Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

America’s drug crises are a legend. Today, the challenge is to drive friends and family to a rehab center before identifying them at the morgue. What are the pros and cons of inpatient vs. outpatient addiction treatment?  How relevant is a patient centered approach?

America’s Drug Counter Culture

The first synthesis of amphetamine was in 1887.  Amphetamine (Benzedrine) is a powerful stimulant.  There is also amphetamines’ cousin, methamphetamine (crystal meth).   In the 90’s, smoking crystal meth was favored, produced by “mom and pop” laboratories, until the Mexican cartels took over the production.

Amphetamines have been used by truck drivers to stay awake and by WWII soldiers to combat battle fatigue. These drugs have the same effect on the body and have been called “speed” or “pep” pills. Doctors have prescribed amphetamine as a dangerous diet control medicine while meth was taken over by the illicit drug trade.  Cocaine was made acceptable by Coca Cola’s secret syrup formula. In 1894, Sigmund Freud commented on the miracle drug and was addicted to cocaine.

Crack destroyed the reputation of cocaine which was relatively considered harmless.  Heinrich Dreser, in 1895, a German chemist for the Bayer Company, synthesized heroin which was inserted in Bayer’s little pills for children’s headaches.

Today, the drug of choice is the opioid, which has a reputation as a deadly killer, especially in Ohio, while still being prescribed by physicians.

Alcohol has its history of abuse and is society’s most popular legally abused drug.  In 2015, 35,092 people died in vehicle accidents, which does not include the breakdown of the family, and the alcoholic’s personal goals. The jury is still out on marijuana.


This 100-year history of overwhelming drug and alcohol abuse on people’s lives and the destruction of social mores is left to the honorable professionals in rehabilitation to solve.

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Patient-Centered Approach – Outpatient Versus Inpatient Rehabilitation

Patient-Centered means more than the preference of the patient, while it is relevant.   However, putting the patient’s needs first is the determining factor as to the choice and the success of the rehabilitation model,  After a thorough intake of all the vital information, including medical, psychological, financial data about the patient, the choice of recovery model will be self-evident.  You must trust your common sense and your measurement tools, or construct new ones.

However, there are distinct factors that must be considered such as,

  1.  Has the patient gone through the stages of acceptance-denial?
  2.  How serious is the patient’s condition and Is the patient able to take care of his/her basic needs or needs 24/7 care?
  3.  How much support does the patient have if he/she lived alone?
  4.  Listen to your patients and trust them.


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