Choosing to get treatment for an opioid addiction is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for yourself. And, like with any major decision, there are many factors you’ll need to think about when choosing a treatment clinic.
Needless to say, you’ll take practical factors like cost, distance, and quality into consideration. But there’s another, less obvious choice you will also need to make: the choice between inpatient care and outpatient care. This may seem less critical than your budget or transportation needs, but actually, there are significant differences between inpatient clinics and outpatient clinics. Because of these differences, the decision you make will shape the entire course of your treatment and recovery.
Continue reading to learn more about the key differences between inpatient addiction rehab centers and outpatient addiction rehab centers. For more information about how you can quit heroin, quit opioids, or quit drinking, call Symetria Recovery® at (888) 782-6966 for a free and confidential consultation. We serve Chicagoland from five convenient locations in Palos Heights, Des Plaines, Lakeview, Highland Park, and Naperville, IL.
What is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Care?
Inpatient care and outpatient care are both focused on healing injuries or curing diseases, such as addiction to heroin or opioids. However, there’s a huge difference between these two systems of care: the patient’s ability to leave the facility.
An “inpatient” is a patient who has been formally admitted into a facility that provides medical care. For example, a person who is admitted to a hospital for a broken leg or heart surgery is an inpatient. That patient will need to stay at the hospital for at least one day while he or she undergoes treatment and observation. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury or illness, the patient will remain hospitalized for a period of days, weeks, or even months.
By comparison, outpatient care is a faster and more streamlined process. People who receive outpatient care tend to be healthier than inpatients, who may be on life support or in critical condition. An outpatient is in and out of the medical facility in a matter of hours – not days, weeks, or months. Depending on their resources and patient base, outpatient facilities may provide services that range from counseling to vaccination to rehabilitation to preventative care and general check-ups.
The differences are embedded into the terms themselves. An inpatient literally stays in the facility, while an outpatient goes out of the facility after a temporary appointment.
Benefits of Outpatient Treatment for Addiction to Opioids
In many cases, inpatient treatment is necessary and appropriate. People who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses, debilitating infections, or catastrophic injuries often require inpatient care until their conditions have stabilized or improved enough for independent living.
While inpatient care is appropriate in certain circumstances, there can also be drawbacks to inpatient care. Because inpatient care is generally devoted to the sickest and most seriously injured, care costs tend to be higher. By its very nature, inpatient care involves a protracted stay at a clinic or hospital, which also adds to the financial burden. While insurance coverage can help to pay for part of inpatient hospitalization, patients are still frequently left with bills that climb into the tens or hundreds of thousands.
Inpatient care also has another disadvantage: it’s less flexible.
When an addicted person enters an inpatient facility for heroin addiction treatment or opioid addiction treatment, he or she is generally expected to commit to a certain period of treatment, be it 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or longer. Patients eat, sleep, undergo treatment, and live on the premises, where they can be visited by friends or family.
For some people, this is the best option; but for others, it’s logistically impossible. Unless you are willing to quit your job, or you are lucky enough to take an extended medical leave of absence without being replaced, inpatient care may not be an option – especially if your income supports dependents.
Outpatient care enables you to receive the treatment you need, without having to sacrifice your job or the time you spend with your family. You still receive medical care, counseling, and therapy, but without the drawbacks of inpatient care. In short, you do not have to put your life on hold while you attend an outpatient clinic.
Chicago Opioid Addiction Rehab Center
Symetria Recovery® provides outpatient care for people who are addicted to heroin, opioids, and/or alcohol. Care is administered in a confidential, compassionate setting from a team comprised of licensed physicians, nurses, and therapists who practice a wide range of disciplines, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and music therapy. To learn more about inpatient care versus outpatient care, or to talk about getting help for an addiction, call Symetria Recovery® today at (888) 782-6966.