Is Inpatient Care The Best Treatment for Opiate Withdrawal?

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Inpatient care can be a possible option for opiate withdrawal. However, in most instances, it is not a necessary treatment type for this particular issue. It is important to consider your opiate use and whether or not you are in need of inpatient care before deciding to choose this option.

Inpatient Care Isn’t Always Necessary

For the most part, people do not need to attend inpatient care for their opiate withdrawal treatment. This is because the particular option of inpatient care is often more intensified than the withdrawal syndrome for opiates requires. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Opioid withdrawal reactions are very uncomfortable but are not life-threatening.” Most individuals are able to receive treatment in an outpatient basis that utilizes a combination of medication and therapy.

This is often a preferred option because outpatient treatment is, in general, less expensive than inpatient care. Therefore, if an individual is not in dire need of the latter option, it can be more beneficial to choose the former. Opioid abuse and addiction can be very expensive and lead a person into considerable debt; this is why the option of cheaper treatment is often preferred.

When patients can attend outpatient care for opiate withdrawal, they usually will. Some individuals, though, do need inpatient care, but this is entirely based on the individual’s current situation.

Why Choose Inpatient Care?


Opiate withdrawal can cause severe depression.

There are some reasons why a person may benefit from inpatient care for opiate withdrawal. According to the Staten Island University Hospital, an inpatient detoxification program is offered by some treatment centers that provides a “short, variable length stay of service,” which can be helpful for opiate withdrawal. However, a person may want to attend inpatient treatment for several other reasons, including:

  • Having severe psychological issues or mental disorder(s) in addition to their drug dependence that may be intertwined with their dangerous drug use, requiring them to receive more intensive treatment
  • Not having a strong social support system at home or the help necessary to go through an outpatient treatment program for opiate withdrawal safely, instead causing them to need inpatient care where they can be monitored during their withdrawal
  • Having a risk of experiencing severe depression or thoughts of suicide during withdrawal or another issue that requires them to be under 24-hour surveillance
  • Being severely addicted to opiates and having a high chance of possible relapse if they are not in a treatment center

Is Inpatient Care the Best Option?

No one treatment type is going to be beneficial for every patient. Generally, it depends on the patient and their particular needs whether or not inpatient treatment is the best choice. However, if a patient is experiencing a severe addiction to opiates or other major issues that may hinder their medically assisted withdrawal and/or recovery, inpatient treatment may be beneficial. If not, outpatient treatment could be more helpful to the person’s current state. This is, of course, all dependent on what is best for the patient and what they will ultimately tolerate in terms of care.

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