What Are the Pros and Cons of Inpatient Alcohol Rehab?

Inpatient rehab is consistently recognized as having the highest success rates for long-term drug and alcohol recovery. Unlike outpatient rehab, inpatient programs are held entirely on closed campuses. They offer a safe, secure, and completely temptation-free environment that allows patients to focus exclusively on getting well. During inpatient alcohol rehab, people do not have to worry about going to work or to school, or dealing with other outside stressors.

Inpatient programs that last three months or longer give recovering alcoholics adequate time to develop new, healthier coping skills, and an all-around solid foundation for lifelong sobriety. Notwithstanding these things, it’s important to note that inpatient alcohol rehab isn’t guaranteed to work well for everyone. Some people succeed in recovery with far less structure and support.

For these individuals, taking part in outpatient programs offered a far greater connection to their families during treatment, and as a result, higher levels of determination to keep plugging forward. Given its very nature, outpatient programs also encourage participants to take a far more self-managed approach to get well. This minimizes the adjustment between in-treatment living and post-treatment living, and can often make the return to everyday activities both easier and smoother. Carefully considering the benefits and the drawbacks of inpatient alcohol rehab is key for determining whether this treatment type is right for you.

Inpatient Rehab Removes People From Toxic, High-Risk Environments

Inpatient rehab is commonly recommended for people with multiple risk factors for relapse. These can include a:

  • Long history of alcohol abuse
  • History of heavy alcohol use
  • Pattern of repeated relapse events
  • Co-occurring disorders

Inpatient alcohol rehab is also a good choice if you have an unstable living environment or if you experience physical or emotional trauma in your current home. During treatment, you’ll have the opportunity to find an alternative living environment post-rehab. This could include time in a halfway house or sober living facility, as well as help establish your own self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. Although outpatient rehab offers many of the same services that inpatient treatment centers do, outpatient programs work best for people with loving, supportive families. If there are other active drug or alcohol users in your home who have yet to seek treatment for themselves, continuing to remain in your current living environment will invariably undermine your own recovery.

Some People Feel Lonely in Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab can sometimes feel lonely. Family members of people in treatment can send care packages, visit on family days, or even take part in on-campus family counseling. However, throughout much of a person’s treatment, they’ll be separated from the people they love. This can be both a benefit and a drawback.

It’s definitely good to get space from enabling family members and friends, active addicts who aren’t in recovery, and other people who serve as sources of temptation or stress. For younger patients, people with spouses or small children, or people who are generally close to their relatives, spending three months or more with limited contact to the outside world can be hard.

Your Outside Responsibilities May Make Inpatient Treatment an Impractical Choice

For every person seeking addiction treatment, there are a number of obstacles and barriers that must be overcome. Finding a feasible way to pay for addiction treatment is foremost among these. Inpatient alcohol rehab usually costs quite a bit more than most other rehab types. For people who are able to get comparable services, the lower cost of outpatient rehab is often very appealing.

For many people, there’s also the concern of taking care of minor children or elderly parents, going to work, or going to school. For someone in recovery from short-term alcohol addiction and no major risk factors for relapse, outpatient rehab could be the best choice. Although inpatient alcohol rehab has consistently high success rates, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s guaranteed to be the best choice for you. If you need help comparing your options in addiction treatment, we’re here to provide it. Call us now at 302-842-2390 to talk with one of our counselors.