Treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction are usually classified as one of two categories: Inpatient or Outpatient. Both are focused on the rehabilitation of the alcoholic or drug addict, but each has their own way of striving towards this goal.
When an individual goes to inpatient treatment, they are essentially booked into a rehabilitation facility for a certain amount of days. Many inpatient programs average an initial 30-day intake. During this time, the addict or alcoholic not only detoxes, but also receives supervised care around the clock with recovery education and support.
Patients will be able to attend group sessions while in rehab and be educated on their addiction. In order to practice real-life sobriety outside the treatment center, patients are given the suggestions and tools to use in everyday life to help live a long life in recovery.
Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
When someone attends IOP (Intensive Outpatient Treatment), they are living outside of the facility at their own locations, but are required to come to the treatment center for group sessions which can take place several times a week. Similar to group sessions for those in inpatient treatment, these outpatient group sessions also receive the proper education and tools to help live a long sober life.
Because this form of rehabilitation requires the individual to attend the sessions, there is a lot more responsibility on their part to make sure they show up as required.
Which Treatment Program is Best?
This question does not have the same answer for everyone. Every person's addiction is different, as is their personal recovery plan. Depending on what factors are going on in the alcoholic or addict's life, depends on which treatment program is most appropriate for them.
Inpatient is best for those struggling with detox and being able to get a good start in recovery without constant supervision.
Outpatient is best when the addict or alcoholic is both ready and willing to quit drinking or using drugs, and is showing a good effort in attending AA or NA meetings, getting a sponsor, working the steps. Even if they are not doing all these things yet, if they are willing to, then outpatient treatment may be a better choice for them.
Many times this decision cannot be made by the individual because of phases like denial, or if they are struggling to be honest with themselves. All in all, this decision is best left to a professional who can determine which treatment would be best for the individual.