You’ve come to the conclusion that you have a problem either because you had a rock bottom moment in your life or your family and friends staged an intervention, and you have decided to visit an alcohol treatment center. You now have to decide of you’re going to do inpatient or outpatient drug and alcohol treatment.
Both in and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment can work; it’s all up to the subject and how willing they are to change.
The difference between outpatient drug and alcohol treatment and inpatient treatment is that the outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program has the person come to regular meetings but they aren’t confined to the facility for any length of time. The inpatient is the opposite. The person must stay at the facility where they will become part of the treatment group as they live, breathe, and eat treatment.
The question is whether outpatient drug and alcohol treatment can possibly be as effective as a treatment program where the person is completely monitored. If you’re outside the treatment facility, you may be more tempted to quit your treatment or to relapse. You also run the risk of associating with people and visiting places that bring you right back into the lifestyle you’re desperately trying to rid yourself of. Yet one has to realize that whether the patient is inside or outside the facility, they’re going to be out at some point so you could look at outpatient drug and alcohol treatment as giving someone a head start for acclimating to society once more as a changed person.
Of course, if you have a serious problem and you don’t trust yourself, by all means, choose an inpatient program. You’ll be constantly monitored, you will only be around positive people, most of them going through the same thing you’re going through, and you don’t have to worry about temptation. This makes inpatient treatment invaluable for those who are completely ingrained into a small group that constantly engages in nefarious behavior, if they have little willpower and they run the risk of losing everything or even death if they continue on the same path. Of course, treatment is treatment, but inpatient treatment may be right for some who simply cannot be trusted on their own to complete their treatment.
However, outpatient drug and alcohol treatment is still a great program and should be considered by anyone who is looking to change. It’s cheaper as you don’t have to pay for room and board, you still have the same support structure, you’re still engaged with people who are going through the same things you’re going through, and you can still work, and live your life while going through treatment at the same time. So, yes, outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs do work; it depends on how seriously the person engaged in the treatment takes the treatment being offered.