If you or someone you love is battling addiction, finding help can be the first step toward a healthier and sober life. There are many different types of treatment programs, but the main ones fall under two categories: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is a much more invasive means of treatment, but it can be extremely effective for those who have been suffering long-term. Outpatient treatment can be quite successful for those with a shorter addiction period and still allows clients to continue the everyday responsibilities of life outside of treatment. With that knowledge in hand, how do you decide what the best option for treatment is for you? Here are just a few things to consider before making that final determination.

For many addicts, the thought of leaving their home and routine can be very frightening. With outpatient treatment, you won’t have to leave your family or give up your environment. It can be as simple as searching for outpatient treatment centers in your area that can work best for you. It’s possible to find one locally without the need to fly across the country to get help. You can find reliable and licensed professionals near you that can provide all the support and care options you require.

Counseling professionals
A large part of recovery is therapy and counseling, which can be done one-on-one or in groups. Through counseling, you can pinpoint the cause of your addiction and work through any/all emotions that trigger substance use. Even more important is finding a counselor you trust. Locating a good counselor can be difficult when entering a new program or facility, but if you find one that you connect with, continue to see them.

Being able to trust someone so that you can be open and honest with your feelings can be difficult, but with the right counselor, the entire process will be easier. Counselors want the best for their patients and want you to succeed, so they will help you in whatever way they can. Don’t be afraid to talk about your addiction and your life—even your goals and dreams.

Is your addiction manageable?
If your addiction is relatively new, outpatient counseling might be a better choice for your situation. For addicts who have a long-term addiction with years of substance abuse or have tried rehab before, an inpatient and more regimented treatment plan will most likely be a better fit. With long-term use, addiction is not manageable. But for those who have just started to use, there is a much higher rate of success in outpatient programs.

Outpatient programs tend to be less disciplined, with a heavy emphasis on the client doing a lot of the work on their own. However, outpatient programs still offer a number of counseling sessions or group therapy that can last for short or long periods of time.

Additional support
A key element of treatment is that the client feel support from family, friends, loved ones, counselors and facility staff. In an outpatient setting, support will more than likely come from two places—the home and therapy sessions. If you have a supportive and positive home environment, then an outpatient treatment center could fit better for your life. For people who do not have a positive home environment, either due to broken relationships oracquaintances with substance-abuse issues of their own, an inpatient treatment center can bring them away from that environment to get the help they truly need.

There are many differences and similarities between inpatient and outpatient treatment options. The only way to know for sure which is right for you is to explore numerous treatment facilities and even speak with some of the staff. You want to be comfortable with the facility and the professionals, but don’t let the choices overwhelm you. Get the help you need, and find the facility that best fits your needs.

Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Evan Berk Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.

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