Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Treatment Programs

Inpatient vs Outpatient Drug RehabWhen an individual is ready to seek treatment for their drug and alcohol addiction, there are many options from which to choose. The first decision that must be made concerns whether to enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. This decision will be based upon many factors, including:

  • Insurance benefits
  • The severity of the addiction
  • Previous attempts at treatment
  • Overall costs
  • Specific treatment modalities
  • Availability

While some of these factors will make or break a decision, others should have less weight applied to them. The overall cost of a treatment program, for instance, is important, but more important than the costs are the benefits that can be gained for each individual.

Understanding the benefits of each type of program, inpatient vs. outpatient, is the best way to decide what is best for the individual.

Inpatient Treatment Program Benefits

An inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment program offers several benefits. The first benefit, and perhaps the most profound, is the limited access that an addicted individual will have to their drugs of choice or other harmful substances. Inpatient facilities have the right to screen and search visitors as well as look through mail and packages to ensure that nothing untoward is being introduced to the patients.

Another benefit to an inpatient treatment program is the access that patients have to staff members. Many facilities offer around-the-clock nursing and psychiatric help to their residents.

Some inpatient facilities offer luxury accommodations. If the addict, at least in their own mind, believes that they use drugs or alcohol because of stress or other conditions in their life, being surrounded by a calm, relaxing and soothing environment can aid in the recovery process.

Outpatient Treatment Program Benefits

The most significant benefit to an outpatient treatment program begins with the overall cost. Chances are that the cost of the outpatient treatment services will be far less than those of an inpatient facility. There are no room or board costs to cover, of course, and the staff members are not required to live on site.

Also considering the costs of treatment overall, an outpatient treatment program allows the recovering addict to continue working, earn a living and pay their bills. This is crucial if the patient is the sole breadwinner in their family.

Many intensive outpatient programs have schedules that involve their patients on a daily basis, either in the mornings, afternoons or evenings, depending upon the particular day and individual schedule. This provides the recovering addict with the flexibility they need to access treatment as often as they can while still maintaining control over their daily responsibilities.

The final benefit of an outpatient treatment program comes in the form of insurance coverage. Many insurance companies that offer rehab benefits will only pay for outpatient treatment, at least in the beginning. While some insurance providers will cover inpatient care after other forms of treatment have been exhausted, it is much easier to file a claim for outpatient services than it is for care an inpatient facility.

There are good aspects and not-so-good aspects to both types of rehab treatments. The ultimate decision must be based upon what is best for the patient and their family.