Inpatient vs. Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment in California: Which One Should You Seek?

Recovery is a step-by-step process that often begins with a desire to change your relationship with a substance. There are many roads you can take to start your journey, but the major treatment methodologies essentially fall into two categories: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.

It’s important for both the person suffering from addiction and their loved ones to understand the differences and unique benefits offered by both types of treatment so that the individual’s recovery can start as early as possible.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex illness that affects people differently. Depending on the severity of the illness and the substance you are addicted to, one type of program may benefit you more than the other. With the help of reliable alcohol and drug rehab centers in California, freedom from addiction is an achievable goal. But the journey begins with getting treatment, whether it’s through inpatient or outpatient care.

What Can I Expect from Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

Inpatient treatment, also known as inpatient rehabilitation or residential rehabilitation, is a type of treatment program where individuals struggling with addiction can live at a facility with others who are also receiving treatment for their drinking or drug problem.

While receiving inpatient care, residents can avoid triggers and distractions within an environment that is specifically designed to remove these elements from the equations. A typical program can run anywhere from 28 days to 12 months, with some even extending their residential care for more than a year.

In many facilities, the first step towards recovery is medically assisted detoxification. Once completed, you can choose from a range of suggested recovery options such as the 12-step program, behavioral counseling, and many other evidence-based techniques. You may also be evaluated for co-occurring mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Benefits of Residential Rehab:

  • Allows for more focus on recovery
  • 24/7 support
  • Provides a medically safe environment
  • Offers both short-term to long-term programs

Downsides of Residential Rehabilitation:

  • Access to the outside world is not always available
  • Limited visiting time from family and friends
  • Patients must take time off from responsibilities at home, work, or school

What Is Outpatient Treatment for Addiction?

Residential rehab is not always the best option for you or a loved one with an addiction. Many people in California have achieved sobriety while receiving outpatient care. In fact, not living in a facility can motivate you more to get rid of the addiction as you fill your schedule with productive work and habits. Outpatient care can be the best option if you are:

  • Receiving at-home medical care
  • Caring for others (such as a child, senior, or person with a disability)
  • In a high-profile position at work
  • Cannot commit to the program offered in residential rehabilitation

One of the main advantages of this form of treatment program is that you can still receive similar addiction counseling, therapy programs, and group sessions while living in the comfort of your home.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab:

  • Typically more affordable than residential rehab
  • Gives more flexibility for patients to customize their program
  • Appointments can be scheduled during the weekends and in the evenings so as not to interfere with work or school
  • Individuals with co-occurring conditions may have more access to separate treatments
  • Ability to use relapse prevention techniques in a real-world setting

Downsides of Outpatient Rehabilitation:

  • Lack of 24-hour care
  • Prone to environmental triggers and temptations
  • Easy access to substances
  • Complications such as life-threatening withdrawal symptoms can’t be monitored or quickly attended to

Choosing the Best Treatment Program For You

It is possible to free yourself from the bonds of addiction, but you must choose the most suitable recovery path that fits the severity of the problem and your unique situation. Fortunately, there are over a hundred drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in California that offer both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Go over the questions below and use your answers to determine the best treatment plan for yourself:

  • Is it possible for you to leave work, school, or home responsibilities? And if so, for how long?
  • Is your environment conducive to achieving or maintaining sobriety, or are you surrounded by triggers?
  • Can you commit to regularly traveling to the facility, maybe even every day?
  • Do you require specialized services (gender-specific rehab, disability assistance, etc.)?
  • Do any of your family members drink or use drugs?
  • Have you tried quitting in the past but were unsuccessful?
  • Would inpatient treatment make you feel more secure and confident in your recovery?
  • Are you surrounded by friends or colleagues who may influence you to drink or use drugs?

Get Addiction Support Today

If you would like to get treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. For individuals in the early stages of a substance use disorder, treatment can prevent it from getting worse. No matter which program you choose, residential or outpatient rehab, you can still reap the benefits of having medical professionals and counselors assisting you in your recovery. What is important is that you take the first step today.