Inpatient vs Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Inpatient vs Outpatient Addiction Treatment: Serving Individual Needs

Substance use disorder is a complex disease, and treatment for the condition is no different. Several methods of treatment have been introduced through years of research into how addiction affects the mind. Two main methods are employed in the treatment of the disease, which are inpatient and outpatient programs. Each has their own set of benefits while providing practically identical treatment methods. But how do you know what to choose when it comes to inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment?

Jump to: Inpatient Rehab Overview

Jump to: Outpatient Rehab Overview

Relapse statistics suggest that around half of recovering addicts relapse by the 12-month mark during recovery. By understanding the benefits of inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment, you can make a more informed decision to give yourself or a loved one the best chance at a successful long-term recovery.

drug rehabs near meInpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is the most intensive form of addiction treatment. It is sometimes referred to as residential care because people in the program reside at the facility during the duration of the treatment. When comparing inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment, inpatient can be seen as the full-time option.

Preparations Needed Before Entering Inpatient Rehab

Due to the fact that inpatient or residential programs require that a person stay several nights at the facility, there are important preparations that one should make before going. Before setting an entry date, ensure that the following is looked at first:

  • If employed, speak to your boss about the time that you will need to take off.
  • If you have dependents, then make arrangements for them to stay with someone while you’re away.
  • Ensure that the people who want to visit you during your stay have the transport they need. Also, make sure that you have transport set up for your trip to the rehab and then again when you are done.
  • Before packing, find out what personal belongings you are allowed to bring.

Outside Support from Family and Friends

Recovery from addiction can be a very emotional experience. Support from loved ones during this time is crucial. When comparing inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment, inpatient does take you away from family and friends. However, rehab programs understand the importance of emotional support for addicts in recovery and therefore allow for visitors and calls  from loved ones.

Apart from keeping in regular contact with friends and family during treatment, many rehabs also offer family therapy to allow family units to not only become involved with the recovery process, but the therapy can also help to repair relationships and strengthen the family unit.

What is Inpatient Care Like?

One of the key benefits of inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment is the intensity. Every day is spent working on recovery, away from any distraction and triggers that are normally present in the person’s outside life.

In an inpatient program, one can expect:

  • Counseling and therapy in a one-on-one setting.
  • Counseling and therapy in a group setting.
  • A daily schedule and structure.
  • On-site staff that can assist day or night.
  • Therapeutic environments ideal for recovery

The common process of addiction treatment in an inpatient program is as follows:

  • Medical detox – This is a medically-assisted approach to detox whereby medications help to reduce cravings and symptoms, allowing for a safe withdrawal.
  • Behavioral therapy and counseling – Perhaps one of the most important aspects of treatment is the counseling and therapy that’s aimed at uncovering problematic issues and offering alternative behaviors that will help the addict avoid substance abuse in their future.
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention – Addiction can only be beaten through the use of aftercare programs, which allows for proper long-term maintenance of the disease. Aftercare refers to services such as follow-up counseling, support groups and sober living homes. A relapse prevention plan, which is usually created during your stay at rehab, is another important aspect, which includes all of the skills, contingencies and structure that a person’s life must follow once they leave rehab.


outpatient rehabOutpatient Rehab

When comparing inpatient vs outpatient addiction treatment, outpatient rehab is similar to its inpatient counterpart in almost every respect expect it is a “part-time” form of treatment. While there is technically less daily-focus put onto addiction recovery in the outpatient drug rehabs near me, it still uses the exact same treatment methods to assist addicts with recovery. Therefore, it is seen as another effective way to treat addiction.

Most outpatient programs require that an addict come into the rehab center for treatment 10 or more hours a week. Furthermore, outpatient programs usually carry on for a longer period of time than inpatient programs, some lasting for up to a year.

Preparations Needed Before Entering Outpatient Rehab

Unlike inpatient programs, outpatient still provides the person with enough freedom to carry on with their work or schooling. Therefore, there isn’t as much preparation needed for treatment apart from understanding the schedule you will need to keep to attend rehab, which may require that a person come in during working hours.

Detox in an Outpatient Setting

Addicts with a mild to moderate physical dependence to drugs such as opioids can get all the help they need with detox through an outpatient program. Similar to inpatient programs, medications are provided that have anti-abuse properties to reduce the risk of abuse.

Through regular checkups with the physician at the rehab center or accompanying clinic, the safe recovery of the addict can be kept on track. However, if there is a severe addiction to a substance such as alcohol – which can be life-threatening to detox from – a partial hospitalization program might be required.

Support from Family and Friends

Of course, an outpatient program allows the addict to still be surrounded by friends and family during their recovery. Such support can make a substantial difference to the addict since they will face an emotionally turbulent time ahead.

Ongoing Care

Outpatient is unlike inpatient programs in respect to who uses it. People looking for drug rehabs near me may use either an inpatient or outpatient program as their first approach to treatment. However, a recovering individual who has recently finished their inpatient treatment may opt to use an outpatient program to continue with their care directly after.

Using the program as a continuum of care allows people to make easier transitions from the treatment they had during inpatient rehabilitation programs to a normal functioning part of society.

Furthermore, as a follow-up approach, outpatient facilities can be the ideal place to go when you fear that you might be approaching a relapse during your recovery. Through one-on-one and group counseling, a recovering person can be helped to strengthen their resolve again.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.