Recovery from a drug addiction can be a long and challenging process. Those who enter into recovery programs often do so because the addiction has taken a visible toll on their lives. Fortunately, both inpatient drug treatment and outpatient drug treatment programs have proven to be effective in dealing with drug addictions. Making the choice between inpatient vs. outpatient drug treatment can be complicated unless you know the pros and cons of both types. No matter what the differences are in program types though, completion of the program is generally the primary determinant of success.
When you’re considering the pros and cons of both types of drug treatment programs, the location of the program can be important to possible success. An inpatient drug treatment program is generally located in a hospital or special clinic devoted to the treatment of addictions. However, an outpatient drug treatment program may be located anywhere from a mental health clinic to a counselor’s office. The medical or dedicated location of the inpatient drug treatment program allows for a greater focus on medical support for the addict, enabling a broader level of treatment that can include coexisting conditions. The outpatient treatment locations are often less focused on medical support but with a wider number of available locations.
Program Entry Requirements
Before entry into an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, the patient must undergo evaluation to determine which sort of program is best. This evaluation is usually conducted by a drug counselor or a medical doctor overseeing the patient’s treatment. Variables to evaluate include the severity of the addiction, the patient’s mental health, his current support structure, and the methods available for payment. The more severe cases are often recommend for inpatient drug treatment where twenty-four-hour medical care can be provided, counseling is more intense, and the patient is not distracted by issues outside of treatment. For outpatient care, this is recommended when the patient has a mild addiction that can be treated partly with prescribed medication, when the funds available for treatment are limited, and there’s enough of a family or friends support structure to be of help to the patient during the treatment process.
Medication for Alcoholism vs. Detox Centers
Counseling methods can differ greatly between both drug treatment programs. For an inpatient program, intensive behavioral therapy is the norm. The root causes of the addiction are sought and issues dealt with to remove as many contributing factors to the addiction as possible. Outpatient programs generally rely on a group setting for therapy where the experience of peers plays a significant role in helping the addict identify and resist any drug-taking triggers. An outpatient program also relies heavily on support organizations that carry on the peer-based system of learning effective methods to avoid relapses and finding out those particular areas that can trigger the need to take drugs. Inpatient drug treatment also has some group therapy sessions included, but they’re usually used to support the work done in the one-on-one therapy sessions with a doctor or drug counselor.
Detoxification is an important part of the recovery process. During detoxification, the drugs currently in the addict’s system are purged, leaving the addict clean and sober. There are two primary methods used for detoxification without withdrawal: rapid detox and tapering off. Rapid detox is a medical procedure that removes the drugs from the patient while the patient is under anesthesia, whereas tapering off involves lessoning the drug intake on a consistent basis until it is no longer in the system. A substitute drug is often used for the tapering-off process to avoid the dangers of overdose and to get the patient off the original drug as soon as possible. Both methods can be used in an inpatient drug treatment program, and rapid detox requires medical supervision that’s usually only available with inpatient care. Inpatient treatment also has the advantage of medical monitoring in case withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, allowing medical workers to treat those symptoms. Outpatient care usually involves the tapering off process with a non-addictive substitute drug. Unfortunately, the tapering off process has a higher failure rate in outpatient programs because the patient has increased access to addictive substances while not under medical supervision.
Treatment length can vary significantly according to the patient’s needs. Inpatient and outpatient programs tend to differ on the average time needed to complete a program successfully. Inpatient drug treatment is usually a more intense process, requiring more time per week of active treatment than an outpatient program. This added time does shorten the total program length for an inpatient drug treatment program, and most inpatient programs are completed in one to six weeks while an outpatient program can take up to a year. There are intensive outpatient treatment programs available which add to the weekly time commitment, upping treatment times from one or two hours of therapy a week to ten to twenty hours of weekly counseling. This intensive approach can cut down the time of an outpatient treatment program to as few as one to three months. Despite the lowered treatment length though, the outpatient program still leaves the addict exposed to the same environment that helped contribute to the condition.
How to Get Drug and Alcohol Rehab Insurance Coverage
The measure of success for inpatient rehab vs. outpatient rehab is often quite different, depending on the type of program chosen. For an inpatient drug treatment program, success is often measured through overcoming the addiction and continuing to live a drug-free lifestyle long after the program’s completion. For an outpatient program though, successful completion may simply be a lessening of the drug use. This does not mean that abstinence isn’t the ultimate goal of an outpatient program. What it does mean is that many of the more common outpatient treatment programs concentrate on substituting a regulated drug that does not have addictive properties for the more dangerous drug that the user is addicted to. There are drug-free outpatient drug treatment programs available that concentrate instead on a drug-free existence through more intensive counseling methods than those used with common outpatient drug maintenance programs. These more intensive programs can be more expensive and time consuming, but they also have a lowered relapse rate than the maintenance programs.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Treatment Costs
The cost of drug treatment on an inpatient basis can be much higher than treatment on an outpatient basis. For inpatient drug treatment, the cost can be between $6,000 and $30,000 for the usual thirty-day program. For outpatient treatment, the cost drops significantly, costing a minimum of $2,000 for a sixty-day program. The price of both inpatient drug treatment and outpatient care can rise significantly, depending on the specific program entered into. Extended treatment can lead to lower costs for either program as well, with subsequent program extension times costing only a fraction of the original amounts. Most group health plans offer payment coverage of both inpatient and outpatient programs though, which can lower your out-of-pocket expenses a great deal. Many inpatient drug treatment programs also offer financing if you don’t have group coverage, breaking up the total cost of the treatment into more manageable chunks.