let you live at home and simply report for treatment based on a schedule. The main difference is all about who is controlling your free time. Let’s discuss the circumstances in which an outpatient treatment program could certainly be as effective as an inpatient program.

Your Committment

With more freedom comes more responsibility. If you are willing to fully commit to any kind of treatment program, you can make it work. An outpatient treatment option would put more pressure on you to act responsibly towards yourself and the program. If you can do that for the duration of treatment, outpatient might well be your best option.

Following Rules

A big part of being responsible is making sure you can follow the rules as set forth by the rehab facility. The rules have to be strict to protect you, other clients, and the integrity of the actual program. It’s not complicated. Here are the rules you would need to follow to make outpatient treatment a good option:

  • You cannot use drugs or alcohol for any reason without instructions from a responsible doctor
  • When you report for treatment, you must have a willingness to submit to drug testing
  • You cannot miss appointments because that could be a sign you are using again
  • You must keep making good progress

If you would prefer outpatient treatment, you could make it work. You just have to behave responsibly at all times. From our side, we can offer you either option when you are ready to start treatment. In order for us to get you started towards recovery, we would need you to pick up the phone and call us at 302-842-2390.