The decision to enter rehab can be a difficult one for you and your loved ones. Admitting there is a problem and figuring out how to solve it is not easy. Addiction is a serious disease that has debilitating social stigmas attached to it. No one wants to believe that he or she fits the stereotyped image of a drug addict. Admitting there is an addict in the family can tear families apart, if it hasn’t already.
Still, the decision to seek rehab represents your best chance to beat the addiction, get your life straightened out and pull your family back together. It can be the start of a whole new lifestyle that is happy and carefree. For rehab to work, however, you have to commit.
Once you make the decision to kick your habit, there are a few decisions you might not have been prepared for. Choosing a rehab center can be overwhelming because you feel like so much is riding on your choice. Anyone you talk to who has been through rehab will have a different perspective on the experience. What you need to keep in mind is that the decision to start somewhere is the best decision you can make.
If you’re thinking about enrolling in rehab — or helping a loved one choose a recovery center — you will have to decide between inpatient and outpatient rehab. Both offer distinct benefits and drawbacks.
Comparing Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab
There is one basic difference between inpatient and outpatient – where you live. Inpatient is a 24/7 rehab program that becomes your whole life for 30 days or more. Outpatient is also a program that requires a 24/7 commitment, but the evening hours and weekends are your own. The rest is pretty much the same: therapy, classes, group sessions, relaxation exercises and better nutrition.
For people who need direction and appreciate structure, inpatient rehab works well. Those who are a bit more independent might find it difficult to handle having everything dictated to them, from meal choices to leisure activities.
No rehab program is going to work if you don’t stick with it. Considering your options carefully, picking the best one for you and making the commitment to follow the program are all key to achieving lifelong sobriety.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Outpatient Rehab
Outpatient rehabs offer several treatment options. Some centers provide a full day of therapies, counseling and activities. Others offer a more limited menu of options. Some may recommend attending a local detox center, and others may permit treatments such as methadone or suboxone — these are typically done outside the program. All outpatient rehab centers send clients home at the end of the day. This means a recovering addict can sleep at home, eat familiar foods, see friends and family members, and lead a lifestyle that is closer to normal. For these reasons, outpatient rehab is usually less expensive than residential rehab.
This freedom provides obvious benefits, but it can also lead to temptation. The recovering addict is free to go wherever and see whomever he or she chooses. Outpatient rehab also allows the recovering addict to focus on issues other than sobriety, such as paying bills, caring for children, preparing meals, handling work problems and more. The outpatient approach allows the addict to maintain a firm footing in “real life” but the distractions may cause stress and possible relapse.
Nevertheless, as recovery progresses, there should be less reliance on counseling and therapy, and ultimately, a smooth transition an abstinent lifestyle.
Does Outpatient Rehab Work?
The success of rehab in any setting relies heavily on the client’s commitment to getting clean and sober. There are proven methods employed in rehab programs that combine individual therapy with group activities, education, nutrition and relaxation techniques. These same methods are available in outpatient programs — they are just set up a little differently.
Typically, the therapist structures an individualized program, monitoring progress and making adjustments as you progress in your treatment. In addition to individual therapy sessions, the therapist can recommend participation in different group counseling sessions and 12-step programs. For a truly comprehensive outpatient rehab program, a nutritionist, personal trainer and other alternative health practitioners can be included.
These additional services may or may not be available at the same facility, but that is one of the benefits of outpatient rehab – you are not limited to the services provided in one location. You may opt for counseling and classes at one facility and incorporate 12-step group meetings and yoga at different locations. Your yoga class may not even be taught in the context of a rehab program, but your therapist may consider it part of your recovery.
In an outpatient program, the client has more responsibility to follow treatments. On the other hand, an inpatient rehab program doesn’t allow for much flexibility. If you don’t show up for group therapy, it isn’t difficult for the staff to track you down since the program is in a contained location. Your therapist isn’t likely to come by your house to be sure you are following your outpatient program.
