We get this question a lot, so we wanted to outline the differences between an inpatient and an outpatient rehab clinic. Both of them provide programs and assistance to live a drug-free lifestyle, but in different ways.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment should ideally last at least 90 days to increase the likelihood of long-term sobriety. You can choose either an inpatient or an outpatient program for these 3 months too. So, what’s the difference?
On their surface, inpatient clinics generally refers to physician and therapy services you receive during a stay in a hospital or rehab clinic. They generally keep you on the premise until your treatment is complete.
Outpatient rehabilitation refers to services you receive when you are not admitted to the hospital, such as physician services and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. You can come and go as you please until you graduate from the program.
But that doesn’t entirely answer the question. Let’s get deeper than that.
Inpatient Rehab Clinics
As we mentioned above, inpatient clinics provide patients with a place to stay during their recovery. They’re also called residential rehab, because the patient lives at the facility. Inpatient rehab can be effective for people with severe problems with drugs or alcohol as it helps the patient avoid temptations and influences that trigger substance use.
However, inpatient rehabs can come with a negative stigma that we’d like to address. Many people tend to think of them like a jail, but they’re far from it. Yes, most do operate on set schedules, but they do not take away any of the patients’ legal or personal rights. Patients still have the same responsibilities and freedoms they would have otherwise. Individuals are still allowed to cook, clean, have access to their own clothes and contact their family. They’re designed so the patients feel as comfortable and at home as possible, but without any of the negative triggers.
In fact, inpatient rehab centers are one of the best paths to take for addiction recovery because of how they’re structured. Patients are living in a healthy environment that supports their recovery.
There are both short-term and long-term residential rehab programs. Patients typically stay at long-term residential facilities from six months to a year, while short-term facilities require stays of about three to six weeks.
Things To Consider About Inpatient Treatment
Licensed inpatient facilities incorporate three phases of recovery into their treatment plans: detox, reflection, and growth. They offer several benefits that make them the best option for some people:
- They are designed to help you with detoxification and prepare you for life after treatment.
- Residential facilities provide care 24 hours a day, usually in non hospital settings.
- Treatment is highly structured and focuses on all aspects of addiction, including emotional and psychological factors.
- Safe housing and medical attention are available 24 hours a day.
Residential or inpatient rehab requires a larger commitment than outpatient programs do. They do separate you from your daily life and introduce you to a new schedule. This means you won’t be able to see your family and friends as you’re used to. You also need to be aware that structured treatment like this can be challenging to adjust to at first.
Additionally, costs are often higher for inpatient rehab compared to outpatient rehab. It’s important to remember that the cost of treatment is always less than the cost of addiction.
Do I Need Inpatient Rehab for Substance Abuse?
People who benefit most from an inpatient level of addiction treatment typically fall into one of three categories:
- Individuals who are at a high risk of experiencing drug or alcohol withdrawal
- Those who have experienced a relapse
- Individuals who have tried a less intensive level of drug or alcohol treatment but were unable to stay sober
Outpatient Rehab Clinics
Outpatient rehab clinics have the same goal as inpatient, but are structured different. They involve daily treatment, such as therapy, counseling, or group sessions, at a clinic or facility. Once the daily treatment is finished, they go about their daily lives.
The biggest difference is that those who choose outpatient treatment can continue to live at home as they recover, which allows them to take care of children or family members, keep up with their jobs, and stay on track in school.
Most programs involve individual or group counseling and use a step-down approach, which means sessions become less intensive and frequent as you grow during treatment to help maintain recovery over the long-term.
Things To Consider About Outpatient Treatment
There are several benefits to outpatient treatment that make it the best choice for many people:
- You can live in your home while receiving treatment
- The cost of treatment is typically much lower for outpatient care compared to inpatient care
- There are many different types of counseling and therapy offered in this setting
- Appointments match your schedule
- Some outpatient programs can treat patients with co-occurring problems or disorders
However, outpatient rehabs may not be the best choice for you if you experience constant urges to use, have a hard time showing up to therapy, or have a physical disability that prevents you from attending sessions.
Additionally, outpatient rehabs are not always equipped to handle co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. You need treatment for multiple disorders, and you need medical attention.
Is Outpatient Rehab Right For Me?
Outpatient rehab is not for everyone, but it does benefit those who are on a strict daily schedule, such as school, work, or taking care of children. If you are able to to avoid triggering situations and do not have the urge to constantly use drugs, then outpatient rehab may be the right choice for you.
Which One is Direct2Recovery?
We are an outpatient that uses medicine-assisted treatment, paired with counseling. When you enroll in our program, you will have access to healthcare professionals around the clock without living onsite.
If you want to know more about our program, you can read all about who we are, what is a suboxone clinic, and more in our blog. Or you can contact us at any time. We’re happy to help in any way we can.