Choosing between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment

Addiction is a disease that takes many forms and affects more and more people every year. From substance use disorders to compulsive gambling, choosing a treatment approach that suits you is crucial in overcoming an addiction once and for all. The first major decision you will need to make is choosing between inpatient or outpatient alcohol and drug treatment because this will have a huge bearing on your rehab experience.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment and what alcohol and drug rehab options are available through both the NHS and private residential rehab clinics.

Inpatient treatment

Inpatient alcohol and drug treatment is when you reside at a residential rehab centre during the course of your recovery programme, enabling you to focus solely on recovery with no access to addictive substances. Not only will this allow you to escape your addictive triggers, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to connect with the staff and other clients.

Connection is key to effective addiction recovery, and without the constant support provided during inpatient treatment, it can be incredibly challenging to overcome cravings. Being surrounded by others who understand you, doing workshops together every day, and discussing progress and setbacks during shared meals are all huge factors in fully engaging with your treatment. Unfortunately, this level of immersive care and participation is just not possible with outpatient treatment, which is why we do not offer it at Sanctuary Lodge.

Inpatient treatment lasts a shorter time than outpatient treatment, usually ranging from four to twelve weeks (outpatient treatment can be up to a year). During this time, you will attend individual counselling sessions as well as group therapy with other people who are struggling with the same challenges that you are facing.

Addiction detox is an important part of substance addiction recovery, but it can often be very dangerous. If you are detoxing from a toxic substance, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or opioids, it is imperative that you do so in a safe and medically supervised setting. This is called medical detox, and it is only available through inpatient alcohol and drug rehab clinics as it requires 24/7 care and supervision.

Outpatient treatment

Outpatient alcohol and drug treatment involves attending addiction counselling and therapy sessions at a local day rehab clinic. The rest of the time, you live at home and go about your daily routine as normal. This is usually seen as the most practical option for people who need to maintain their employment, go to school or take care of children.

However, while outpatient treatment may seem the most convenient, it is often less effective than inpatient treatment. This is because you are not removing yourself from your everyday life, making it more difficult to focus on your recovery. In addition, outpatient treatment usually only involves group therapy which can be less personal and supportive than one-on-one support.

Private addiction treatment centres

While outpatient addiction treatment is available for free through the NHS, inpatient treatment is only available at a private addiction centre like Sanctuary Lodge. There are many advantages to private rehab, but one of the main benefits is that you can start your treatment immediately. In addition, there are many different types of centres available, so you will be able to find a residential rehab clinic that best suits your needs and budget.

Private alcohol and drug rehab centres also offer a wide range of treatments and therapies which cater to everyone’s needs. For example, at Sanctuary Lodge, we offer both individual and group therapy as well as other approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness activities.

We also offer a comprehensive aftercare programme that means you will have support long after you leave rehab. This can be invaluable for overcoming future cravings and maintaining long-term sobriety.

NHS addiction services

While the NHS is the first port of call for many seeking addiction treatment, free addiction services have been stretched to near breaking point due to many years of underfunding. This means that the NHS can only offer outpatient treatment, but there is often a long wait for a place.
Furthermore, while NHS staff are always incredibly dedicated and supportive, rehab staff may not be addiction specialists like those available in private rehab centres.

To explain these differences, our client Sarah spoke of her experience with NHS addiction treatment compared to her time at Sanctuary Lodge rehab clinic:

“If you have an addiction, then you need a counsellor that is trained in addiction. However, with NHS addiction therapy, the general therapists have had a little bit of training in each area. This isn’t enough – your specialist has to specialise in what you need help with to be effective. They have to relate to your trauma and be able to completely understand everything you are saying.

At Sanctuary Lodge, my 1-2-1 counsellor and other therapists made me realise so many things, and she helped me get an insight into myself. They watch your body language very closely, and if they are concerned for you, they will bring you in for an early one-to-one session.”

Another thing to consider with NHS alcohol and drug treatment is that there may not be enough beds available for people who need medically assisted addiction detox due to budget cuts. This means that many people who need to start their addiction treatment immediately end up waiting for months on a waiting list, during which time their addiction can worsen.

So, which is inpatient or outpatient treatment the best option for you? The answer to that question really depends on your individual circumstances. Inpatient and outpatient addiction treatments have their own unique set of pros and cons. Still, inpatient treatment will provide you with the opportunity to connect with staff and other clients and immerse yourself fully in your recovery. This is crucial in addiction treatment as that extra support can make a huge difference during difficult moments, both during rehab and afterwards.

Get in touch with us here, and we can discuss all your addiction detox and treatment options so that you can decide the best path for your recovery!

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