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Do I Really Need to Go to Inpatient Rehab?

man wearing hoodie thinking about going to inpatient rehab

If you’re struggling with drug abuse or alcohol abuse, you’re far from alone. The National Survey on drug abuse and health suggests that some 42.7 million Americans need substance abuse treatment. Yet, just under 11% of us ever do. So, if you’re considering rehab, you’re on the right track to recover. Rehab can help you to understand yourself, the underlying problems behind drug abuse, and to overcome your addiction.

Yet, even that choice isn’t as simple as it should be. You’ll have to choose a therapy time, a rehab location, and whether you want to go to inpatient or outpatient rehab. Here, inpatient rehab means you stay on location at a clinic or facility – getting support around the clock.

However, the short answer is that no, you don’t have to go to inpatient rehab. Any rehab is better than no help. In fact, outpatient care can be significantly beneficial and for persons with light addictions, outpatient care can be just as effective. But, inpatient rehab can offer a lot of benefits.

You Need More Intensive Care

If you’ve relapsed in the past, qualify as a heavy user, or struggle to find accountability and personal motivation – outpatient care might not offer the help you need. Inpatient rehab offers detox followed by intensive care, with programs that run from the start to the end of the day. This means you’ll be surrounded by counselors, nurses, and therapists’ day-in-day-out, and you’ll have everything you need to recover.

That intensity of care can mean you get to focus on recovery in a way that you can’t if you have a few hours of touchpoint a day in an outpatient center. How can you decide? Usually talking to your doctor or a counselor at a rehab center is a good place to start.

Your Situation at Home Isn’t Stable

It’s important to keep in mind that going to therapy and counseling isn’t going to do much good if you go home to an unstable environment. For example, if others in the family use or drink. Or, if you don’t actually have a place to live. Or, if you’re accustomed to getting home and using or drinking. Habit will overcome the best of intentions, and going home every night after therapy will only result in triggers that keep getting in the way of your treatment.

On the other hand, you might have a very stable situation at home. For example, you might recently have moved, you might be staying with friends or family, you might have never used at home. In each of these cases, going home is less likely to be a trigger for relapse, so it’s safer to go to outpatient therapy.

Here, sober living can also offer support after you graduate from an inpatient recovery center. In addition, you can move into a sober living home and go to outpatient care at the same time. However, many sober living facilities will require that you have been clean or sober for 30-90 days or longer before you can stay. This means that you’ll normally have to go to an inpatient recovery center first and then to the sober living home.

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Privacy is a Factor in Recovery

If you’re concerned that people will see you going to treatment and it will affect your reputation or your career, inpatient rehab is the way to go. Outpatient care means showing up to a treatment center every day. That center will almost always be located in your hometown. This means that people may find out you’re getting help. That might not be a bad thing. But, if you work in a professional career that requires a moral contract (E.g., doctors, lawyers), publicizing addiction can result in losing your job. In this case, you’ll want to opt for a private out-of-city or out-of-state rehab center where you can go once, stay till your done, and then come home without telling anyone where you’ve been.

privacy in recovery

You Want to Focus on Recovery

Outpatient recovery centers can allow you to go to work, school, or continue caring for family members while you get treatment. Inpatient recovery centers typically force you to focus on recovery by stripping those distractions away. Of course, many offer child and pet care to ensure you can keep your family safe while you’re in treatment. Inpatient centers allow for:

  • Removing stress and triggers from your life
  • Childcare and pet care
  • Avoiding having to plan or fil your own days
  • Programs customized around your needs

At the same time, that full-time care can make it harder to find time to go. Childcare facilities are common but care facilities for your grandparents are less available. And, while you’ll step away from triggers and stress, it does mean you’ll have a period of re-adapting to those when you get back.

However, inpatient rehab allows you to focus fully on your recovery because that’s all you’ll be doing every day, all day, for the duration of your stay.

Being Around Your Peers is Important to You

Outpatient treatment facilities offer some contact with your peers. However, in an inpatient setting, you’ll be living with them. In most cases you’ll have a roommate. You’ll also take part in group therapy, communal eating, group activities. You’ll work, play, and exercise together as a group and get to know each other and your progress through recovery.

That contact can give you support, inspiration, and motivation to get clean and sober. It can give you insight into how others experience the same things you’re going through. It can also give you insight into how many of your problems are caused by drugs and alcohol, because your peers experience them too.

You Know You Need the Help

If you need to have people around to help you through recovery, inpatient care is the way to go. Having the extra support of nurses to look in on you, programs that are customized as you move through care, and peers around you can make a massive difference to your recovery. If you feel like you need it, you probably do.

At the end of the day, the best rehab is any rehab at all. Getting help and getting into treatment is more important than getting the best possible or the most effective treatment. If you’re struggling to fund inpatient care, are on too long of a waitlist, or would have to take steps you can’t to go to inpatient care, start now with outpatient rehab and go to an inpatient facility later if you do need it. There are a lot of benefits to inpatient rehab, but you should prioritize getting help.

If you or a loved one is seeking help for alcohol or other substance abuse, contact us at Stairway Resource Center today. At Stairway Resource Center we provide a 60 to 90-day outpatient program that takes place in an engaging and supportive community setting. We offer dual diagnosis treatment and daily group and individual therapy for our clients, in addition to fun community-based events and activities.

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Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken in place of medical advice. Before making any decisions regarding your health, please consult your doctor. The staff at Stairway Resource Center develops a custom treatment plan for each of our patients. Specific medical advice will be provided to our patients by our professional providers while in our care.