Inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox are available in many communities throughout the country. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol and is ready to stop using the person will usually, but not always, go through a period of withdrawal as the substance slowly leaves the person’s body.
During withdrawal, a person might experience a variety of different withdrawal symptoms. With many inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox services, the person’s withdrawal symptoms can be monitored and treated with medications until the symptoms go away. The effects of drugs and the effects of alcohol on the body can vary between individuals, as well.
Professional detox treatment helps to ensure that a person’s withdrawal symptoms stay within safe ranges and do not become life-threatening. Inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox settings have pros and cons. Both settings are not appropriate for everyone.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detox
Inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox can take anywhere from a few days to a week or more to complete. During inpatient drug alcohol detox, a person stays at a facility that offers detox services until the person has gone through the withdrawal period and is medically safe to leave. During outpatient drug alcohol detox, a person does not stay at a facility; the person goes through detox at home. Inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox usually involves the use of medications to ease symptoms.
Inpatient Detox Pros and Cons
Inpatient and outpatient drug alcohol detox settings have pros and cons. Withdrawal symptoms can be mild to severe depending on the person, the substance, the extent of the addiction and so forth. Serious withdrawal complications such as seizures or delirium tremons sometimes occur during detox. Therefore, it is always advisable to have some level of supervision during drug alcohol detox.
Inpatient drug alcohol detox is typically safer. Having round the clock supervision and care during inpatient detox means that symptoms are monitored closely and treated quickly. The treatment received is very fine-tuned to the person. Receiving appropriate medications also makes the detox more comfortable. Inpatient drug alcohol detox is generally quicker than outpatient detox.
A downside to inpatient drug alcohol detox is that a person might not be able to spend a few days to a week or more at a detox facility. Work, family and other personal obligations are sometimes barriers to inpatient drug alcohol detox. Inpatient detox is also more expensive than outpatient detox.
Outpatient Detox Pros and Cons
Outpatient drug alcohol detox allows a person to detox from home rather than in a detox unit. It is also less expensive than inpatient detox. However, outpatient detox does not offer round-the-clock supervision or fine-tuned treatment. Therefore, outpatient detox is usually less safe, less comfortable and takes longer than inpatient detox. The likelihood of a person completing detox on an outpatient basis is statistically lower than a person completing detox in an inpatient setting.