When an addict decides it’s time to enter rehab, the first step is to choose what type of treatment program is best. There are advantages to both outpatient and inpatient substance abuse programs, but inpatient is usually the best choice for addicts whose problems are particularly severe and long-lasting. The treatment in inpatient substance abuse programs is much more comprehensive and intensive, which provides a greater chance of success for addicts who need to escape their patterns of substance abuse and live in a safe environment for a while.
For addicts with severe drug or alcohol problems, there are additional advantages of inpatient programs, including:
- Safe detox: Certain substance addictions (including alcoholism and opiate addiction) create particularly severe withdrawal symptoms for the quitting addict, and it’s helpful to be able to detox under the supervision of doctors and treatment professionals. While there is no such thing as a detox that is completely free of discomfort, inpatient treatment makes this stage must easier.
- Constant care: When you’re staying in an inpatient rehab program, you have non-stop access to doctors and other rehab professionals, which is comforting in those moments of despair and weakness.
- Comfort: The best inpatient substance abuse programs go out of their way to make sure that all of their patients are comfortable and feel safe in a support network. This comfort makes it much easier to get through the lowest points of addiction recovery. There will still be temptation to go off course, but the temptation won’t lead to disaster.
- Focus: Particularly during the very early stages of recovery, it’s important for the addict to be able to focus solely on her recovery until she feels a little more secure. In outpatient care, recovering addicts have to deal with all the distractions and stressors that may be found in the home environment. An inpatient facility becomes like a home away from home, where the patient can focus on getting clean and contemplate her next steps.