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Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which One is Better?

Written By Recovery Centers - July 13th, 2022
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab: Which One is Better?

Deciding to go to rehab is one of the most important decisions you can make. But figuring out what type of program you should choose can be difficult, especially if you have never been to treatment before.

When it comes to addiction treatment, there are two main types of programs: inpatient and outpatient rehab. Each program has its own benefits and focuses to offer. While inpatient rehab provides intensive treatment and high structure, outpatient rehab offers flexibility in scheduling and an overall lower cost.

Choosing between inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment comes down to deciding which aspects of treatment are most important to you.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient treatment, also referred to as residential rehab, is the highest level of care for addiction recovery services. During inpatient rehab, you will be required to reside at the facility while you participate in your addiction treatment sessions. A residential format provides you with the ability to remove yourself from outside triggers and distractions.

Before beginning inpatient rehab, you will be assessed to determine your individual needs. These assessments take an in-depth look at your medical history, history of substance abuse, mental health, and family history of everything previously mentioned. This information gives the staff members with all of the background information they need to create a unique plan of action for your treatment journey.

Inpatient rehab programs include the following services:

  • Initial intake assessment
  • Medical detox
  • Individual therapy
  • Group counseling
  • Medication management
  • Dual diagnosis services
  • Access to 12-step meetings
  • Medical care
  • Casework
  • Relapse prevention planning

Typically, inpatient rehab lasts anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. How long you will spend in one of these programs depends on your individual needs regarding addiction recovery.

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient addiction treatment is highly structured and offers a treatment intensity level that is unmatched. In other words, the benefits of these programs are wide-ranging. From state-of-the-art facilities that feel like home to individualized treatment planning – inpatient rehab has it all.

The benefits of inpatient treatment include:

  • Safe, drug-free environment
  • A facility that looks and feels like home
  • Peer support
  • Maximum amounts of privacy
  • Aftercare services
  • Well-planned and structured daily routines
  • Individually focused treatment plans
  • Small patient-to-staff ratio
  • Highly experienced staff members
  • Dual diagnosis options

While inpatient rehab can provide you with everything you need to succeed, sometimes outpatient rehab is the better option. It all depends on your individual needs and goals for recovery.

What Is Outpatient Rehab?

An outpatient rehab is a form of treatment that allows you to reside at home while you attend treatment sessions during the day a few times a week. This is a great option if you have a demanding career or children to care for during your recovery process. However, it is important to note that this level of flexibility is not suitable if you are not 100% committed to sobriety.

This form of treatment provides you with many of the same services as inpatient rehab, but less intensively. The general focus of outpatient rehab is on counseling, addiction education, relapse prevention, and building a network of support. It may be good for you if you suffer from a mild or moderate substance use disorder, rather than a severe one, or if you have already completed a higher level of care.

The services offered in an outpatient rehab center include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Addiction education classes
  • Group counseling
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Casework
  • Continued care services
  • Access to 12-step support groups
  • Referrals to sober living programs or halfway homes

Usually, outpatient programs last somewhere between 30 to 90 days. However, it is important to note that the length of rehab is decided on a case-by-case basis.

The Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient addiction treatment can provide you with the flexibility you need to continue working or caring for your children while you recover from the disease of addiction. This is extremely important for people who have demanding careers or families to care for. Without this option, people with these responsibilities may never get the help they need.

The benefits of outpatient rehab include:

  • Flexible treatment schedules
  • Lower cost than inpatient treatment
  • The ability to receive support from your family
  • Gaining a network of sober support
  • Learning relapse prevention skills
  • Being able to apply what you’ve learned to real-life situations during the treatment process

Is Inpatient Rehab Better than Outpatient Rehab?

While inpatient treatment offers a higher level of treatment intensity and is better for people who suffer from severe addictions, it is difficult to say that one type of treatment is better than another.

Inpatient rehab may be best for one person, while outpatient treatment might be better for another. In other words, when you are deciding between the two programs, think about which program offers the best services for your unique needs. You may also consult with an addiction specialist for an initial evaluation so they can help you choose which level of care is right for you.

Find the Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center For You

If you or a loved one struggle with addiction and require professional treatment, you’ve come to the right place. Recovery Centers can help you get connected with a top-rated addiction treatment program that suits your individual needs.

Contact us today to speak with a team member and find the right rehab center for you.