If you need rehab for substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, the most crucial decision you’ll face will involve a choice between inpatient vs. outpatient addiction treatment. This is where sober living homes can come in. Sober living offers clients the best of both worlds in that they allow clients to live in a zero-tolerance environment with like-minded individuals but is still considered a home and personal space.
What is Inpatient vs. Outpatient?
Simply put, inpatient care refers to clients go live in a residential facility to get treatment while outpatient care refers to clients that live at home but travel to the facility each day to receive treatment. These terms can apply to a number of different types of treatment but can often be used in the addiction treatment space. If you need rehab for substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, the most crucial decision you’ll face will involve a choice between inpatient vs. outpatient treatment.
What is Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Before you start interviewing treatment centers to find the best fit, you need to be clear about the different levels of addiction service available on the continuum of care.
Rehab can be broadly divided into two delivery methods:
- Inpatient rehab
- Outpatient rehab
Inpatient treatment is often referred to as residential rehab.
Most inpatient programs last from 30 to 90 days. You remain in the treatment center for the duration of the program.
The length of your stay in an inpatient facility will depend on the following variables:
- Type of substance use disorder
- Severity of substance use disorder
- Any co-occurring mental health disorders
- Whether or not you have previously engaged with addiction treatment
The quality of accommodation varies considerably, with the price of inpatient treatment reflecting the rooms and the amenities.
The first thing you’ll do after intake and an initial assessment is to kickstart the detoxification process. With medical detox, you’ll have help on hand in the event of complications that develop. Also, FDA-approved medications can help reduce the intensity of both withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
With your body free of substances and toxins, you’ll be ready for treatment proper.
Individual counseling sessions allow you to dive deep into the specifics of your addiction, working closely one-to-one with a qualified counselor. With group counseling, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of input during sessions, and you can also benefit from the peer support of others undergoing broadly similar experiences.
Medication-assisted treatment can be delivered on an ongoing basis throughout this phase of your recovery.
You’ll also have access to talk therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (dialectical behavior therapy). With this form of therapy, you’ll gain a better understanding of your triggers for substance abuse. You’ll also learn to formulate superior coping strategies to implement when stressed in the real world.
Expect your days in inpatient rehab to be rigidly structured. You’ll also have balanced, nutritious meals provided, and you’ll be encouraged to stay hydrated and to exercise within your limits.
While some treatment centers make provision for family visits, others insist you stay cocooned within the treatment setting at all times.
Most of the best inpatient rehabs also offer holistic therapies and adventure therapy to supplement traditional evidence-based therapies.
If you have a severe substance use disorder, residential rehab will typically provide you with the most favorable treatment outcome. You’ll enjoy around-the-clock support and supervision from the challenging detox and withdrawal stage throughout your stay in residential rehab.
Residential rehab also works well if you have an unsupportive home environment not conducive to your recovery. Being removed from bad influences and from temptation can give you the added strength to avoid relapse.
Not everyone needs inpatient treatment for substance use disorder, though, and not everyone can afford it.
Fortunately, outpatient treatment is also highly effective, with studies showing that intensive outpatient programs are just as effective for treating most substance use disorders as inpatient rehab.
If you have a mild or moderate substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder, you may find outpatient treatment makes a smooth fit.
This modality is not suitable for everyone, though. You’ll need a suitable and supportive home environment to get the most out of outpatient treatment. You will also need to be highly motivated and fully committed to recovery.
With outpatient rehab, there’s no need to pack your bags and head to a treatment center. Instead, you’ll attend scheduled sessions on weekdays, and you’ll return home after each session.
While this form of delivery means you don’t get the same support and structure as you get in residential rehab, you can maintain a semblance of normality, and you’ll also find outpatient treatment is much more affordable.
Outpatient treatment falls into three main types:
- Traditional outpatient program: With a regular outpatient program, you’ll attend a few short sessions each week.
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP): IOPs offer you a minimum of 9 hours of weekly treatment.
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP): A PHP is a full-time program involving 30 or so contact hours, although you’ll still remain at home for the duration of the program.
You can engage with continuing care in an outpatient capacity as you proceed with your recovery, including attending 12-step support programs.
Whatever the time commitment of an outpatient program, you can expect access to the same sort of services and therapies you get in inpatient treatment, but at a fraction of the cost.
Which form of treatment works best for addiction treatment, then?
Inpatient versus Outpatient Care for Addiction Treatment
If you have a mild or moderate substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder and a supportive home setting, you might benefit from outpatient addiction treatment.
In the case of more severe substance use disorders, especially with co-occurring mental health disorders, inpatient rehab typically yields the best results.
A PHP (partial hospitalization program) delivers most of the benefits of inpatient rehab without the cost.
Inpatient vs Outpatient Mental Health Treatment
This study shows that outpatient treatment can be beneficial for patients requiring more than a single weekly treatment session for mental health issues, but not needing inpatient treatment.
Just like with rehab for addiction, the main difference between inpatient and outpatient care for mental health disorders is where you live while you undergo treatment. Either way, you’ll be attending therapy sessions during the day. With outpatient treatment, you head home after each session, though. The advantage of this is your ability to put what you have learned into practice immediately in a real-world setting.
When it comes to seeking treatment for any mental health condition, especially when co-occurring with addiction, what counts is getting the help that fits your needs and schedule. For most patients, outpatient treatment delivers favorable outcomes.
Getting Help at The District Recovery
Here at The District Recovery Community, we specialize in offering all types of outpatient programs for addiction, including IOPs and PHPs.
We can also help you address any co-occurring mental health disorders with our dual diagnosis treatment programs.
Here at TDRC, we’re happy to accept insurance for treatment, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. You’ll finish treatment with a robust aftercare plan in place and access to our alumni program as well as vocational development resources.
To get things started, just reach out to the admissions team now at 844.287.8506.