Inpatient and Outpatient Opiate Treatment Options

800-442-6158 Who Answers? Need Help Overcoming Opiate Addiction? We Can Help!

According to the National Library of Medicine, opiate addiction needs some form of treatment. The symptoms of opiate addiction and withdrawal are often very severe and although they will not kill you, they are extremely unpleasant. This makes coming off opiates without relapsing very difficult. Most people will relapse a few times before seeking either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Once you are ready for opiate addiction treatment, it is important to know all of your options before choosing between the two.

Inpatient Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Inpatient treatment for opiate addiction

Inpatient treatment for opiate addiction offers constant medical care.

Inpatient treatment is a residential form of treatment. This means you enter the facility and stay there until you, your doctor, and your counselor decide that you are ready to enter the outside world. Inpatient treatment provides food, a bed, and treatment for those in the facility. There are some advantages and disadvantages to inpatient treatment. The advantages to inpatient treatment are:

  • Comprehensive 24 hour a day care,
  • Medication management by a doctor certified in opiate replacement therapy and opiate addiction,
  • A place to stay if home life is violent,
  • Being away from other users in your neighborhood environment,
  • A place to stay while you get back on your feet if you are currently homeless,
  • Being surrounded by others who suffer from the same addiction you do,
  • Not having to worry about other problems during withdrawal,
  • Ability to medically detox in a controlled environment,
  • Time for reflection and healing without distraction, and
  • Being away from triggers in your environment.

Of course, there are disadvantages to inpatient treatment as well. These disadvantages are:

  • You have to leave your job or school for an extended period of time,
  • You might lose your job if you have to explain where you are going,
  • Being away from family and friends is sometimes difficult particularly during recovery,
  • If you have children, you need to find someone to care for them before entering inpatient rehab, and
  • If your insurance does not cover it, it can be extremely costly.

The disadvantages of inpatient treatment need to be looked at before choosing inpatient treatment. For many people who have gone through other treatment programs, inpatient treatment is the only remaining option.

Inpatient treatment works for people who:

  • have underlying medical conditions that need to be treated,
  • have mental illnesses that detoxification might make worse,
  • who are severely depressed, or
  • have a history of relapsing and overdose without 24 hour monitoring.

Outpatient Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Outpatient rehab is the type of rehab that a user visits to a rehab center, usually daily at first. Most inpatient centers also have outpatient portions of their rehab facilities. As with any program, there are advantages and disadvantages to outpatient rehab. The advantages are:

  • you can continue with work and school while you are in rehab,
  • your friends and family are available to help you during outpatient treatment,
  • you only have to keep appointments rather than live at an inpatient facility,
  • you have more treatment choices,
  • you can specifically tailor your treatment to your needs,
  • you can move your treatment around your schedule so if you have specific places to be you can rearrange your treatment times, and
  • you stay at home during inpatient treatment.

Like anything, there are also disadvantages to outpatient treatment. The disadvantages are:

  • it is easier to relapse with outpatient treatment,
  • you are exposed to your triggers constantly,
  • you can easily return to the places that you used before,
  • you are exposed to the stressors that caused you to use in the first place,
  • the treatment is not as intensive as it could be, and
  • you do not have the 24 hour medical care during the detoxification phase.

Outpatient treatment might be your best option if you:

  • have family obligations,
  • do not need to be medically monitored,
  • need to work around a school or work schedule,
  • opiate addiction is your only addiction, and
  • you have a good outside support structure.

Services while in Inpatient or Outpatient Opiate Treatment

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every treatment center should offer several treatment types. These types are detoxification and counseling.


Detoxification is often abbreviated as detox. It is the physical act of getting off the opiate. Usually detox lasts anywhere from a few days to two weeks. During detox, people normally experience the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. This is where the majority of people feel as if they are going to relapse. During detox, you might feel that the symptoms of withdrawal will stop as long as you use the drug. This is only partially true. Detox is described as the worst portion of withdrawal but opiate replacements such as methadone and Suboxone are available to help with these symptoms.


Counseling often begins while you are still in detox. There is a reason why you start using the drugs in the first place. Counseling helps you to discover the reason and deal with the psychological ramifications of the addiction. There are two types of counseling.

  • Individual counseling – this type of counseling involves you and your therapist in one on one sessions. The sessions are designed to help you discuss the issues in your life and how to deal with the aftermath of the drug addiction.
  • Group counseling – group counseling is for sharing your issues with others. Group counseling helps you to realize that you are not alone in your addiction and that others are struggling with the same issues you do.

Choosing between outpatient and inpatient treatment can be difficult. You will need to compare a different types of treatment with the different centers available. For more information on inpatient and outpatient treatment feel free to call us at: 800-442-6158 Who Answers? .

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