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Is Inpatient Treatment Better than Outpatient Treatment?

When you finally do decide to seek help for yourself or a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the growing concern may be what type of treatment is going to be most effective—is inpatient treatment better than outpatient treatment? The answer to this question depends on a variety of different circumstantial factors that will differ from one individual to the next. For instance, some may not be able to go directly into an outpatient program because their addiction level is too severe, in this case, inpatient treatment would be better.

Each circumstance is slightly different but generally, if you:

  • Are heavily addicted physically to a drug or alcohol
  • Have been using for a very long time
  • Have tried outpatient treatment and not seen success
  • Have tried group support
  • Have co-occurring addiction or mental health conditions
  • Have dual diagnosis such as other health conditions
  • Do not have support at home

Then you will need to seek inpatient treatment. In any of the above cases, it will generally be better to seek the help of a residential or inpatient treatment facility than it would be to go into outpatient treatment. This is because all of the above cases signify a greater need for help than what is found in outpatient treatment. For instance, if you’ve already tried other treatment options and not had success, why continue trying outpatient programs that do not offer enough monitoring for your successful recovery?

Inpatient Treatment Program

Inpatient treatment is an intense program that offers around the clock support.

If you:

  • Have already completed inpatient treatment
  • Are simply looking for some follow up care
  • Are mildly addicted and do not have a major physical addiction
  • Have succeeded at outpatient treatment in the past
  • Do not suffer from other disorders or conditions

Then you may benefit greatly from outpatient treatment. The truth is, what form of treatment is better will depend on your individual situation. The only way to make a judgment call on that is to know the exact details of your individual health, your addiction and your life. When you talk to a rehab placement specialist or counselor, be sure to include these details and to be open about them so that the counselor can provide you with adequate advice and help.

The type of treatment that works best for you will depend on a variety of factors and even if one program doesn’t work, it’s important to keep on trying. In many cases, it will take trying a few programs of treatment out before you find one that truly works for your needs and provides you with the best chance at recovery. It’s ok if you slip up or relapse along the way, the most important thing to do is to pick up where you left off and continue your recovery journey.

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