Rehab amphetamine addiction: When to choose inpatient vs. outpatient

Should you choose inpatient or outpatient treatment when dealing with amphetamine addiction? We review DO’s and DONT’s of inpatient and outpatient amphetamine rehabilitation to help you choose what is right for you.

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Amphetamine is a synthetic, and very potent psychoactive substance. This drug acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters that travel across synapses of the brain. Amphetamines also keep these chemicals present long enough in nerve synpases to attach to a receptor site, causing experiences of extreme euphoria for longer periods of time. This is why amphetamine is placed in the group of Schedule II drugs in the Controlled Substances Act since 1971, and can cause addiction when misused.

So, what works best in the treatment of amphetamine addiction? Is inpatient rehab recommended, or will outpatient treatment do?

In this article, we describe how residential amphetamine rehabilitation is different from outpatient programs. We’ll take a look at the PROs and CONs of each. Then, we invite you to post your questions in the section at the end of the page. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly!

Why do you need amphetamine addiction rehab?

Repetitive and prolonged amphetamine use leads to physical complications such as:

  • aggression
  • damage to brain cells
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • increased susceptibility to violent rages
  • malnutrition
  • mood swings
  • need for other drugs to balance the effects of amphetamines
  • panic attacks
  • paranoia
  • psychosis
  • reduced immunity

Using amphetamines on a regular basis can also lead to problems in other aspects of your life, including:

1. Relationships – Abusing amphetamine leads to changes in the addict’s behaviour towards loved ones.

2. Work or study – Amphetamine addiction can cause problems with concentration and performance.

3. Legal issues – Amphetamine addicts sometimes act without control and become violent, are caught buying or possessing amphetamine, or commit other crimes in order to obtain the drug.

4. Finance – Debt can quickly accumulate due to the inability to hold down a job and repeatedly spending money on amphetamines

Deciding to manage your amphetamine addiction and entering amphetamine rehab treatment can help you manage these dangerous and life threatening conditions. Seeking help for your amphetamine addiction can help you tremendously on your journey to sobriety and a normal drug free life.

Inpatient vs.outpatient amphetamine rehabilitation

Should you choose inpatient or outpatient rehab? It depends on your needs and the level to which your addiction has progressed. But first, you need to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of both types of treatment. Here are some of the differences between inpatient and outpatient amphetamine rehab that can help you decide which one suits your needs the best.

1. Duration of treatment

Inpatient amphetamine rehab programs usually lasts for 30 days. This is enough time to initially eliminate amphetamine from your body and start working on the psychological aspects of your addiction problem. It may not address protracted withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) such as sleeping or anxiety issues. In addition to the initial detox process, inpatient rehab programs also include behavioral, social, and psycho-emotional treatments. Afterrcare treatment through counseling and psychotherapy should also be included. More severe cases of amphetamine addiction require a longer rehab stay, ranging from 60 to 90 days…and in some cases individuals need even longer treatment stay (up to 120 days).

Outpatient amphetamine rehab treatments consists of counseling and daily or weekly therapy sessions that do not require you to reside in the facility. The duration of outpatient amphetamine treatment programs are not strictly determined. Instead they are adjusted to your individual needs and can last anywhere from 6 weeks to one or two years.

2. Amphetamine rehab costs

The expenses for inpatient treatment are higher because of included room, intensive medical care, daily treatment, regular meals, and other additional costs and services. The average cost of inpatient amphetamine rehab is between $10-19K per treatment episode. Residential rehabs with high quality staff and services cost from $18K up to $35K monthly.

Outpatient amphetamine rehabs are cheaper because they don’t include any residential costs. The average costs of an outpatient amphetamine rehab will cost you around $2K per treatment episode, while you can expect Intensive Outpatient or IOP rehab costs to be about $4K.

3. Residence

Inpatient rehabs require full time residence. Living in a facility helps you achieve maximum devotion to your recovery and allows you to take some time away from your life at home. Intense and active engagement are the main characteristics of an inpatient amphetamine recovery program. So, who should go to a residential addiction treatment facility? Generally, treatment specialists do not recommend outpatient rehab programs to patients who need supervised or medically assisted treatment because of the dangers associated with their cases. When an amphetamine addict tries to resolve addiction, the threat of every day distractions and triggers that can affect the success of treatment is present unless they enrol in an inpatient (residential) program.

The primary benefit of an outpatient amphetamine rehab programs is that it does not require you stay in the facility. This means that while the treatment lasts you will be able to continue your daily life routines.

4. Detox

In a residential setting, detox is usually included as a medically supervised treatment. After the intake session, you will likely go through the detoxification phase. Inpatient treatment facilities provide detoxification care and services as part of the treatment program.

Outpatient rehabs, on the other hand, redirect you to a detox clinic outside of the treatment place. Then, once amphetamine detox is over, you are expected to return to the outpatient facility for scheduled treatment meetings.

How can I decide between inpatient and outpatient amphetamine rehab?

Amphetamine addiction is not a self-manageable condition. It is important to keep in mind that you should NEVER try to abruptly stop using amphetamine by yourself because you can only make your condition worse.

Instead, quitting amphetamines requires help from professionals. Asking for help from a medical or addiction professional can only benefit you. Doctors and other professionals who are licensed and specialize in the field of addiction can successfully guide you through this process. You will probably be advised to visit a treatment clinic (inpatient or outpatient) based on your addiction case and needs.

What should amphetamine rehab programs offer?

Regardless of the type of treatment (impatient or outpatient), good amphetamine programs should include some required services and follow the usual protocol of:

1. Screening, Evaluation and Diagnosis
2. Detoxification and health care needs
3. Adjustment of treatment program
4. Developing an aftercare plan

Inpatient and outpatient amphetamine rehab questions

Still have questions about whether you should choose an inpatient or outpatient rehab setting for amphetamine addiction? Feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: VIC: Amphetamines
CESAR: Amphetamines
Miller, W., Forcehimes, A., Zweben, A. (2011) Treating Addiction: A Guide for Proffesionals. New York: The Guilford Press.
DrugAbuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment
NCBI: Inpatient vs outpatient treatment for substance dependence revisited
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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