When it comes to drug and alcohol rehab, the majority of clients choose between inpatient and outpatient treatment. While both of these levels of care offer similar addiction rehab services, such as individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management, they need different amounts of clinical hours and supervision.

The decision to enroll in either inpatient or outpatient rehab is a crucial one. Understanding the distinctions between these two programs is important in assessing whether inpatient or outpatient care is right for you or a loved one.

The key differences:

Inpatient Rehab

  • Patient stays in the facility
  • Higher success rate
  • More expensive
  • Disruptive to daily life
  • 24 hour medical and emotional support
  • 28 days to six months program
  • Designed to treat serious addictions
  • No distractions of everyday life

Outpatient Rehab

  • Patient stays at home, but goes to treatment during the day
  • Lower success rate
  • More affordable
  • Patient maintains a more normal daily routine
  • Accessible to social circle support
  • 3 months to over a year program
  • Good for someone with a mild addiction
  • 10 to 12 hours a week

Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Inpatient recovery programs, often known as residential treatment, entail individuals checking themselves into a supervised setting in order to overcome their addictions. Patients are cared for at a clinic that provides medical and emotional assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A patient enrolled in an inpatient addiction treatment program is a full-time resident of the treatment institution. Inpatient treatment is frequently preceded by medically assisted detoxification. After completing inpatient treatment, clients may transition to more flexible care alternatives, such as outpatient therapy, where they may use their newly-acquired recovery skills while still getting professional assistance.

Inpatient Rehab Features:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • An average length of 28 days
  • Medication management, if necessary
  • Recreational therapy
  • Participation in 12-step programs
  • Care for co-occurring mental health disorders

Benefits and Drawbacks

There are a few pros and cons of inpatient centers that need to be considered when deciding which type of rehab to undergo.

Some benefits of inpatient rehab include:

  • Around-the-clock accountability and support
  • Comprehensive care for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Removal from the places and situations that can trigger a craving

The potential drawbacks include:

  • Inability to continue working during treatment
  • Higher costs associated with 24-hour care
  • Some insurance policies might not fully cover inpatient treatment

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient drug rehab is less stringent than inpatient programs.  Outpatient rehabilitation programs often need 10 to 12 hours per week spent at a local treatment facility. These sessions concentrate on drug abuse education, individual and group therapy, and teaching addicts how to live without their substance. Outpatient drug rehab can be used as a stand-alone treatment option for someone with a mild addiction or as part of a long-term treatment program. Outpatient drug rehab can take three to six months, which is comparable to inpatient treatment, or up to a year.

Outpatient Rehab Features:

  • An average length of 3 months
  • Referrals for medication management
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Recreation therapy
  • Participation in 12-step program meetings

Benefits and Drawbacks

There are a few pros and cons of inpatient centers that need to be considered when deciding which type of rehab to undergo. 

Some benefits of inpatient rehab include:  

  •     Ability to maintain a job
  •     Flexibility in scheduling
  •     Reduced likelihood of having to travel outside the local community for services

Some of the drawbacks include:

  •     Less medical support
  •     Greater ease of obtaining substances and relapsing while in treatment
  •     Fewer opportunities to identify and treat co-occurring mental health conditions

Success Rate

According to research, the vast majority of people who finish a treatment program are able to sustain sobriety and return to productive lives. Another study that evaluated inpatient vs. outpatient rehab success rates discovered that outpatient treatment is often just as successful as inpatient treatment. On the other hand, individual treatment results might vary drastically depending on the precise nature of the person’s addiction, how well-suited a program is to their personal requirements, and the treatment staff’s competency and compassion.

Whatever the Decision, Recovery is Around the Corner

Rehab, regardless of the treatment option you select for yourself, or a loved one, can alter your life. Addiction is a chronic condition, and rehabilitation takes a lifetime. Medical experts, mental health counselors, and community organizations such as AA can teach the skills needed to avoid recurrence. Take the first step right now.

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