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Are Inpatient Drug Treatment Centers Really More Effective?

Depending on whom you ask, there is still a lively debate about whether inpatient or outpatient treatment centers are more effective in treating addiction. Similarly to most treatment types, one is not particularly more effective than the other for all patients; some individuals are more likely to see better progress with one, some with the other. No matter what, though, the debate continues, and many individuals feel that, because inpatient treatment is more controlled, it is more effective.

Inpatient treatment centers are not inherently more effective for all individuals, and this is an important fact to consider when you are seeking treatment for an addiction. However, inpatient drug treatment centers may be more effective in certain cases.

Why Isn’t Inpatient Treatment Always the Most Effective?

There is no one treatment that is ever effective for all drug addicted individuals; this includes treatment centers, medications, behavioral therapies, and formal treatment alternatives. According to a study, “After suggesting that there is little evidence” that either inpatient or outpatient treatment is more effective on principle, “it is proposed that a flexible treatment program utilizing both inpatient and outpatient treatment with a focus on reducing attrition is most likely to maximize effectiveness” (NCBI). However, this still might not be true for every individual.

Inpatient treatment may, in fact, not be the right choice in many instances, including those which involve

  • Low severity of addiction
    • If an individual’s addiction symptoms and issues are of low severity, inpatient treatment may not be necessary as it is usually better for those with higher addiction severity.
  • Monetary issues
    • Inpatient treatment centers are often much more expensive than outpatient centers and, while an individual can look for a free facility, sometimes they may not need to.
  • Patients who need to keep working, live at home, or otherwise cannot leave their lives behind
    • In some cases, patients may need to do so, but in others, they may not and should not be forced to, especially if it would make it harder for them to adjust afterward.
  • Failed attempts at inpatient treatment in the past
    • Some individuals have not had good experiences in these types of facilities and, therefore, it can be very difficult for them to attend one again.

However, there are many instances in which an inpatient facility can be more effective. These should also be considered, and hopeful patients should ask themselves if they truly need what these facilities can provide.

When Is Inpatient Treatment More Effective?

Some people do choose to attend residential rehab which, despite often being more expensive, does have many benefits outpatient treatment cannot offer. Inpatient treatment is often more effective for patients who

  • Live alone
    These individuals will need the controlled environment of an inpatient center where they cannot be left to their own devices. If you live alone and are concerned about your ability to stop yourself from abusing drugs during treatment, inpatient centers will take that possibility out of the equation, making your treatment time much safer and you less likely to undergo a relapse.
  • Have no support system
    Patients who do not have others to support them, or their support system is lacking, “are predicted to have a better outcome in inpatient treatment,” according to the NCBI. This way, the individuals in the facility (including doctors, nurses, therapists, and patients) can all become a part of the individual’s support system, especially during the time they will need it most.
inpatient drug rehab centers

Doctors and nurses can become your support in patient treatment centers

  • Have high psychiatric severity
    This could refer to psychosis caused by drug abuse, co-occurring mental disorders that have either helped to cause or resulted from the addiction itself, or another psychiatric issue. It is difficult for those individuals who are struggling with these problems to receive the kind of care they need and to live without drugs so inpatient treatment can actually be more effective for them.
  • Experience severe withdrawal syndromes
    Alcohol, heroin, stimulants, PCP, and benzodiazepines can all cause withdrawal syndromes that are frightening and in some cases deadly. The life-threatening effects of these drugs, when suddenly removed from the system, can be better treated in inpatient centers in many cases. However, this usually works best on a case-by-case basis, allowing different individuals to receive the treatment most effective for them.
  • Are in dangerous situations at home
    A lack of social support is problematic, but many individuals face danger back in their homes, especially if they were to stop abusing drugs. In this case, inpatient treatment can better protect patients from others who might do them harm.

Any of these reasons may cause an individual to consider inpatient rehab instead of outpatient treatment. However, there is no way of knowing for sure which will be more effective for any given individual.

What is More Effective for Me?

Making sure to research the facility of your choice will allow you to discover if the center will provide you with the necessities important to you. Using the Inpatientdrugrehabcenters.com directory will allow you to find out more information about specific facilities and to call with any questions you may have in order to decide if the center may be right for you.

If you are still unsure of whether or not an inpatient drug treatment center will be more effective for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I in need of a controlled environment?
  • Do I need to get away from my troubled home life for a while, in order to focus better on my recovery?
  • Do I experience a large amount of stress in my life?
    • Is that stress tied to my addiction?
  • Am I suffering from another mental disorder (or do I believe I might be)?
  • Has my drug abuse become so severe that my health (either physical or mental) has suffered greatly?
  • Am I without a strong social support system at home?
  • Do I feel that I would be more focused and in a more appropriate environment if I were to attend inpatient treatment?

If you answered yes to these questions, inpatient drug treatment may be more effective for you. But it is important to remember that no one treatment is effective for every individual, and that each person must find their own path through treatment