7 Reasons Inpatient Rehab is more successful than Outpatient Rehab

Updated on April 28, 2021

All addictions, whether they are to alcohol, drugs, computer games or gambling, can have an enormous effect on people’s lives. It is so important for everyone who is suffering from addiction to know that there are places they can go and people who can help. Undergoing treatment at an alcohol rehab clinic is one of the best ways which people with an addiction can begin their journey to lifelong recovery.

But which kind of treatment is best?

For many people, one of the first major recovery decisions they will need to make is whether to undergo inpatient or outpatient rehab. While both have their benefits, inpatient treatment is widely acknowledged to be the more effective.

To explain in more detail, here are seven reasons why inpatient rehab is often more successful than outpatient rehab.

An escape from triggers

The first reason why inpatient rehab has been shown to be more effective is that patients remove themselves from their normal environments to live at the clinic during their treatment. This allows them to escape from all of the triggers which usually spark their addiction. Everyone’s addiction is prompted by different sources, from a stressful job to negative people, but in inpatient rehab, those triggers can be forgotten while the client focuses on their recovery. Worth noting – Jason Shiers Certified Psychotherapist says “ it is not the actual circumstances themselves that cause peoples triggers, it is their thinking about the circumstances” 

No access to addictive substances

As well as an escape from negative environments, inpatient rehab provides patients with an escape from whatever it is they are addicted to, as all alcohol and drugs are surrendered upon entry to rehab. With outpatient treatment, however, clients only come to the clinic to receive short treatment sessions and then go home, where drugs or alcohol will be accessible to them as usual.

One-to-one therapy

 Inpatient rehab offers a range of therapies for patients, including both group therapy sessions and one-to-one sessions. This combination is essential, as patients have varied responses to different kinds of treatments; having a mixture helps to ensure that more people make positive strides forwards. Because outpatient rehab tends to be oversubscribed and has fewer therapy sessions available, many outpatient clinics are not able to offer one-to-one therapy at all.

Availability of medical detox

Detox is a very important step in addiction treatment, and for many patients, it is the most difficult. Inpatient rehab clinics offer medical detoxes to patients with severe addictions, as they are at a greater risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. As these symptoms can be so dangerous, medical detox is done under the full supervision of medical professionals. As this round-the-clock care is only possible if a patient is a resident, medical detox is not available at the vast majority of outpatient clinics. Instead, patients usually have to wait for an inpatient bed to become available. But due to high demand, there are often very long waiting lists.

Specialist addiction therapists

All staff at inpatient rehab clinics are specialists in one or many aspects of addiction treatment. This includes doctors, nurses, qualified drug counsellors and mental health experts, who ensure that every aspect of a patient’s recovery is properly managed. There are many outpatient clinics, however, where the therapists may be volunteers, recovered addicts and general counsellors. While these people can still make a positive difference, their lack of specific expertise means that they tend to be less effective in helping to facilitate a long and lasting recovery.

24/7 staff support

When patients undergoing outpatient rehab finish their treatment for the day, their counsellors do not go home with them to offer continued support. The staff at inpatient rehab clinics, on the other hand, are there to support patients 24 hours a day, ensuring that they have everything they need and that they are completely safe. 

Continued aftercare

While many people who successfully undergo outpatient addiction treatment form close bonds with their counsellors which carry on into the future, there is usually no specific aftercare programme offered by outpatient clinics. Inpatient rehab centres offer highly structured aftercare programmes which enable former residents to continue on their recovery journey with all the support they need.

For people suffering from addiction, any kind of help is usually better than none, and applying for rehab is one of the most positive steps anyone can take to overcome their addiction. While inpatient rehab may not be an easy option for many people, the added benefits it provides mean that anyone who is able to undergo inpatient addiction treatment should always try to take the opportunity.

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