Another key difference is your support network. In outpatient rehab, you have easier access to your already established support network. Inpatient programs, however, usually require you to create a new support network, typically with others in the program. They often discourage contact with outsiders, at least at first. If you already have a great support network in your life, you can lean on them more while doing outpatient rehab.
Does Insurance Cover Outpatient Rehab?
There are no set rules when it comes to insurance coverage for rehab. Depending on your insurance policy, it is possible you are covered for some or all of the treatments included in a comprehensive outpatient rehab program. Most insurance will at least cover a certain number of therapy sessions. Many have more liberal coverage for substance abuse than other mental and behavioral health issues.
Some parts of outpatient rehab are available for free or nearly free. Every community has a least one 12-step group that is open to anyone in recovery. These community-based 12-step groups are either free or rely on a nominal donation from each participant.
There may be other programs you already participate in that could become part of your outpatient rehab program. If you belong to a gym, you may be able to ask the trainer to coordinate a physical routine that would support your recovery efforts. If your gym doesn’t have a nutritionist, you might be able to take nutrition classes at the local community college or training center for very little cost. Depending on your tax status, you may be able to claim a deduction for those classes.
Health insurance can be tough to deal with and expensive. The freedom of outpatient rehab allows you the opportunity to control some costs. And, of course, there are no room-and-board charges because you live at home while you are recovering.
How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?
Outpatient rehab can last as long as required — it tends to be a slightly less structured program than inpatient rehab. With outpatient rehab, there is no transition to make because you won’t have to become accustomed to a new environment. While going through rehab, you will continue to live at home, dealing with the pressures of your daily life.
Because outpatient rehab is less intense, it can last longer than inpatient programs. Addiction recovery is a very personal matter — while doctors can tell you approximately how long it takes the body to clean out all the toxins, the mental and emotional part of recovery is far less specific. Since you can continue to maintain your regular responsibilities while in outpatient rehab, it doesn’t matter as much if it takes longer.
One thing to keep in mind if you are concerned about the length of time outpatient rehab might take is that you probably didn’t become an addict overnight. It took months, maybe even years, for your addiction to reach this point. Understand that it might take at least that long to unravel this addiction and enter a lasting recovery. Be patient with yourself.
What Is Outpatient Rehab Like?
Recovering from addiction is hard no matter which type of program you choose. Approximately one in every ten Americans over the age of 12 is addicted to alcohol and drugs, while only 11% receive treatment for their addiction. The relapse rate for addiction recovery is comparable to that of other chronic diseases, so your best chance of kicking your addiction is to get professional help.
Outpatient rehab is very subtle. You live in your house with your family, go to work and socialize as you always have. However, your schedule also includes regular sessions with your therapist. If you’re familiar with talk therapy, you may find rehab therapy a bit different. In order to uncover the issues underlying your addiction, more work and probing are necessary. In between therapy sessions, you will have homework to do, including readings, reflections and other exercises.
While in outpatient rehab, one of your first priorities might be to secure your support network. Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient programs do not come with a built-in support system. You’ll have your therapist and any other alternative health providers involved in your recovery, but it is important to connect with other recovering addicts. No one can do this alone — you will need to reach out to people who have been where you are and who are currently struggling right along with you.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab provides comprehensive care away from the stresses of everyday life. This approach can give your loved one an opportunity to focus exclusively on getting sober without worrying about work, childcare, paying bills, financial problems, legal trouble and more. It’s more expensive than outpatient care, but it also provides more services.
Inpatient rehab often begins with detox. Medical detox can help your loved one recover from withdrawal in a safe and more comfortable way. After detox, a high quality inpatient rehab will develop a customized counseling and therapy plan that addresses specific treatment needs. This may include therapy for disorders such as depression or anxiety. It can also include life skills training, a fitness program, enhanced nutrition and fun activities.
Adjusting to the “real world” after rehab can be challenging. To ease the transition, many rehab centers provide aftercare. Aftercare is post-care planning that can incorporate a diverse range of services. These services can include phone calls, therapy sessions, counseling recommendations, continued 12 Step participation, and family assistance. Recovering addicts who have the support of family members after a stay in residential rehab are more likely to continue living in sobriety.
