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What’s the Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Care?

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Drug and alcohol treatment options vary from place to place. However, in most cases, they fall into two major categories – inpatient or outpatient care. Both are meant to help you get better, and both are focused on your well-being and rehabilitation.

It is important to understand the difference between inpatient and outpatient care. Both the recovering addict as well as their loved ones need to comprehend the differences before choosing a treatment program.

What Is Inpatient Care?

Also known as residential care or treatments, inpatient care requires the patient to check-in into a controlled environment, where they will receive the proper tools to overcome their addiction. This means patients remain in the facility 24/7 for ongoing support.

Most inpatient care programs go for 30, 60, or 90 days. Many choose inpatient care programs because it provides them with a secure, controlled environment to assess their addiction with professional help. Some of the benefits of checking-in at an inpatient rehab program include:

• Ongoing medical assistance

• Personalized and group therapies

• Comfortable, controlled environment

• Community meetings

What Is Outpatient Care?

On the other hand, outpatient care tends to be more flexible. Outpatient care means whoever checks-in is only required to attend the facility for 10 to 12 hours a week. During these scheduled times, the focus is in providing rehabilitation education, individual assessments, and ongoing support.

Outpatient care programs are sometimes an element of a long-term rehabilitation program. Many choose outpatient care because it allows them to continue living their regular lives. Some of the benefits of outpatient care programs include:

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• Flexible schedules

• Personalized support

• Group meetings

• Ongoing educational support

Which One Is Best for You?

Everyone has different needs, and no addiction is alike. Choose a program that provides individualized, personal care. Inpatient care programs are ideal for those who believe their current lifestyle and home are not a safe environment for them anymore.

If you believe your family, your workplace, or your community are not safe places for you to embark in recovery, an inpatient care facility may be the right environment for you.

If, on the other hand, you believe you have an exceptional degree of commitment to your sobriety, you can be successful in an outpatient care program. These type of programs offer a more flexible schedule and give those participating in it to continue living in their home, working or going to school, and slowly but steadily rebuilding their personal life.

In the end, the only thing that matters is that you reach out to a counselor that can guide you through the best treatment options available for you so you can start your journey to recovery. At this point, you have made the most important decision: getting better. Both inpatient and outpatient care programs are designed to help you achieve just that, at your own pace, with your own merits.

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