Residential Treatment vs. Outpatient Care: Which is Right for You?

Written By Alla Levin
July 05, 2023

Residential Treatment vs. Outpatient Care: Which is Right for You?

If you’re having problems with alcohol or drugs, you may feel like you need help. You might look into residential treatment options or feel that outpatient care is right for you. You might not be sure how to choose between these two options, though.

There are distinct advantages of residential treatment, but you can say the same thing about outpatient programs. In the following article, we’ll talk about how you can select which one is best for you.

Are You Going Into a Program Willingly, or Is the Law Forcing You?

In some situations, you may realize that drugs or alcohol are a problem for you, and you’re voluntarily getting into a treatment program. You might also have a scenario where you end up in front of a judge with pending criminal charges, and you must enter a drug or alcohol treatment program as part of a plea deal.

If you messed up your life so badly that you ended up with some pending criminal charges, such as if the cops arrested you while you were driving drunk, for instance, then that probably means you’re in pretty bad shape. It’s usually best in those situations if you enter an inpatient program.

If you entered treatment voluntarily, that could mean you’ll do okay with an outpatient program. That’s one factor you should consider when looking at the available options.

Do You Feel Your Life is in Danger?

You may also feel that your drug or alcohol use has spiraled out of control. You might think that if you’re left to your own devices, you might overdose or drink yourself to death. If so, you probably need to be in an inpatient facility, at least temporarily. If you believe your life is in danger, you have reached a crisis point.

It would be best if you had the staff members of the program you enter to watch over you so you don’t harm yourself. Once you get to a point where you’re more stable and not likely to relapse, an outpatient program becomes a more viable option for you.

How Much Are Drugs or Alcohol Impacting Your Life?

You should also take a moment and think about what part drugs or alcohol are playing in your life when you consider whether an inpatient or outpatient facility will be better. If you feel that drugs or alcohol are problematic, but you’re still in control over your use, an outpatient facility is probably fine.

If you feel that every aspect of your life is dictated by how much you drink or use drugs, you need closer monitoring and supervision. It can be difficult admitting you’ve reached this point, but if you look at your life honestly, you can probably figure out which option is more suitable.

Residential treatment and inpatient programs have their advocates, and you must consider the factors we’ve mentioned very carefully before determining which is best for your unique situation.

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