Have You Considered Choosing Outpatient Treatment?

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Are the movie stars missing out? It seems every other headline we read tells of some celebrity entering inpatient rehab. If the rich and famous are doing it, that means it has to be the best option? Right??

Not necessarily.

In fact, outpatient therapy often outshines inpatient therapy on many fronts. Let’s talk about it.

Going for Broke in Rehab

Kim’s parents knew she needed treatment; her drug habit was out of control. They found a residential rehab facility that specialized in teen addiction and convinced her to go.

Jessica’s parents didn’t have insurance, but they desperately wanted to get her some help.Luckily, insurance covered the first week of Kim’s treatment. After that, they dipped into their savings – and continued to dip, until they were diving. By the end of her 30-day stay, Kim’s parents were in debt to the rehab facility for a whopping $40,000.

Jessica’s parents didn’t have insurance, but they desperately wanted to get her some help. They knew they couldn’t afford a residential treatment facility, so they researched outpatient options and found a local place. After six months, they spent $15,000 (the low-end cost for 30 days in residential rehab). For this amount, Jessica received six months of therapy, medical care, mindfulness training and acupuncture. Jessica and her parents also received family counseling sessions.

Who got the better deal?

A Clean Break or Isolation?

Tim started hanging with the “wrong crowd” in college. After barely graduating, his choice in friends didn’t really change. By 27, Tim was a full-blown alcoholic. He realized he needed help after he got a DUI. He thought it would be best to get away from the bad influences, so he entered an inpatient rehab facility.

After the initial withdrawal, Tim had no problem making it through each day without drinking and left the facility with 30 days sober. He felt ready to face the world. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. Thrown back into harsh reality, Tim quickly relapsed.

While isolated from family, friends and day-to-day stressors in rehab, it was a lot easier. Faced with his old issues, and no new tools to deal with them, Tim slipped back into old habits. He joined the 70 percent of alcoholics who remain sober less than a year after completing a 30-day residential rehab.

Darren’s story was similar to Tim’s. However, Darren had a son to care for, so he couldn’t leave for a month. He chose outpatient therapy. As he attended sessions, he learned to deal with his addiction while still living in the midst of his stressful life and potentially-bad influences.
Darren’s program took a holistic view of recovery. He was encouraged to enlist the support of peers, family and other community resources. When he finished the lengthy program, he was 90 days sober, had begun dealing with the issues behind his addiction and had a solid support network.

Who was surrounded by better influences?

A Bait and Switch?

Gerald heard great things about a residential rehab facility just 200 miles away. Their website and brochures advertised expert staff, individualized attention and alternative treatment plans. When his wife agreed to go, they had great hopes for the treatment she would receive.

Jim discovered what he initially thought was waste of time was actually turning into a brand new life of sobriety.While Pam did receive treatment, it wasn’t exactly what she and Gerald expected. Several of the counselors didn’t have degrees. Some staff seemed to have little training at all. Pam didn’t experience much individualization. She simply attended the same group meetings everyone else did and a weekly session with a therapist. The model for her treatment was basically the 12-step program (not exactly “alternative” – pretty standard).

After enrolling in an outpatient treatment program, Jim discovered what he initially thought was waste of time was actually turning into a brand new life of sobriety. Highly qualified professionals provided individualized counseling sessions that dug to the root of his issues. These experts applied several different counseling techniques and suggested coping methods. He wondered if his sister-in-law, Pam, was receiving such high-level treatment at her inpatient facility.

Who got the better quality?

Case by Case Basis

With the popularity of high-profile inpatient rehab services, the advantages of outpatient treatment are often overlooked. However, both inpatient and outpatient services have their advantages and disadvantages.

Each individual must weigh the options to determine what’s best for them. Inpatient services may be a good place for those who need to be removed from a traumatic situation, those who need medication monitoring or those who have other health concerns. Ultimately, it’s about what’s best for your own unique needs.

Additional Reading:   5 Ways to Make Rehab a Little More Affordable
Image Source: iStock

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