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Success Rates of Outpatient vs Inpatient Addiction Treatment

How do you define success in substance abuse recovery? Is it long-term sobriety, or is it baby steps forward? Considering the wide toll that addiction can take on your life, success may be defined as decreased substance use, better health and safety, fewer brushes with law enforcement, a better quality of life, more focus at work or school, and/or improved personal relationships. In the best-case scenario, you will realize the benefits and improvements in multiple aspects of your life.

Success may be influenced by many factors: the fit of the selected rehab program, your individual commitment, the tools and strategies added to your toolbox, and the strength of your support system—to name just a few. If you are weighing the benefits of outpatient vs inpatient addiction treatment, you may be wondering which holds the best chance of success for you. The answer may surprise you.

Examining the Differences Between Outpatient and Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Similar to other chronic health conditions, addiction has a high relapse rate. The NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse puts that rate at 40–60%, in the range of chronic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. For this reason, they suggest that relapse indicates not a failure but a need to reevaluate and readjust treatment plans.

A wide variety of treatment programs exist, and finding the one that meets your needs may be easier said than done. A good place to start is by examining the key differences between inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment programs.

Inpatient Rehab for Addiction Treatment

Inpatient rehab, also known as residential treatment, requires you to leave your home and move into a treatment center for a period of time. Inpatient treatment is available in many hospitals and free-standing rehabilitation facilities across the country. In general, inpatient treatment for addiction encompasses these attributes:

The success of inpatient treatment may be largely attributed to secluding patients away from substances and separating them from the physical, mental, and social situations that may have supported or contributed to their addictions. The length of inpatient care will vary, but due to the concentrated nature (24/7) and potential to cover more ground, it will typically be shorter in duration (weeks or months) than outpatient addiction treatment.

Outpatient Rehab for Addiction Treatment

Outpatient rehab describes any of the variety of addiction treatment programs people attend part-time while still living at home. Outpatient treatment usually begins after detoxification is complete, though, in rare cases withdrawal may be supported on an outpatient basis. Although outpatient treatment is not as immersive, the program may still be intensive, offering substantially structured therapeutic interventions.

Because outpatient therapy is less of an immersive experience, some therapies may take longer to achieve the desired impact. For this reason, outpatient therapy is typically spread out over a longer time frame. Outpatient treatment will often follow after inpatient treatment has been completed, as well, to aid in the transition and provide stepped-down care. Ideally, you should find a treatment center that offers customized treatment plans that include both inpatient and outpatient options in order to ensure continuity of care. There, you can have a personalized plan designed to meet your unique treatment needs.

Determining Your Access to Outpatient vs Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Several factors may influence your choice for addiction treatment. The first will likely be your physical condition and degree of dependence. If you are in a situation where withdrawal will likely be difficult or you are physically debilitated by your addiction, then the round-the-clock medical supervision of inpatient rehab will offer the safest, most comprehensive care.

The next influencing factor will be determined by your insurance carrier. If the request for inpatient rehab is denied by your insurance company, you may appeal with the help of your healthcare provider. If still denied, you may face the choice of paying greater out-of-pocket costs in order to obtain the degree of care you need.

And, finally, your ability to commit to inpatient rehab will be influenced by the demands of your day-to-day life. If family or work demands prevent you from making the time commitment required for inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab will be the option that provides you more flexibility. You will need to weigh each of these factors for yourself when deciding which treatment path to pursue.

Improving Your Potential for Success

Your success in addiction rehab will actually depend on many things, including your own commitment and motivation, the strength of the relationships formed with your treatment providers, as well as the aftercare follow-up of the chosen program. Unfortunately, it is impossible to effectively compare the success rates of outpatient vs inpatient addiction treatment. With so many different program variables and the wide variation in individual clients’ needs, it isn’t like comparing apples to apples.

Examining your life as a whole will help you to visualize your treatment goals. Finding a treatment center with a comprehensive continuum of care will increase the chances that your unique treatment needs are met. Ultimately, the charm for your success will be the program that disrupts your addiction and helps you return to a substance-free existence armed with useful and effective tools to help maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

Whether you are looking for inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, New Choices Treatment Centers has a program that is right for you. With a complete continuum of care to treat addiction as well as address the associated co-occurring disorders and traumas that may be complicating your condition, we can customize a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. If you’re ready to get started but need help deciding on the best treatment course, contact us online or call (726) 888-7003.

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