Weighing Out: Outpatient Vs Inpatient Addiction Rehab | AspenRidge

“… I had to come to a place where I finally understood that I knew absolutely nothing about how to recover from this disease and that these people were clearly authorities on the subject. So probably, I should just let them do their job and listen to someone else for a change. Once I did this – made this mental shift (some would call it “surrender”), going to treatment was a blessing for me…”

~Taite Adams, Kickstart Your Recovery: The Road Less Traveled to Freedom from Addiction

If you have been suffering from a substance abuse disorder such as alcoholism or drug addiction and you have made the decision to ask for help and start recovery, you are to be congratulated. You are making the best possible decision for your life, your family, and your future.

But if you live in the Denver, Colorado, area –Lakewood, Aurora, Centennial, etc. – there are so many choices for rehab facilities that it can be confusing to know exactly what to do next.

One of the biggest questions that people have is whether they should seek residential (inpatient) or outpatient addiction rehab. Since the last thing that a person new to recovery needs is more confusion in their life, here are some ways that you can weigh the positives and negatives of each type of treatment.

Addiction Treatment or Rehab in Colorado Starts with YOUR Needs

The level of addiction treatment you should seek should primarily depend upon the severity of your substance abuse disorder –

  • History/length of your addiction
  • The amount of drugs/alcohol consumed
  • The frequency of use
  • The specific substance(s) abused
  • Any co-occurring mental disorders

Moderate-to-severe addiction should typically be addressed in an inpatient recovery setting. The round-the-clock, highly-structured environment will help keep you away from temptations and triggers until you are strong enough in your sobriety to stand on your own.

Outpatient rehab – sometimes referred to as an Intensive Outpatient Program (5-Day IOP) – is typically best for someone with a substance abuse disorder on the lower end of the spectrum OR as a way of extending treatment for someone who has “graduated” from a residential program.

There Are Two Schools of Thought about Addiction Rehab in Colorado

Many people think that they should always start with an attempt at an outpatient rehab FIRST, hoping to utilize the lowest level of care.  Because an 5-Day IOP can be completed on a part-time basis, there are a number of positives to this option:

  • The ability to keep working
  • School attendance doesn’t have to be interrupted
  • You can stay in your own home
  • You don’t have to be separated from your family
  • Much lower cost than a residential program

For a lot of families, that last positive was the biggest – and sometimes the ONLY – consideration as they tried to figure out how to pay for drug and alcohol treatment.

With the passage of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, however, inpatient addiction rehab in Colorado suddenly became an option that was no longer out of reach.

Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab is becoming more the norm in Colorado, and this is beneficial in several ways:

  • Prevents a person from “minimizing” their problem
  • Provides the maximum level of 24/7 care and supervision
  • Some facilities provide on-site detoxification
  • Monitoring by trained medical staff
  • Medication-assisted recovery
  • Establishes routine and structure
  • Immersion in a healthier lifestyle
  • Removes triggers, temptations, and opportunity to use/drink
  • Allows you to completely focus on your recovery, rather than the demands of everyday life

For those people who are able to attend an inpatient residential program, this last benefit is, to them, the biggest negative – while they are in treatment, they aren’t able to work or spend significant time with their loved ones.

How to Get Guidance about Drug Rehab in Colorado

If you are unsure about your needs and your available options, perhaps your first phone call should be to the intake line of a trusted local institution. Not only can they answer your questions, but they can also schedule a professional assessment and evaluation that can help you decide what to do next.

AspenRidge Recovery, conveniently located right outside of Denver, in Lakewood, can help you during every step along your journey back to sobriety. As Colorado’s premier drug and alcohol addiction rehab program, Aspen Ridge provides established, Evidence-Based Treatment (both inpatient and outpatient) that restores sanity and stability to your life.


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