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woman talking with therapist about inpatient vs outpatient treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

When you struggle with a substance abuse disorder or alcoholism, you may wonder what the benefits of inpatient vs. outpatient treatment are and which option is best for you.

Substance abuse disorders are one of the most common public health problems in the country. What makes addiction such a dangerous and cunning disease is that it’s chronic and progressive. As you build tolerance, intoxication requires more of the substance. Eventually, you may have to use solely to avoid withdrawal symptoms, as many substances have the potential to create physical dependencies.

How Addiction Works

Addiction doesn’t discriminate because anyone can develop a substance abuse disorder. Since there is no known cause of addiction, that means even using drugs and alcohol recreationally can eventually lead to an addiction. Drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors that cause mood-altering effects. Whenever you use, your brain releases more neurotransmitters than it should, which creates the positive effects associated with intoxication.

However, once intoxication ends, your brain is left with a sudden and substantial depletion of neurotransmitters. Your brain also connects your substance of choice with pleasure. What this means is that your brain positively reinforces your use by only releasing neurotransmitters when you use your substance.

Eventually, your brain becomes incapable of releasing neurotransmitters without the use of your substance of choice. As your tolerance increases, you have to increase your use to experience the same positive effects, which can become costly to both your finances and your health.

When your addiction becomes your main priority, it can cause you to choose your substance of choice over everything else in your life. Early treatment is important because addiction continues to get worse until you recover, meaning that understanding the difference between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment is the first step in overcoming your addiction.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

So, what is the difference between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment and how can they help you heal from addiction? The main difference between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment is that inpatient programs are residential, while outpatient programs allow you to return home at night.

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment options offer:

Whether you choose inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, remember that addiction takes time to fully recover from. Your brain needs to re-learn how to properly release neurotransmitters, while your body has to adjust to no longer relying on your substance of choice in order to feel normal. During treatment, you’ll learn how to cope with cravings and triggers, which helps reduce your chances of experiencing a relapse.

Finding Help Today

When you’re battling an addiction, you can feel lost, confused, and alone. Addiction requires treatment because you can continue to deal with cravings long after your last use. To learn more about the differences between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, or to discuss your recovery options, reach out to us today at 717.969.9126.

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