If you’ve made the commitment to seek addiction or mental health treatment, we first want to offer our congratulations and support. And we also want to acknowledge how any feelings of being overwhelmed are one hundred percent justifiable.
Seeking treatment is a huge task, not because it’s difficult to find, but because of the sheer number of options available. You’ve likely come across countless treatment methods, not to mention inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities. Odds are you’re wondering which is the better option and how residential and outpatient rehab programs compare.
When you’re comparing residential treatment vs. outpatient treatment options for addiction therapy, understanding the differences can help you make the best choice for your needs.
What are residential treatment programs?
Residential treatment programs involve long-term stays, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months or longer. You’re housed in a safe and secure residence in which intensive drug and alcohol treatment programs are the focus of your daily activities.
When you’re living in a highly structured environment with a daily schedule, you’re removed from stressful life situations and familiar faces and places that can trigger urges to use substances. When these negative influences are removed from your daily life in a residential treatment program, you can work on rebuilding the life skills impacted by addiction, without distractions or temptations.
In residential treatment programs, you’ll also benefit from being a part of a therapeutic community, with people in treatment who support one another by offering encouragement in staying focused on recovery. This camaraderie of empathy and shared experiences is available around the clock, whenever you need someone to lean on.
Who is a residential treatment program for?
Residential treatment, because of its more intensive nature, is most often for those individuals who are in the earlier stages of their recovery and require more supervised care. For example, detox treatment programs are residential programs where the individual lives in the facility during the process in order to detox safely with the proper care, supervision and medical interventions necessary. The services that could not be provided at home are offered in residential programs so that all clients receive the right level of care.
Residential treatment is also beneficial for those whose home environment is not safe, conducive to sobriety/recovery or both. Recovery is a challenging goal made even more difficult without the support of a good home. In order to give clients the best possible chance at overcoming addiction, residential facilities provide a safe place to live while building and making a habit of healthy coping mechanisms.
What are outpatient treatment programs?
Outpatient treatment programs use many of the same therapeutic approaches as residential treatment programs, but they take place in a different type of structured environment. Outpatient programs allow you more freedom and less supervision because you go to treatment on a part-time basis and don’t reside in the facility. This schedule allows you to maintain your commitments to family, work and school.
Since you return home after your treatment sessions, you’ll also have a greater level of privacy. You don’t have to explain an extended absence to attend residential rehab to friends, coworkers or family members. Plus, outpatient treatment gives you the chance to take everything you’ve learned in treatment and immediately put it into effect in your daily life.
Who is an outpatient treatment program for?
The fully controlled environment found in residential treatment programs isn’t part of outpatient programs — an important aspect to keep in mind when considering options. Outpatient treatment best benefits those who have a supportive home environment where negative influences can be minimized or altogether eliminated.
Outpatient treatment is also beneficial for those who have already attended residential treatment and are looking for a step-down option as they transition into the next stage of their recovery, in addition to those who do not need an environment as supervised as a residential treatment program.
Choosing between residential treatment & outpatient treatment
When you feel like you know what kind of treatment will be best for you, take the time to reach out to a qualified addiction counselor to help you solidify the most effective option. If you’ve attempted outpatient programs without success, residential care may be the best option. If you’ve never attended outpatient treatment, you may not need the higher level of care that residential treatment provides.
You may be wary about beginning a residential treatment program due to its intense level of round-the-clock care, but one of the advantages of residential treatment vs. outpatient treatment is that inpatient programs offer a higher level of emotional support. Inpatient treatment also allows you the time to focus on healing the whole mind and body away from the influences of the outside world. An admissions counselor can help you weigh all these options and more.
To get in touch with someone today, contact Silvermist Recovery by calling 724-268-4858 to learn more.