Blog The holiday season is often synonymous with joy, festivities, and gatherings with loved ones. However, for those in addiction recovery, the holidays can pose
Detox, Inpatient, Outpatient: How to Know Which Addiction Treatment Is Right for You
Realizing you can benefit from addiction treatment is the first step toward recovery. A round of applause is in order. This is one of the hardest and bravest things a person can do. In the United States, it’s estimated that 10% of adults will suffer from a drug addiction at some point. And 75% of those people report not receiving any form of treatment. So, you even looking at treatment options puts you ahead of the curve, and you deserve recognition for this courageous step.
Now, you need to find the one best suited to your needs. There are so many different types of programs out there, and it can be confusing to know where to start. You’re probably wondering, “Will I need to go away for awhile, or can I just do a daily or even weekly meeting locally?” We’re here to help with a simple breakdown of addiction treatment programs. By the end of this, you’ll understand what’s out there and which one is right for you.
What is Addiction Treatment?
First, let’s begin with a clear definition. Addiction treatment refers to several services and programs aimed at helping people move from a state of active addiction into recovery.
Addiction treatment can include:
- Harm reduction approaches
- Relapse prevention
- Support groups
- Specialized treatment
- Continued care
Substance addiction is a brain disorder where a person cannot control their urge to abuse drugs or alcohol despite the negative consequences caused by that misuse. Addiction can be a lifelong and dangerous disease if not properly treated. Fortunately, there’s a solution. Individuals seeking professional addiction treatment will be given the tools and resources they need to return to life, free from addiction.
Addiction Treatment Options
It’s important to know that addiction looks different for everyone. Two people could be addicted to alcohol, but the addiction can impact them differently depending on factors such as co-occurring mental health conditions, age, years of misuse, other substance use, pre-existing health conditions, and family support, to name a few.
Since addiction is so individualistic, the approach to treatment must also be personalized. People have specific needs and wants for their treatment based on their finances, ability to step away from work and family, levels of support, and more. That’s why there are several addiction treatment programs available. When seeking treatment, you pick the program that best fits your needs so you have the highest chance of a successful recovery.
There are three main addiction treatment programs.
Detoxification—often shortened to detox—is the process of ridding the body of all toxins and substances. A person must eliminate all addictive substances before moving on to treatment.
Detox can be short (hours) or long (weeks) depending on the:
- type of substance that was abused
- length of addiction
- frequency and quantity of drug use
- health condition
- mental state
- support system
Often, someone going through detox will experience withdrawal symptoms. These occur because the body has become physically dependent on the substance and struggles when a regular dosage is no longer received.
In addiction treatment, a detox program establishes a specific set of interventions looking to manage the withdrawal symptoms that typically happen in detoxification.
As mentioned, detox can vary in length for patients. It can also vary in intensity. Someone who has a marijuana addiction might only feel mild symptoms (insomnia, stomach problems, irritability) and be able to move on from detox within a week. However, someone who struggles with an addiction to alcohol, cocaine, or heroin might find themselves with more intense withdrawal symptoms that may even be life-threatening.
Almost everyone seeking addiction treatment must begin with a detox program. A detox program will monitor you to ensure you’re safe as you battle withdrawal symptoms. Some people choose to go through detox at home before enrolling in a treatment program, but this isn’t recommended. Detox can be life-threatening in some cases, so it’s best if it’s done under medical supervision.
Most people stay in detox for one week before starting a recovery program. Detox can be done as an inpatient program (you reside in the facility) or outpatient (you come in for daily checkups). If you expect your withdrawal symptoms to be intense, it’s recommended to opt for inpatient detox.
Inpatient Addiction Treatment
After detoxification, patients move into their recovery programs. As the name implies, an inpatient program is where the patient remains in the facility. This allows the patient to be monitored 24/7, have full-time access to medical assistance and supervision, and allow the patient to wholly focus on recovery without distractions.
However, an inpatient recovery program isn’t the right fit for everyone. Because it includes housing, food, and care, inpatient recovery is typically the more expensive option. It also requires the patient to take a complete break from their regular life, which means they cannot work.
So, who benefits most from an inpatient recovery program? Someone who meets the following qualifications:
- Had a difficult detoxification experience
- Relapsed in the past when trying an outpatient recovery program
- Has a history of relapses
- Also has co-occurring mental health conditions
- Is in poor health
- Struggles with an “intense” addiction, such as:
- “Hard” drugs like opioids or methamphetamines
- Length of addiction for several years
- Abuse of substances in high frequency or high volume
- Does not have a solid support system at home
- Can afford to pay for an inpatient program
Outpatient Addiction Treatment
The alternative to inpatient treatment is outpatient treatment where — you guessed it — the patient does not reside at the facility. In an outpatient treatment program, the patient regularly visits the facility for counseling, medications, and checkups, but gets to spend the rest of the time at home. Visits usually start at a higher frequency (daily) and eventually taper down to a lower frequency (weekly).
Outpatient addiction allows individuals to maintain their work schedule while also continuing to spend time with friends and family. This is an important option for someone who feels they can’t drop everything to enroll in addiction treatment.
In a lot of ways, outpatient programs are helpful because you learn to pursue recovery while still in “the real world.” Temptation is still around you, and you’re not always monitored, so you have to learn how to cope with it. Still, this also means there is a higher chance of relapse if a person cannot ignore their cravings.
So, how do you know if an outpatient addiction program is right for you?
- Your detox was short and relatively painless, without life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
- You cannot afford an inpatient program.
- You cannot take time away from work or family to enroll in an inpatient program.
- You have a good support system to help you get through the recovery journey.
- The temptation of substances won’t be a problem and you can stay away from them.
- You can commit to attending your outpatient checkups.
Which Addiction Treatment is Right For Me?
With better understanding of the different addiction treatment programs, you can select the one which suits your needs.
For those deeply, physically addicted to alcohol or opiates, an immersion into a residential program is the answer. Mayflower Recovery is a detox and residential center in Massachusetts which provides patients with 24/7 care as they find their path to recovery.
You likely have a less severe case or are just starting to explore your options, so an outpatient day program is probably your best choice. Topsail Addiction Treatment will provide you with the tools and support necessary to help you through your recovery. Contact Topsail today to learn more and take the first step toward a better future.
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