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Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

Making the Right Decision for Your Journey

After deciding to attend addiction treatment, individuals must decide which type of addiction treatment program they want to attend: inpatient or outpatient rehab.  That’s because, for alcohol and drug addiction rehab to work, it’s vital to attend the type of addiction inpatient and outpatient care program that will best cater to your level of addiction and individual needs.

To help you decide whether inpatient vs. outpatient substance abuse treatment is best for you, we’re going to discuss the similarities and differences between inpatient and outpatient rehab.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment programs require patients to live in a rehab facility where they’re receiving treatment. Inpatient treatment 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 addiction treatments and therapy programs that inpatient rehab requires. This living arrangement also makes it easier for patients to avoid relapse.

The length of inpatient rehab 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 rehab, patients learn what their triggers are and develop coping mechanisms to help manage them.

Forms of Inpatient Treatment

There are two forms of inpatient addiction treatment programs, including the standard form of inpatient treatments and the residential form of inpatient treatments.

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

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

inpatient care

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

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

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

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 treatment 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 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 treatments. These three forms are standard outpatient treatments, partial hospitalization program treatment, and intensive outpatient treatments.

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

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

Partial hospitalization program (PHP) 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.

ALT TEXT: substance use disorders

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) 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.

Pros and Cons of Inpatient Treatment

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 treatment 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 treatments patients also benefit from the 24/7 supervision that they receive. Also, many inpatient treatment centers also provide medical detox. Therefore, you can address two needs at once by obtaining medically supervised detox services at 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 inpatient care 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. Inpatient treatment 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.

inpatient vs outpatient

The Cons

Despite all the pros of attending inpatient treatment centers, there are some cons. For example, the fact that inpatient care 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 rehab patients get to spend with their loved ones, which can be a major challenge for some.

Another con to inpatient treatments 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.

Pros and Cons of Outpatient Treatments

The Pros

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

Another major benefit of attending most forms of outpatient 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 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 specialists in the present time.

The Cons

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

Another aspect of attending outpatient treatment 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 outpatient treatment 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 care patients are more susceptible to relapse.

addiction specialists

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 rehab 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, 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 programs would best suit you and your needs.

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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