Choose the best addiction treatment program and take the first step towards your new life.
When you’re struggling with addiction, making even small steps towards change can seem overwhelming. If you face the decision between inpatient versus outpatient treatment in California, you might find yourself confused about the differences between and benefits of each type of program.
Inpatient Versus Outpatient Treatment in California: What’s the Difference?
Perhaps you’ve tried to quit on your own but have repeatedly relapsed. The struggle is real, but there is hope. With treatment, you can learn new habits and behaviors, as well as diagnose and address underlying issues that have caused you to depend on drugs and alcohol. You can overcome addiction and create a meaningful life.
When the time comes to seek help, choosing the right treatment option can be challenging. Should you continue working at your job, going to school and doing all of the regular activities of life while also pursuing treatment? Or should you step out of your regular patterns and responsibilities in order to focus intensely on recovery?
Inpatient versus outpatient treatment programs each provide different strategies for addressing addiction. Outpatient treatment, for example, offers evening and weekend counseling and treatment. This allows you to stay at home and carry on with your regular responsibilities.
Inpatient treatment programs, on the other hand, provide 24-hour support and a fresh environment to encourage new habits and behaviors. For those detoxing from long-term or severe addictions, they offer medical supervision. They also offer the benefit of full community support as you recover.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type of treatment:
The Pros and Cons of Outpatient Treatment in California
If you’re looking for treatment that allows you to carry on with your regular life responsibilities, an outpatient program may be appropriate. During outpatient treatment for addiction, you live at home and arrange counseling and treatment sessions around your job or school. You’ll receive professional help to replace unhealthy patterns of addiction with new habits and coping mechanisms.
While the idea of living at home while receiving treatment may seem appealing, there are some drawbacks. The responsibility will be on you to resist relapse and to directly apply what you’re learning in treatment to the stresses of daily life. By remaining in the same environment where you have become addicted to drugs or alcohol, you might struggle to make the changes necessary to build a life without addiction. An outpatient program may be most effective for those who don’t face the challenges of an unhealthy home or work environment.
The pros of outpatient treatment programs:
- May be sufficient for people with mild addiction problems who are highly motivated to change
- Lets you apply what you learned immediately to the challenges of daily life
- Is generally less expensive
- Counseling may help uncover and treat deeper psychiatric issues that encourage addiction
- Family sessions can help address unhealthy relationship dynamics that drive addiction
The cons of outpatient treatment programs:
- You can easily obtain drugs and alcohol
- Less immediate access to counselors and support
- Remaining in a stressful or unhealthy environment can make change more difficult
- Choosing a program based on cost alone may not lead to recovery
The Pros and Cons of Inpatient Treatment in California
For those with more longstanding or serious addictions, inpatient treatment may be the more effective choice. It can work even when efforts to quit on your own or with the help of outpatient programs have failed. As with outpatient treatment, you’ll receive professional help to battle addiction, but the program will be more all-encompassing.
Inpatient treatment programs in California often last between 30 to 90 days, during which time you live full-time at a residential treatment facility. These facilities are often situated in a peaceful natural setting that provides a low-stress environment for recovery. Many people who struggle with addiction feel that their lives are chaotic and rife with temptations to relapse. By stepping out of your everyday life into a calm environment where your daily needs are taken care of, you can turn all of your energy towards building a new life free from addiction.
Along with a safe space for recovery, inpatient treatment programs offer round-the-clock access to professional care. While outpatient programs limit your access to counseling and support to the hours that you are actively in treatment, inpatient programs mean that you have immediate help, no matter what time of day or night it is. This sort of intensive treatment is important for those who need medical supervision in order to detox from the dangerous side effects of long-term drug or alcohol addiction.
You’ll also receive highly individualized care from counselors who focus intensely on your recovery over an extended period of time. While outpatient programs allow your counselor to interact with you in a specific, limited environment, inpatient therapy gives counselors a greater opportunity to observe and uncover deep-seated issues that may be driving your addiction. You may not even be aware that you face challenges such as undiagnosed mood disorders, psychiatric conditions or unhealthy relationship dynamics. However, by working with counselors in an inpatient program you’ll be given the chance to learn about and treat these issues in a supportive environment.
The pros of outpatient treatment programs:
- A peaceful environment that removes you from the unhealthy patterns that led to your addiction
- Removal of responsibilities such as work and school allows you to rest and focus on recovery
- Full-time support from counselors, medical support and others recovering from addiction
- Highly personalized treatment that can uncover and address deeper psychiatric issues
- An extended period in which to learn new habits and life skills
- Freedom from access to drugs and alcohol
- Ongoing community support from other people in recovery
The cons of outpatient treatment programs:
- You will have to make arrangements such as child care or leave from work or school
- You will step away from your regular environment and routine
- They are generally more expensive than inpatient treatment
- They require a strong commitment to building a life free from addiction
Ultimately, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional to determine whether inpatient versus outpatient treatment is right for your situation. While it may seem appealing to choose a less expensive option that allows you to stay at home, overcoming an addiction is challenging work that may require more intense treatment. Factors such as the severity of your addiction, relationship dynamics and underlying psychiatric conditions can all make a difference in the type of treatment that works for you.
If you’re struggling to choose the right treatment, Ocean Hills Recovery can help. Our southern California drug and alcohol rehab center brings a holistic approach to addiction treatment with a range of services to support you in your journey towards recovery. We offer individual, group and family counseling with qualified, caring staff. Our programs such as detox, residential inpatient, intervention, sober living and more have a proven success rate in helping our patients achieve recovery. Contact us today, and take the first step towards leading the life you were meant to live.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.