Once you’ve decided to take the first step towards recovery and enter an addiction treatment program, you need to choose between inpatient vs outpatient treatment. Although both types of care are recovery-focused and often include elements such as detox, behavioral therapy and group counseling, inpatient treatment is exceptionally more intensive, while outpatient treatment allows the patient to attend rehab on a part-time basis, enabling them to continue working, attending school or dealing with other responsibilities.
What to Expect from an Inpatient Treatment Program
As mentioned earlier, inpatient care is intensive. It typically lasts a minimum of four weeks and in some cases can continue for even longer. In cases where addiction is severe, inpatient treatment is almost always the better choice. When comparing inpatient vs outpatient treatment, inpatient care allows patients to take more time to focus on their recovery without outside distractions or communication with those who many enable them to use drugs or alcohol.
What to Expect from an Outpatient Treatment Program
Outpatient programs are best for individuals who aren’t able to take time away from work, school or family life. While they generally have lower success rates than those in inpatient care, outpatients who dedicate themselves to the program do have the opportunity to successfully recover from their addictions. Outpatient programs consist of treatment plans that are similar to those created for inpatients; the major difference between the two programs is the intensity of treatment and the frequency at which it’s provided.
Considerations When Choosing a Rehab Program
Addicts who have a strong support system might find that they prefer to recover at home and attend treatment during the daytime. However, those who don’t have support at home or whose friends and family enable them to use should consider inpatient care, which ensures patients remain focused on recovery 24 hours a day. Outpatient care is also considerably less expensive than inpatient treatment; for some, the cost alone is the deciding factor.
- Each day in treatment follows a rigid schedule
- All patients are subject to strict rules while participating in the program
- Medical staff is typically available to provide care around the clock
- Peers provide motivation and support
- Treatment is monitored by trained counselors 24/7
- Best option for patients who experience frequent urges to use drugs or alcohol or are dealing with more than one addiction or mental health condition
- Patients are responsible for their own recovery and must adhere to treatment appointments
- Structured treatment programs are available for those transferring from a partial hospitalization program or inpatient care
- Best option for patients who require treatment at a lower cost or a flexible treatment schedule
Making the Right Choice
The most important factor to consider when choosing inpatient vs outpatient treatment is your own health. Patients who are dedicated to their recovery can find success in an intensive or general outpatient program, while those who need more structure or medical attention are more likely to benefit from inpatient treatment or a partial hospitalization program.