Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment for Narcotics Addiction – Which Is Best for Me?

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Your addiction severity, mental health status, and life situation will help determine the intensity of treatment you need in order to recover.

Addiction rates for opiate narcotics run second only to alcohol, with more and more people falling prey to the effects of these drugs each year. Whether used for treatment purposes or recreational use, both prescription opiates and heroin carry a high risk for abuse, which ultimately becomes the gateway to addiction.

Once a person decides to get help, the range of treatment options to choose from boil down to two main program types: residential and outpatient. Determining which type of treatment for narcotics addiction is best for you can go a long way towards ensuring a successful recovery outcome.

If you need help finding a treatment program that meets your needs, feel free to call our toll-free helpline at (800) 407-7195 to speak with one of our addiction counselors.

Narcotics Addiction Effects

For most people, narcotic addiction develops in stages where the drug’s effects gradually take over the brain’s regulatory functions. At the early stages of addiction, physical dependence develops as the drug’s effects weaken the brain’s ability to function on its own.

Later on, a full-blown addiction takes the form of psychological dependence, at which point a person has come to believe he or she needs the drug to cope with daily life, according to the University of Buffalo. Choosing between residential and outpatient treatment for narcotics addiction depends on how far along you are in the addiction cycle.

Residential and outpatient treatment programs offer the same types of services, but differ in the level or intensity of care provided. Whereas residential programs require you to live at the treatment facility, outpatient programs don’t. In effect, the day-in, day-out structure and routine of a residential program becomes a form of treatment in itself.

Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment for Narcotics : Factors to Consider

Residential vs. Outpatient Treatment

If you’re still able to function at work or school, outpatient treatment may be effective.

Addiction Severity

Addiction severity has to do with:

  • Length of time using a drug
  • Drug potency level as in heroin versus codeine
  • Using multiple substances at a time, such as heroin and cocaine or oxycodone and alcohol

As a general rule, the more severe the addiction the greater the need for an intensive, closed-in treatment environment. This means someone coming off a severe addiction will likely require residential treatment for narcotics addiction whereas someone at the early stages of addiction may only require an outpatient treatment approach.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders interact with the same areas of the brain as addiction. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, mental health problems and narcotics addiction tend to attract one another.

When the two conditions co-exist, breaking an addiction problem becomes that much harder. If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder on top of an addiction problem, residential treatment for narcotics addiction offers the level of care most needed to meet your treatment needs.

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Lifestyle Effects

Overall, the degree to which addiction interferes with your daily life ultimately determines which type of treatment will work best for you. If drug addiction’s effects have resulted in job loss, declining health and/or broken relationships, residential care should be considered. If you’re still able to hold down a job and meet daily family responsibilities, outpatient care may be all that’s needed.

Please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at (800) 407-7195 to discuss available treatment options.