After deciding to attend addiction treatment, individuals must decide which type of addiction treatment program they want to attend: inpatient vs. outpatient rehab. This is arguably an even bigger decision than the one to attend addiction treatment. That’s because, for rehab to work, it’s vital to attend the type of addiction treatment program that will best cater to your level of addiction and individual needs. To help you decide whether inpatient rehab or outpatient treatment is best for you, we’re going to discuss the similarities and differences between inpatient vs. outpatient rehab.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Therapist talking to her patient - inpatient vs outpatient rehab

Inpatient treatment programs require patients to live in a rehab facility where they’re receiving treatment. Inpatient programs are the most intensive and structured forms of addiction treatment. As such, this type of treatment program is best for those who need intensive care and supervision. It enables individuals to have access to around-the-clock professional and medical treatment and resources.

Living in a rehab facility 24/7 while receiving treatment makes it easier for inpatient treatment patients to attend the numerous treatment and therapy programs that inpatient rehab requires. This living arrangement also makes it easier for patients to avoid relapse.

The length of inpatient treatment programs is much longer than the length of outpatient treatment programs. These programs tend to last 30 days or longer. Within these 30+ days, individuals can address their specific needs. Also, during inpatient care, patients learn what their triggers are and develop coping mechanisms to help manage them.

Forms of Inpatient Treatment

There are two forms of inpatient treatment for alcohol and drug abuse, including the standard form of inpatient treatment and the residential form of inpatient treatment.

Standard inpatient treatment

Standard inpatient treatment is slightly more intensive and structured than the residential form of inpatient rehab. So, people who have severe addictions should attend inpatient rehab centers.

Residential treatment

Residential treatments are slightly less intensive and structured than standard inpatient treatment programs. This allows residential treatment patients to have more time for themselves and more time to participate in fun activities.

A residential treatment program also differs from a standard inpatient addiction treatment program in residential treatment facilities that function like apartment-like communities. Thus, it’s easy for residential treatment patients to bond with one another. In fact, the overall vibe of residential treatment is more casual than standard inpatient treatment.

Despite being slightly less structured and intense than standard inpatient treatment, residential treatment programs last the same amount of time. This means residential treatment programs also tend to last 30 or more days.

Also, like standard inpatient treatment programs, residential treatment programs still have 24/7 supervision and care. In fact, most of the treatment and therapy practices that standard inpatient treatment programs use, residential treatment programs use as well. Thus, although slightly less intensive and structured than standard inpatient treatment, residential treatment is still helpful for patients with severe drug abuse problems or dual diagnosis.

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment does not require that patients live in a rehab facility. They are best for people who have either already completed inpatient rehab or have a safe, substance-free, supportive living environment. Some individuals may continue living at home while going through outpatient rehab. Others may live in a sober living environment.

There are 3 different types of outpatient treatment programs: partial hospitalization program treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, and standard outpatient treatment. These treatment programs do vary in how intensive they are, so it’s important to seek professional guidance in selecting one for your journey to recovery.

Forms of Outpatient Treatment

As briefly mentioned earlier, there are three forms of outpatient treatment. These three forms are standard outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment.

Standard outpatient treatment programs

Standard outpatient treatment programs are the least intense and structured of all the outpatient treatment programs. This is because standard outpatient treatment programs only require a couple of hours of treatment a day, once or twice a week.

Like all forms of outpatient treatment, the standard outpatient treatment program doesn’t require patients to live at the rehab facilities that they’re receiving treatment at. So, standard outpatient treatment patients can go home after treatment is over and tend to their day-to-day responsibilities.

Partial hospitalization program (PHP)

This treatment is the most intensive and structured form of outpatient treatment because it requires that patients attend treatment all day. But individuals can return home after treatment is done for the day.

Since partial hospitalization treatment requires patients to attend treatment all day, some people call PHP treatment day treatment. PHP treatment occurs for around five to eight hours a day, five to seven days a week.

Intensive outpatient program (IOP)

This treatment is the second most intensive form of outpatient treatment. IOP treatment is compact in that it contains an intensive amount of rehab within a short amount of time. Thus, intensive outpatient program treatment occurs for approximately a few hours a day, a few times a week.

Discussing the Pros and Cons of Inpatient Treatment


Healthcare professional explaining inpatient vs outpatient pros and cons

The Pros

Just like with anything in life, there are pros and cons to attending any form of inpatient treatment. One major pro to inpatient rehab is that it provides a safe and comfortable environment for patients to live in. This environment removes people from temptations to use substances. After all, it’s often hard for people that are recovering from addiction to remain sober when they’re still in the same old toxic environments that are filled with temptations.

