Mandy Kloppers

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Alcohol Detox Programs: What Are the Pros and Cons?


Many individuals get themselves into trouble with alcohol during their lives. Maybe they start by consuming the occasional drink, but then, their drinking becomes habitual. In time, they may find they can’t function without maintaining a baseline of alcohol in their bodies.

At that point, they should consider rehab options. Inpatient addiction rehab is always a possibility, or they might try an outpatient one instead.

If you are struggling with alcohol, is an inpatient or outpatient facility the better choice for you? We will talk about both options in detail right now.

Inpatient Programs

If you’re battling alcoholism, and it has become a serious issue for you, you can look into some inpatient programs close to you. The main benefit is that you will be in a location where medical professionals will constantly monitor you to make sure that you don’t relapse.

They can lock you in a room for days or weeks until you feel sure you’re not going to leave the grounds to seek out a drink. If you think that’s what it’s going to take to get you clean, then this might be the best move. It’s a drastic option, but it’s sometimes preferable.

The main drawback is the price. Inpatient programs typically cost more than outpatient ones. That’s because you’re taking up a room, and you’re demanding that the staff pay attention to you and attend to your needs.

Outpatient Programs

If you go with an outpatient program instead, it’s cheaper, and that’s probably its best feature. You will not have to pay the same amount that you would if you were staying at a detox facility with the staff administering to you. You can also sleep in your own bed at night. You may be a lot more comfortable doing things this way.

If you try an outpatient program, though, there is a higher chance that you might relapse. You’re out on the streets, and your next drink is at the nearest bar, grocery store, or liquor store. Outpatient programs require more willpower on your part if they’re going to be successful.

Which is the Better Choice for You?

No two addicts are exactly the same. They have their own needs and triggers. It follows that some people will be able to find success with only inpatient programs, while others will be okay with an outpatient option.

You need to look at how much money you have to spend. Getting clean is essential, but if you don’t have the money for an inpatient facility, that has to factor into your choice.

You should also think about your willpower. Do you feel like you have what it takes to resist the urge to drink if you’re at home instead of being locked in a room with people guarding you?

You might start with an outpatient program and then go to an inpatient one if that’s not working. You must also consider whether you’re a full-blown addict or someone who feels you have a minor alcohol problem.


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