Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab: What’s the Difference?

Inpatient vs outpatient rehab- what’s the difference? Which of these is right for you? Read on to learn about the differences.

America’s drug epidemic exceeds $1 trillion each year. That figure includes the costs of treatment, loss of productivity and criminal justice.

But there is hope for people who want to live a sober life. In fact, there are over 14,500 treatment facilities in the United States.

But how do you choose the right one? We’ll explore the differences between inpatient vs outpatient treatment so you can make an educated decision.

Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Inpatient treatment is also called residential treatment. Those in rehab at these facilities live there for the duration of their treatment.

These facilities offer 24-hour support for those dealing with severe addictions to drugs or alcohol. Some patients also have mental health conditions in addition to their addictions.

Treatment lengths can vary depending on the center. You can find both short and long-term inpatient centers.

Some may be as short as three weeks. Long-term inpatient treatments can last anywhere from six months to a year.

During inpatient treatment, addicts can expect to go through detox, reflection, and counseling. The aim of these rehab centers is to provide addicts with the tools they need to learn how to live a sober lifestyle once they leave the facility.

Things to Know About Inpatient Rehab

One of the best aspects of choosing an inpatient treatment center is that you are never alone as you work through your recovery. You can get support and counseling from a professional any time of day.

Also, living in a licensed residential rehab facility means that you are away from the people and environments that enable you to use drugs or alcohol.

Treatment at inpatient rehab centers will take all of your time and attention. You are unable to work, go to school or take care of your kids or family members while you are in treatment.

You will have to make alternate arrangements for family members. And the amount of time you can spend with family during your treatment will be limited.

Your schedule during treatment will be set by the rehab staff and may be rigorous. You don’t have much say in what you do. Yet, that is one of the reasons that these programs are so effective.

Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Outpatient rehab treatments are daily therapy, group sessions, or counseling sessions that take place during the day.

Outpatient rehab for recovering addicts allows them to live at home and continue to work or go to school and maintain family responsibilities.

The majority of outpatient care programs follow steps that participants work through. As they progress through the steps, the sessions become less frequent.

Many participants find peer support from others who are also on the road to recovery.

Things to Know About Outpatient Rehab

The main reason many people choose outpatient treatment is that they want to be able to live at home during treatment. If you have a good support system in your family and friends, this may be the best option for you.

The cost of outpatient vs inpatient care is significantly less.

With outpatient treatment, you have more flexibility and freedom to choose a course of treatment. There are various types of counseling and alternative therapies that you can choose from.

Many sessions take place on weekends and in the evenings so that participants can work or go to school during the day.

The downside to outpatient rehab is that the majority of responsibility falls on your shoulders. You are responsible for showing up to your treatments.

It’s up to you to stay sober when you are at home in your usual environment. This can be an immense obstacle for many people.

Some people are not able to get sober while they remain in their home environment. In this case, outpatient rehab would not be the best choice for you.

Outpatient rehab facilities do not typically offer 24-hour support. There will be times when you are alone and need to rely on yourself to get through the next few hours.

If you need treatment for multiple conditions or need medical attention, an outpatient rehab facility may not be able to cater to you. Many outpatient programs are not able to offer intensive recovery programs or provide medical attention.

Carefully review the type of patient that does well in inpatient vs outpatient treatment so you can identify which option would be best for you.

Ideal Inpatient Rehab Patients

Those who do well in inpatient treatment facilities are those who need to get away from their regular environment. Perhaps their home, work, or relationships cause too many triggers that would make recovery next to impossible.

People who have not had success with outpatient programs often find that inpatient rehab is exactly what they need.

If you need a medical detox to get drugs out of your body, an inpatient facility is the best place for you. You may get medications that can help you deal with withdrawal symptoms.

People who don’t live near any outpatient programs find that it is easier to live at an inpatient facility instead of trying to commute to an outpatient location.

Anyone with complicated medical or physical conditions would be able to get the specialized care he or she needs at an inpatient facility.

Who Does Best in Outpatient Rehab?

The ideal patient in an outpatient setting is one who is committed to his or her sobriety. These people have a stable home life where they will be able to manage triggers and maintain abstinence.

It is best if outpatient patients can transport themselves to their meetings and other appointments without difficulty.

Outpatient rehab patients fare well when they are able to structure their time outside of therapy in ways that are conducive to sober living.

People who want to live a sober life without quitting their jobs during treatment can consider outpatient care.

Bottom Line on Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

We hope this guide has helped you understand the differences between inpatient vs outpatient rehab.

Gathering information about rehab treatments is a courageous first step. At Coastal Detox, we are here to help you every step along your journey to sobriety.

Contact us to get started.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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