Residential Rehab Is Not The Place For Me, Outpatient Rehab Is Where I Would Rather Be

Residential Rehab Is Not The Place For Me, Outpatient Rehab Is Where I Would Rather Be

So what is the big fuss about all of these rehab centers and how in the world do we know what rehab center is best for ourselves or a loved one. While there are many aspects to addiction treatment and there is a wide array of differences among rehab centers many individuals simply want to know if they should utilize a residential rehab center, an outpatient rehab center, or both forms of rehab in conjunction. This is a good question and here is a good answer.

First, let me say that there is a good need for both residential rehab and outpatient rehab dependent on the person. And ultimately, the individual’s personal preference and comfort will dictate the rehab setting they choose. While both rehab settings are important, let’s shed some light on the topic to make a more informed decision in our rehab center search.

Often there are two types of individuals that this author frequently encounters. First is the person that associates residential rehab as the only possible way to treat their addiction and stay free of substance abuse. The second individual states that checking out of life and into a rehab center is not even an option given their other obligations in life and would rather continue using that risk any negative impacts to these obligations.

Based on research and current trends residential rehab, while in some cases being a vital part of treatment, has a high rate of relapse if not followed by some sort of outpatient rehab. This being the case there may not always be a need to enter residential rehab centers at the initiation of rehab. If the need does arise many outpatient rehab centers have the ability to freeze their rehab program and utilize a residential rehab as needed. Some of these cases might include a need for medical stabilization, or non-compliance in an outpatient rehab setting.

So why is outpatient rehab so important to addiction treatment? It’s simple, it has to do with the way addiction affects the brain and how individuals deal with stress. It can be explained in this simple analogy, without getting too much into the science. The brain recognizes the substance used as a coping mechanism that is much more efficient than other and so a memory is stored for reference in similar situations. This is much like a coat or blanket when we get cold.

So, as negatives are associated with substance abuse, let’s say all blankets and coats have small pox and there is no vaccine. So, if you use a blanket or coat you may not die immediately but you would eventually and if you see your family you might negatively affect them as well. Now, we have to figure out alternate forms to stay warm without grabbing a blanket or coat. Thrown out in the cold anyone, knowing what is on these items, would grab them before death occurs. What is the difference between residential rehab and outpatient rehab? I’ll leave you with this final question.

Would we be more successful learning a technique to stay warm on a beach in Florida or in Maine with 6 feet of snow on the ground and someone to guide us?

Scott McKinney is the Vice President at Midwest Institute for Addiction; a state liscensed medically assisted treatment center in St. Louis, Missouri. MIA is committed to providing quality treatment.

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