If you have been battling any kind of substance abuse disorder and you have made the wonderful, life-altering decision to admit that you have a problem is, seek professional help, and take your first steps on the road to recovery, you are to be congratulated.
Checking into rehab so you can learn how to manage your misuse of prescription medications, your alcoholism, or your addiction to illicit drugs is the most positive conscious choice you can ever make – for your health, your family, and your future.
But if you live in Tacoma, Seattle, or anywhere else across the State of Washington, there are so many drug and alcohol rehab options that it can be confusing – even overwhelming – trying to guess what you need to do next.
More than likely, one of your biggest current concerns right now is deciding if you should go to residential/inpatient rehab or look into outpatient addiction treatment. But here’s the thing – if you are brand-new and still fragile in your sobriety, then the last thing you should be doing is worrying or stressing about your rehab choices.
To help, here is some advice that can help you choose the option that is right for YOU:
Determine What Your Needs Are
The more severe your disease of addiction is, the greater the level of care you will need. Answer these questions honestly:
- For how long a period have you been abusing alcohol and/or drugs?
The longer your personal history of use is, the more profound the changes within your brain’s chemistry have become.
- How heavy is your alcohol/drug use?
Long-term heavy substance use can complicate your recovery. In some cases, it is actually hazardous to quit some chronically-abused substances without medical supervision.
- What is your specific substance of choice?
Although all addictive substances affect the brain, each does so differently. Abstaining from some substances results in harshly-unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can be eased with the proper medication.
- Have you been diagnosed with (or do you believe you might have) any other psychiatric disorders – PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.?
When you have comorbid disorders, you need specialized care if you are to successfully return to total wellness.
Inpatient Rehab and Outpatient Addiction Treatment Defined
Inpatient rehab is an intensive, immersive recovery program that takes place in a therapeutic residential setting. Typically, you are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the entirety of the program.
When you go to inpatient drug rehab, virtually everything is scheduled for you:
- Wake-up and bedtimes
- Therapy/counseling schedule
- Recreational activities
As you might guess, an inpatient/residential recovery program is for those people who have a moderate-to-severe problem with drugs or alcohol. The level of care is higher because the severity of the disease is greater. In a residential setting, clients are removed from everyday stress and temptations, so they can better focus on their recovery.
Inpatient drug rehab is also highly recommended if you have been unsuccessful in your efforts to get clean and sober in the past.
On the other hand, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) may be the right choice for you if the specific manifestation of your disease of addiction is of lesser severity. It may also be the right choice for you if you have recently completed a residential recovery program and now need ongoing aftercare over a longer period of time.
An IOP is not as immersive – there isn’t round-the-clock monitoring, for example – but it will still usually provide the same level of counseling services, education, and support as an inpatient program.
One big distinction of an IOP is that it may be of much longer duration than residential rehab – some inpatient rehabs can be for less than 30 days, while many outpatient addiction treatment programs can last for months. It has been proven that the longer a person stays in treatment, the more successful they are at maintaining their sobriety.
So Which Is the Right Choice for You – Inpatient or Outpatient?
Many newly-sober substance abusers in Washington State think that their journey of recovery should always start with the least intensive and least expensive type of addiction care – outpatient addiction rehab.
Typically, an IOP is worked part-time, approximately 15 to 18 hours a week – combining education, individual counseling, group therapy, and couples/family sessions.
There are several advantages to choosing an IOP:
- It is a fraction of the cost of residential rehab
- You get to live at home
- You can continue working or going to school
- You can participate in regular family activities
- Each day, you are able to put into practice the skills you are learning through your IOP
Some people only consider that first benefit – affordability. And while being able to pay for rehab is ALWAYS an issue, the real consideration needs to be the effectiveness of the particular treatment program.
Fortunately, with the passage of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, residential drug rehab in Washington State is now more affordable than ever and quickly becoming the FIRST choice for many alcoholics and addicts new to sobriety.
Benefits of inpatient drug rehab include:
- Allows you to focus COMPLETELY on your addiction
- Provides continuous monitoring and supervision in a safe, therapeutic, and drug-free setting
- Some facilities will offer medically-supervised and medication-assisted drug and alcohol detoxification
- Gives the alcoholic/addict structure
- Introduces the substance abuser to healthy lifestyle skills that can be substituted for dysfunctional, self-destructive behaviors
- Eliminates the opportunity to use or drink
- Those programs that offer holistic treatment strategies – nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, etc. – focusing on the “total wellness” of the client, rather than just the addictive disorder’s symptoms
Addiction experts agree that people who participate in residential drug or alcohol rehab increase their chances of successful, long-lasting recovery when they stay in treatment for a minimum of 90 days. Unfortunately, it isn’t always feasible to stay in a residential program for that long.
One thing some people are doing combines the best of both programs – checking into a residential drug rehab program for the intensive, immersive treatment regimen that lets them detox and gets their journey of recovery off to a resounding start. By going to inpatient rehab, they give themselves a firm foundation from which to progress.
Then, upon completion, they participate in outpatient addiction treatment to continue their recovery. The outpatient setting lets them ease into their new, sober lifestyle while still receiving aftercare. The best part of this is that they stay in treatment much longer this way.
Ultimately, the route you take on your recovery is up to you. The best way to begin is by contacting the intake line of a local Washington treatment facility and discussing your options with them.