No two people are ever exactly the same—and neither are their struggles with addiction. As such, addiction recovery treatments cannot, must not, be one-size-fits-all. On the contrary, addiction recovery specialists work to evaluate clients and determine an individualized treatment path—a path that may include either inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.
Inpatient care is likely the more common of the two. It’s simply defined as a treatment program that involves a residential facility. The client actually checks into the facility, and remains there for the duration of the treatment. The cliché is that treatment in an inpatient facility lasts for 28 days, but actually, the length of stay can vary depending on the individual’s needs.
Inpatient treatment typically begins with detox. During the detox phase, the body and mind are cleared of drugs and alcohol, along with all their toxic effects. This provides a blank slate, a firm foundation for ongoing recovery. After detox is complete, the rest of the inpatient program is devoted to therapy and counseling; holistic programs may include everything from nature walks to yoga, from spirituality to general nutrition.
In outpatient treatment, the client still receives care through an addiction recovery center. Instead of staying at the center for an extended period of time, however, the client gets to remain at home. Usually, the client is expected to check in with a counselor every day.
The benefits of inpatient treatment are significant: It offers greater accountability, greater medical supervision, and a higher level of immersive, holistic care. For some clients, though, being in their own home, surrounded by family and friends, is actually the better option.
There isn’t a right way or a wrong way; the important thing is to pick the treatment path that’s right for you—and the only way to do that is to consult an addiction recovery specialist for a full evaluation.
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