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Which Has Better Results: Inpatient Or Outpatient Drug Rehabilitation?

Illness of any type is difficult – not just to the person experiencing it, but also to everyone in the person’s life. When it comes to drug addiction, finding a cure can be an arduous, ongoing, and extremely gut-wrenching process for those who have to sit back and watch on the sidelines without being able to help.

If you have a loved one who is struggling with a drug addiction, you might be wondering if an inpatient program or an outpatient program is better. Since drug addiction is a very difficult and complex disease to overcome, the type of treatment that you seek is crucial to recovery and how long someone can stay sober.

Choosing the right treatment program for an addict is essential to the success the patient will have and to the lasting effect that the treatment will have in the future. To decide whether inpatient or outpatient rehab is better, it is important to examine how the patient got where they are in order to know how to get them out.

Inpatient addiction drug rehabilitation

Inpatient drug rehabilitation can range from a month to up to three months of extensive therapy that is conducted while the individual is an “inpatient,” meaning that they live at the facility and are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The beginning phase of inpatient recovery is the detox process. This is the period where drugs are withheld from the patient, and the patient is closely monitored.

For more serious drugs, withdrawal symptoms can be very severe, and there are times when the withdrawal might actually be the catalyst to failure. So, if you have a loved one who is addicted to a very potent or dangerous drug that has serious withdrawal symptoms, the detox phase is even more important.

When a patient is in inpatient rehab, they can be given medications to ease the symptoms and to make the detox less severe. It is also a good idea for patients who are addicted to more than one substance. Not all detox programs require medications to achieve better comfortability, but some addictions have a higher success rate if the patient is eased into sobriety.

Outpatient addiction drug rehabilitation

The major difference between in- and outpatient programs is that in outpatient rehab, the patient doesn’t stay on the premises; they are allowed to come and go and can still carry on their daily lives while having the support to guide them through the recovery process. Outpatient drug rehabilitation often offers the same services as inpatient facilities; they are just less intensive and might be a better alternative for patients who aren’t as heavily addicted.

Outpatient rehabilitation typically involves several different approaches for the patient:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is where a person begins to see things that they have chosen to ignore and then seeks to change poor decisions they might have made. One of the biggest hurdles to recovery is getting someone to see how their addiction is affecting their lives negatively. If they become cognizant of how their behaviors are harming them, they are may become more motivated to change those behaviors to more productive ones,
  • The contingency management process is where the patient is rewarded for their good behaviors like being sober or attending therapy and meetings. The positive reinforcement is sometimes enough to keep the addicted patient on track.
  • Motivational interviewing is an excellent way to keep the patient moving forward and feeling positive about their future and their road to recovery.
  • The Matrix model is a way that the therapist behaves as both a coach and a teacher, with the focus on boosting self-esteem and building confidence in the patient to keep them moving ahead.
  • Multidimensional family therapy is when the entire family is involved in the patient’s treatment and recovery. The more support an addict gets from those around them, the more likely they are to continue and succeed.

Which one is right for you or your loved one?

To figure out which one is right for your case, it is important to take all aspects of addiction into consideration. Asking the essential questions – like how long has the person been addicted, how seriously is the addiction affecting their life, and whether they even know they have a problem – is crucial to help determine which program is best. In most instances, it will take many methods to keep your loved one addiction free, not just one. Approach it with patience and perseverance and hopefully, they will, too.

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