Monthly Archives: October 2016

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Rehab: Which is better for you?

By Maurine Anderson

Two girls hugging each others after long time they have been distant

If you or a loved one is currently facing substance addiction, making the decision to seek treatment can be the most empowering decision you make in your life. Of course, there are a variety of treatment options available, and many who are considering seeking treatment wonder whether outpatient or inpatient treatment is better suited for them. Here is a look at the key differences between outpatient and inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment

This page describes very well how outpatient addiction recovery treatment works. Basically, outpatient treatment is an option that allows individuals to receive treatment that is less intensive than inpatient treatment. It is well suited for individuals who are seeking comprehensive treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, who need more support than weekly counseling but less support than inpatient treatment, and/or who have completed an inpatient program and need continued support in recovery.

How it works

Outpatient treatment typically draws on a variety of approaches in order to offer recovering addicts the healing they need. A comprehensive outpatient treatment might involve individual therapy, group therapy, education, and relapse prevention training. Recovering addicts will also explore a variety of therapy approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and recreational therapy.

Benefits

Outpatient treatment can offer several benefits. For starters, individuals can receive treatment while protecting certain aspects of their current lifestyle, such as a job, education, or family responsibilities. Outpatient treatment also tends to be more affordable than inpatient treatment since you are not paying for room and board. It can also grant you more access to your family and friends, who might serve as a valuable source of support as you navigate recovery.

Varying levels of care

Every outpatient program is different, and there are various types of outpatient programs, each offering a specific level of support. Three of the most common types of outpatient treatment are partial hospitalization (day treatment), intensive outpatient treatment, and general outpatient treatment. Partial hospitalization, or day treatment, is a more intensive form of outpatient treatment that allows individuals to meet for to five days a week for several hours each day in order to receive intensive treatment. Intensive outpatient treatment is somewhat less intensive, and it is primarily for individuals who need an organized treatment program but who can navigate recovery in the course of their everyday activities. General outpatient treatment, meanwhile, is for individuals who require moderate support in order to achieve sobriety.

Inpatient treatment

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, involves the same treatment techniques as outpatient treatment, but it is more intensive because you typically check into a facility and live there throughout the duration of your program.

How it works

Inpatient treatment draws on the same individual therapy, group therapy, and educational approaches as outpatient treatment, but it can include some more intensive techniques as well. Many recovering addicts seeking inpatient treatment, for example, will first undergo a medically assisted detoxification process in order to manage withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment also involves around-the-clock care, which may be necessary for individuals who are recovering from abuse, trauma, or a co-existing mental disorder.

Benefits

Inpatient treatment can also offer several unique benefits. First, it gives recovering addicts the opportunity to focus on their recovery, without the distractions of everyday life. In addition, since individuals live within the care facility, there is no access to drugs or alcohol, reducing the chances of relapse significantly. Because it is a live-in facility, there may also be more specialized services available, such as a gym facility, yoga classes, acupuncture, or nutritional education.

One potential drawback to inpatient care is that it can limit your access to support from family and friends. For this reason, many inpatient programs include a specialized family program where family members can participate in the recovery of their loved ones—all while receiving the healing they need as well.

Which one is for you?

If you are seeking treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction, it’s important to consider not only the level of care that you need, but also those factors that might try to draw you away from your recovery. If you are living in an environment that is not conducive to a successful recovery, for example, then inpatient treatment may be the option for you—even if you think you may not require that level of care. When in doubt, you should always consult an addiction recovery facility. Many offer free assessments to help match you with the precise level of care that you need.

The Beauty of Recovery is in the Process and Not the Destination

By Rose Lockinger

Throughout my life I have often been told that it’s about the journey and not the destination and in no place have I found this to be truer than in recovery. This is in part because recovery has no destination. There is no ultimate goal or place to get to besides continued sobriety and so in this regard recovery is only about the journey.

I don’t always have this mindset though and there are times when I feel like I need to get somewhere or that I should be further along than I am, and when I get into this frame of mind, I usually do not enjoy my life or my recovery as much. This is because I am striving for something that is not real and in doing so I limit my ability to stay in the present and enjoy the ride.

