There are two main forms of alcohol rehabilitation programs: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient alcohol rehab refers to residential treatment programs; you live there while you’re being counseled. Outpatient alcohol rehab means you don’t stay there overnight and return home each day. Let’s look at the pros and cons of outpatient alcohol rehab.
The Pros of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Treatments
Just as living on campus doubles or triples the cost of attending a college, living at the rehab facility dramatically increase the cost of rehab. Outpatient rehab is much more affordable.
Outpatient rehab takes several hours a day during the day or the evening. Outpatient rehab allows you to continue working each day while providing treatment in what is otherwise down time. You can continue to pay child support, your rent, taxes, and bills while attending outpatient rehab.
Outpatient rehab may take away your ability to drink excessively without impacting the rest of your life. If your habits cause you to drink in response to spending the day home alone while a spouse goes to work and the children go to school, attending alcohol rehab during the day breaks that cycle while letting you still provide childcare and perform household work in the evening. Being in rehab during the evening prevents you from drinking after work while addressing the root cause of the addiction.
The lower administrative overhead for outpatient rehab means there are more of them than residential treatment programs for alcoholism.
The flexibility of the program also means there are more slots available and typically no wait for outpatient rehab; in contrast, you may have to wait weeks to get into an affordable inpatient rehab program.
The Cons of Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Treatments
If someone is dealing with alcohol addiction in addition to psychiatric problems, the complexity is rarely properly addressed in outpatient care. Whether drinking to try to calm the upswing of bipolar disorder or try to ameliorate severe depression, outpatient alcohol rehab programs rarely have the expertise or time to treat both addiction and mental illness.
If you don’t have the means to travel, outpatient rehab may not be an option at all.
Observations about Outpatient Rehab
Judges sometimes sentence people to residential rehab or mental health facilities without consideration for their ability to earn a living and pay the rent on their apartment. In the worst case scenarios, the person leaves residential rehabilitation after one to three months with nowhere to go. If the court is ordering you to attend rehab inpatient, consult with an attorney to seek extended outpatient rehab instead.
For example, sentencing a drunk to inpatient rehab doesn’t solve their homelessness, joblessness and other issues after they get out, but outpatient alcohol rehab facilities working with charities can solve multifaceted problems.
Outpatient alcohol rehab is cheaper, more flexible and available than inpatient alcohol rehab. Outpatient rehab rarely has the resources or connections to deal with the mentally ill, retarded or young, but when it is networked with other charities, it may offer better long-term help for addicts than a month of living on site would if they returned to a broken home or homelessness once clean. Inpatient rehab can address medical problems and concurrent conditions that outpatient programs cannot.