Many people who have made the decision to seek treatment for substance abuse have a negative idea of what rehab is like. Based on depictions of treatment in movies and other media, they imagine being kept under lock and key. But it is simply not nearly as grim as that. Substance use disorder is an illness that develops over time, affecting every individual in a different way. It makes sense then that the treatment approach should cater to the specific needs of every patient.

One of the most important choices to make when considering drug treatment is whether to attend inpatient or outpatient rehab. Usually, during the first consultation at a rehab center, individuals are talked through the options and the most appropriate way forward decided on. Both residential and outpatient rehab have their benefits and advantages and here we take a closer look at them.

What Is Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Most people associate inpatient or residential rehab as a more intensive level of care and while this is true, this does not mean that outpatient drug treatment is in any way diluted. It is usually recommended for individuals to reside at a rehab center if they have developed substance dependency and are at high risk of developing an addiction. There are many different reasons a person is likely to benefit from residential rehab, including the following:

  • They are likely to need monitoring throughout rehab to ensure they are protected from relapse
  • They live in an environment where others are openly using or abusing substances
  • They want to remain away from loved ones, co-workers and friends as they heal from substance abuse

One of the best advantages of inpatient rehab is that the individual’s treatment program is structured so that they are busy throughout the day. This ensures they remain distracted from thinking about drugs or alcohol or any cravings they still may be experiencing after detox. Instilling a new and healthier regimen through therapies and treatments on a rehab program also helps build confidence to face a drug-free life. Throughout inpatient rehab at Elevate, patients are able to receive personal attention 24/7 while completing a treatment program that’s tailored to their needs.

Inpatient Detox

For many people who have been abusing highly potent substances like opioids or cocaine, it is recommended that the detox phase of rehab take place in an inpatient treatment center. This is because drugs and alcohol have a cumulative and highly negative effect on a person’s physical and mental health and when they abruptly stop using, symptoms can be intense, particularly for opiate withdrawal. Being on an inpatient detox program ensures patients have the necessary medical supervision throughout the process so that withdrawal is as comfortable as possible.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

Outpatient rehab differs from the residential option in that patients are allowed to remain at home while they receive treatment. There are two main reasons people choose outpatient drug treatment:

  • They have mild substance use issues or do not require medical supervision through opiate withdrawal and rehab
  • They have undergone opiate withdrawal in detox at residential rehab and require outpatient aftercare when the program is completed and the return home

In essence, outpatient alcohol treatment is for individuals who are ready or able to remain active in their daily lives with the additional support of therapy. This enables people who have completed inpatient rehab to return to work with continued care and support or those with daily responsibilities who can’t afford to commit the time to a residential program.

The kind of treatments and therapies available for outpatients is generally the same they would receive if they were staying at a facility. The difference is that they are able to arrange therapy sessions around their daily routine, which allows them to be discrete about dealing with their issues. As with residential rehab, Elevate outpatient services have a big component of individual and group counseling and therapy which has been shown to be extremely effective in supporting people in recovery on a daily basis.

One of the most significant advantages of outpatient drug treatment is the fact that individuals are able to reach out for advice and support whenever they need it. This means they can address difficult situations and circumstances that would otherwise lead them to use drugs or alcohol with the help of their therapist or peers. Ultimately, the flexibility of an outpatient program and the continuous support combine to promote better recovery outcomes.

Rehab aftercare is delivered on an outpatient basis when a person leaves a residential facility and transitions back into daily life. When a person has completed a program they are very likely to be at the same stage of recovery as someone on an outpatient drug treatment program, making it the most appropriate level of care for them as well. However, some people require more support than others and they would be recommended to go on an intensive outpatient alcohol treatment program or IOP which offers a more comprehensive approach to support in aftercare.