Making the Transition from Inpatient to Outpatient

Posted in: Treatment

April 10, 2014

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Deciding to get professional help for addiction is an important step in the recovery process, but it’s not the only decision users must make regarding rehab. Other decisions might include where to receive treatment, how long to stay in the program and which kinds of therapy to seek. While many people attend either inpatient or outpatient treatment, some people begin their treatment at an inpatient facility, and then transition to an outpatient one. Some people go directly from inpatient rehab to their daily lives, but other people need continued structure and support, which they can get in outpatient care.

In 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) held a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which reports that nearly 24 million Americans aged 12 and over had abused illicit drugs in the previous month. Furthermore, nearly 60 million Americans in this age group binged on alcohol in the previous month, and 17 million Americans 12 and over reported heavy drinking in the previous month. However, out of these millions of people who struggle with addiction, only a small percentage receive professional care. SAMHSA’s 2011 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services found that only 1.2 million people had enrolled in treatment services at some type of addiction rehab center. Of these people, nearly 1.1 million, or 89.5% of all users, received treatment from outpatient care, while only 128,230, or 10.5% of them, received treatment at an inpatient center.

How Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab Work

Inpatient and outpatient rehab programs are similar in the following ways:

  • Voluntary treatment for substance addictions
  • Various kinds of individual and group therapy
  • Education about drugs, alcohol and addiction
  • Medication, if needed

But, the two facilities are also different in several ways. For instance, inpatient rehab offers the following features:

  • Patients stay in facilities for a minimum length of 28 days
  • Detox programs are included
  • Removes patients from their regular lives, which allows them to focus on rehab

On the other hand, outpatient centers offers the following care:

  • More flexible schedules
  • The ability to come and go as needed
  • Programs that allow patients to continue most of their everyday activities, like work and familial responsibilities
  • Network of sober peers who encourage recovery

With the right help, users can recover from addiction as well as possible.

Additional Treatment in an Outpatient Rehab

When people complete inpatient rehab, but still need additional recovery help, they might enroll in outpatient programs. Outpatient care is sometimes offered by the same organization that operates inpatient centers, but other times they are separate organizations that are only affiliated with each other. In this case, drug addicts can receive referrals from inpatient centers to continue treatment at outpatient centers. Some ways to transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment include the following options:

  • Creating and sticking to a daily schedule that includes treatment
  • Attending support group meetings
  • Discussing options for individual counseling sessions
  • Making a plan to return to work, school or family life
  • Removing any negativity in one’s environment and replacing it with positive encouragement and support

In other words, recovery is possible if drug addicts know where to look.

How to Transition from Inpatient to Outpatient Rehab

Transitioning out of inpatient rehab to outpatient care can help people stay sober as they return home. The process of finding treatment can help users learn to maintain sobriety, so if you or someone you care about wonders about addiction treatment and how to recover, give us a call at 615-490-9376.

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Approaching Outpatient Care

FEATURED GUEST: Alex Dorsey and Ashley Buchanan

Episode #49 | January 24, 2018Listen Now

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