For me, recovery has definitely been a ride. If a little over two years ago you had told me that my life was going to look the way it does today, I am not sure that I would have believed you. When I started out on this journey I was completely broken and pretty much had no hope whatsoever. My only wish was to either finally get free from the shackles of addiction or die. To be honest, I was sort of rooting for the latter, but there was a part of me that held onto the idea that I could get sober. I didn’t think that I would have a job that I loved, I didn’t think that I would have my children back in my life, I didn’t think that I would ever be back in my home state, and I most certainly didn’t think I would enjoy being sober as much as I do. But here I am with these things in my life, which speaks to another reason why recovery is a process and not a destination. If I had set out for a certain destination in recovery, I would have undoubtedly sold myself short.

That is the beautiful thing about recovery. We come in as people who are on the verge of death, and from just a grain of faith we are given the ability to rebuild our lives in ways that are baffling and incredible. Throughout the process of rebuilding I am not sure that I truly appreciated how wonderful these things were, and like most things in my life, I only understand them in hindsight.

My early sobriety was tough, but looking back now it was a wonderful experience. It was exciting as I was 1000 miles from home, having to make new friends, and in the only tropical climate in the United States. It was an adventure for sure and I remember those days of going to the beach with friends and not particularly having a care in the world fondly now. Even the heartbreak and sadness of early sobriety I see as beautiful, because these experiences opened me up to better understandings of myself and God that I would not have known otherwise.

That is the thing with life, though; we do not get to a place and finally, understand. It is not the arrival somewhere that sparks insight but rather we gain understanding along the way. With each step, we grow in our knowledge and this builds and builds, but is never complete. There is no destination to reach, only a series of paths leading everywhere.

I like to think of recovery as a spiritual quest of sorts. I have found this to be useful in times when I am tired of going to meetings and get bored with the monotony that recovery can bring. Doing this allows me to keep my recovery fresh and lets me see that in terms of spiritual growth, I still have a long way to go.

Most people, and yes I am aware that this is an overarching statement, rush through life hoping to get to someplace. Whether that is to the promotion or the husband or the house or the kids, they are forever in motion, never satisfied with what they have in the present. By doing this, many people lead successful lives, but they miss many of the little moments that bring beauty to life. Recovery has taught me to not do this and to try to stay in the present, being content with the process and not where I hope it brings me.

Recognizing this truth is sometimes difficult and so it is nice to be reminded when you see the process working in other people’s lives. I was told when I first got sober that other people would recognize the change in me before I did and after watching people get sober after me, I can tell you that this is true. Watching women come into recovery being hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol and seeing what they become in a year or two is an amazing experience. It allows me to appreciate the little triumphs in their lives and the process of growth from a different perspective. I find that I get excited at the things that they discover, and seeing God work wonders in their life. It is reaffirming to me and allows me to be grateful for my own journey.

So if you are just getting sober and you feel that you are in a hurry to get somewhere, just take a deep breath, slow down and enjoy the ride. The things that will unfold in your life will amaze you, and if you are lucky enough you will appreciate them as they are going on. Like I said earlier, recovery has no destination, so the process is all we have.

Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

Speaking to Williamston High School Students

By Aaron Emerson

This last Friday I had an amazing opportunity. I was invited to speak and share my story to the students at Williamston High School, located in a small town outside of Lansing.

I was part of a four person panel, which consisted of another recovering addict, a Williamston police officer and a DEA agent. It was a great combination and the conversations couldn’t have gone better in my opinion.

The auditorium was packed to capacity and I was impressed with how well the students listened. Afterwards, at least ten students stopped to talk and ask questions, with two or three of them concerned about particular friends they know who are using drugs. We did our best to answer them and point them in the right direction. I heard their school has been going through a rough spell in regards to marijuana and alcohol abuse, much like a lot of schools are.

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It is so important to get this kind of message out there to young people. It is a blessing to me when schools are open to these kinds of talks and discussions, because that means they are acknowledging a problem or wanting to raise awareness. There are many schools and communities that simply do not want to admit they have a problem, so Williamston should be applauded.

I always get really nervous before I give speeches. Sometimes it is frightening standing up in front of a whole school full of teenagers to talk about heroin addiction. Every time I am done, however, I feel so happy and blessed. That is exactly what happened Friday. God is so good. Hopefully at least a couple students got something out of our forum.