Does Inpatient Rehab Work?
Inpatient rehab can be a very intense experience, especially if you start with emergency detox. Being thrown into a medical environment with serious health issues, virtually cut off from the people in your life, can be scary. But for some, this is the most effective way to make the transition from addict to clean living.
Inpatient rehab isolates you from everything you know for a period of time. If you were engaging in a typical addictive lifestyle, this isolation can be key to achieving long-lasting sobriety. Getting away from the people you get high with can give you a chance to clear your head. If the people in your inner circle are abusers or enablers, inpatient rehab might work best.
One thing you learn in rehab is that your drinking and drug buddies don’t want you to be sober. After all, they want you to be just as dysfunctional as they are. It is nearly impossible to recover from addiction if you are constantly surrounded by other addicts or visiting the same places where you used to get high. Inpatient rehab removes this danger and surrounds you with people who see the value in getting better, just like you.
Does Insurance Cover Inpatient Rehab?
Many insurance companies cover inpatient rehab programs, but it depends on your policy. There are also some inpatient facilities that do not accept insurance — if you thought inpatient was the obvious choice for financial reasons, you’ll have to do some more investigation.
The benefit of inpatient rehab with respect to insurance coverage is that these facilities may have staff that regularly works with insurance companies to figure out coverage issues. You just need to call the facility and give them some information about your policy. They can then tell you how much insurance coverage you can expect. This is another way that inpatient rehab makes you feel taken care of, because everything you need can be handled in one location.
How Long Does Inpatient Rehab Last?
Typically, inpatient rehab programs are 30 or 90 days. The actual length of time depends on the client’s progress toward a strong recovery. An inpatient rehab facility is a very protective environment focused on the sole pursuit of ending addiction. Being clean and sober inside the facility is not the same as doing it in the real world. Some people take longer to transition out of this nurturing environment.
For long-lasting recovery, you need to build a network of friends, family and co-workers to support your recovery after you leave the facility. Rehab may be measured in days or months, but recovery is a lifestyle you will seek to maintain forever.
What Is Inpatient Rehab Like?
Inpatient rehab can be intense at times. You step out of your regular life into a place where people constantly talk about addiction and recovery issues. You are surrounded by people who have been through recovery or who are struggling to get through it just like you. For the first time in years, you feel things again and have someone there to help you understand how to handle your feelings without drugs.
Inpatient rehab facilities are extremely protective, nurturing environments. When you first get there, you will feel a bit disoriented. Stripping away the layers of chemicals and restoring your body to its natural feelings is a big change, both physically and mentally. The routines and the staff at inpatient facilities are all there to support your recovery in every way. They will take care of you until you learn how to take care of yourself.
Having nutritious food prepared for you and being given a schedule of educational and recovery related activities helps ease you into the work you are there to do. Every time it gets hard, there is someone to remind you that you are not going through recovery on your own, teach you something new about yourself or show you how happy and fulfilling a clean and sober life can be.
Going to inpatient rehab is like joining a club. It’s an unfortunate club that we would all rather not qualify for, but it is also an exclusive club of good people who help each other through the worst of times. You’ll learn the language of the club and be able to use it for entry into all recovery circles. When you enter inpatient recovery, you may feel ashamed and want to hide out there. But when you leave, you will be proud of your accomplishments and know you have formed life-saving bonds.
Find the Rehab Program That’s Right for You
There are no statistics to suggest that inpatient rehab is more effective than outpatient rehab. Both styles of rehab work. The key is to get the right fit for you.
The depth and breadth of rehab choices can make your choices overwhelming. For more information on choosing a rehab center that’s right for your needs, review our list of Top Ranked Rehab Centers and contact a counselor now.
Top Ranked Rehab Centers makes it easy for you to compare features of various rehab centers, so you can make an informed choice. The most important part of choosing a rehab program for yourself or a loved one is starting right away. Call one of our centers and get started today.