Inpatient treatment patients also benefit from the 24/7 supervision that they receive. Also, many inpatient rehab centers also provide medical detox. Therefore, you can address two needs at once by obtaining medically supervised detox services by the same treatment center that you’re receiving addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment patients benefit from being able to use medication-assisted treatment. This is especially true since people that attend inpatient forms of treatment contain severe addictions.

The intense therapy and treatment programs that inpatient treatment patients receive is also a benefit because these approaches provide patients with extensive knowledge and tools that they can use to remain sober throughout the rest of their lives.

Another pro to attending inpatient rehab is the large support group that it provides individuals with. Patients acquire a large support group because of all the counselors, therapists, and addiction treatment specialists that they’ve spent extensive time with while in rehab.

The Cons

Despite all the pros of attending inpatient rehab, there are some cons. For example, the fact that inpatient treatment patients rarely get to spend time in the real world may not be as helpful for some people as it is for others. It can minimize the amount of actual practice an individual has at remaining sober in the face of temptations and triggers. Getting minimal time in the real world during rehab also reduces the amount of time that inpatient treatment patients get to spend with their loved ones, which can be a major challenge for some.

Another con to attending inpatient substance abuse treatment is that it prevents individuals from working and making money while in rehab. This can be problematic for some individuals, especially if they do not have health insurance (which may provide coverage for addiction rehab costs) or family members who can help support them financially.

Discussing the Pros and Cons of Outpatient Treatment


The Pros

There are many pros to attending outpatient alcohol and drug abuse treatment. One is the affordability of outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment patients don’t need to pay for the cost of living at rehab facilities. This type of treatment also tends to cost less than inpatient treatment because the amount of hours and days that go into an outpatient rehab program is much less than that of inpatient treatment. Therefore, outpatient treatment patients are paying for less care than those in inpatient programs.

Another major benefit of attending most forms of outpatient substance abuse treatment is the ability it gives you to still work and maintain your day-to-day responsibilities while receiving care. Outpatient care also allows people to simultaneously practice using coping mechanisms in the real world as they attend treatment. Those in outpatient rehab can go back home and maintain a normal lifestyle outside of rehab.

Being able to practice addiction coping mechanisms in the real world while receiving treatment is a pro. This is because it allows outpatient rehab treatment patients to address any unexpected issues that they’re having when re-entering the real world as sober individuals with their therapists and addiction treatment specialists in the present time.

The Cons

One con to outpatient programs is its lack of around-the-clock care and supervision. Not having around-the-clock care and supervision could make some outpatient treatment patients more susceptible to relapse while in rehab.

Another aspect of attending outpatient programs that makes its patients more susceptible to relapse is having to live in one’s own home while receiving care. This sometimes opens the door for patients to run into the same people, places, and things that caused them to develop addictions in the first place. Essentially, this is just another way that outpatient treatment patients are more susceptible to relapse.

Patient talking to an expert about rehab options - inpatient or outpatient treatment

Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

One key difference between inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment is that inpatient treatment allows its patients to live at the rehab facility that they’re receiving treatment at while outpatient treatment does not. As a result, inpatient treatment programs provide 24/7 care and supervision while outpatient treatment programs do not.

Another key difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is that inpatient treatment lasts much longer than outpatient treatment does. Inpatient treatment is also much more expensive than outpatient treatment is.

Which Form of Addiction Treatment is Best For You?

Prior to deciding which type of addiction treatment program to enter: inpatient vs outpatient rehab, it’s important to receive a medical evaluation of your physical condition from a physician. It’s also important to get an assessment of your physical and mental condition as it relates to substance use from some medical professionals and addiction treatment specialists.

After consulting medical professionals and addiction treatment specialists about your condition, you’ll likely receive some guidance about what addiction treatment program would best suit you and your needs.

Receive Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment at Behavioral Health Centers


Inpatient and outpatient rehab in port st lucie

At Behavioral Health Center, we value inpatient and outpatient care forms of addiction treatment programs. That’s why we offer residential treatment along with standard outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. Thus, whether you suffer from a severe addiction that requires inpatient treatment or a milder addiction that requires some sort of outpatient care, we’ve got you covered.

On top of the various addiction treatment programs that we provide, we here at Behavioral Health Centers offer our prospective patients individual, group, and family therapy along with dual diagnosis treatment. We even provide a wide variety of specialized treatment programs based on the substance that individuals are addicted to. To learn more about Behavioral Health Centers and the various addiction treatment and therapy services that we offer, contact us today! We would love to hear from you!

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