What Is the Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

Once you have come to accept you have an addiction that requires help to overcome, you will have two basic options available at inpatient and outpatient rehabs near you. It is important to determine which type of program will best suit your needs and types of addictive behaviors. For some people, starting with an inpatient program and then transitioning to an outpatient one works best and helps prevent relapses.

Whats The Difference Between Inpatient And Outpatient Rehab

What Is Inpatient Drug or Alcohol Treatment?

This type of rehab program is where the individual with the addiction checks into a rehab facility for help. During their stay, they will have access to support and the care they need to start living a sober life. It can be beneficial for people with serious addiction problems, who know that they will not be able to just stop using and who need to spend the first 30-days detoxing their bodies. Effective inpatient programs should be at least 90-days long to reduce risks of relapses.

Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

The primary benefit is you are taken through a series of steps to redevelop your living habits and start your sober life. Your body will be detoxed, and you will start to learn how to eat nutritious meals, along with starting one-on-one and group support. In addition, the likelihood of a relapse during this time is greatly reduced.

Disadvantages of Inpatient Rehab

The main drawback to inpatient treatment programs is you are essentially cut off from the outside world during the treatment program. Some programs also contain a “black-out” period during the first 30-days of treatment, where you cannot have any outside contact or visitors, as it is essential to your recovery.


What Is Outpatient Drug or Alcohol Treatment?

Outpatient treatment programs are where addicts attend regular one-on-one treatment sessions and group support meetings. Normally, there are a set number of sessions and meetings one must attend each week to monitor progress. This type of treatment can work for some addicts if their addiction has not fully consumed their life and it is in the early stages, as well as for those who have completed inpatient treatment programs.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

The main benefit of outpatient treatment programs is being able to maintain your job, go to school, and have access to your family and friends. You are free to fulfill your personal obligations and do not have to worry about potentially losing your job or falling behind in your schoolwork.

Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab

One drawback to outpatient treatment is there is easier access to drugs and alcohol, which could lead to a relapse. If you have friends and family members who use drugs or alcohol around you or at home or work, it is easier to be tempted.

To help determine which type of treatment program would be best for you, it is beneficial to talk to a drug and alcohol treatment center counselor and complete a generalized self-evaluation. If you are ready to start your sober life, contact Yellowstone Recovery at (888) 941-9048 today!


Determining the Best Treatment Option for You

Group Of People In Inpatient RehabOnce you’ve considered the pros and cons of both inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab, then it’s time to make a decision. You may want to do more research and delve deeper into the topic before settling on a course of action. Entering a rehab program is one of the most important choices you’ll make in your life, and, although you can change course down the road, it’s best to lay a solid foundation from the outset.


Here are a few considerations that can help guide your decision.

  • Flexibility: Whether you’re able to enter an inpatient treatment center depends largely on the flexibility of your schedule. Are you able to leave your job, home, and family for an extended period of time—at least 28 days? If not, then outpatient rehab may be your only option.
  • Environment: If alcohol and/or drugs pervade your environment, then it might be best to seek refuge in a sober living facility where you’ll receive individual and group counseling in a monitored environment. Inpatient treatment programs offer shelter from the temptations of daily life, which can mean the difference between relapse and sobriety, particularly if substance abuse is rampant among friends, family, and coworkers or anywhere else in your immediate environment.
  • Support Network: In order to succeed with outpatient programs, you need a strong support network of family and friends. Without encouragement and even material help, it’s hard to make the difficult journey from addiction to sobriety. Of course, a strong support network is important no matter what type of drug treatment program you choose, but it’s crucial when you don’t have the added structure of a rehab facility.
  • Co-Occurring Disorders: If you suffer from other mental disorders (dual diagnosis), such as depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD, you might want to take advantage of the additional support and medical supervision that you’ll find in a dedicated treatment facility. As long as there is at least one psychiatrist on staff, you’ll find the supervision helpful when overcoming multiple mental health
  • Commute: In order to take advantage of outpatient drug rehab, you’ll have to travel to the treatment center on a regular basis, at least a couple of times per week. If you don’t have reliable transportation or if the nearest rehab treatment center is located too far away, then inpatient rehab may be the best long-term option for dealing with a drug or alcohol
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Drug and alcohol withdrawal can range from mild to serious to life-threatening, depending on what substance(s) you’ve used, how long you’ve used, and how healthy you are. Painful or dangerous withdrawals should always be handled in inpatient rehabs rather than in an outpatient setting.
To help determine which type of treatment program would be best for you, it is beneficial to talk to a drug and alcohol treatment center counselor and complete a generalized self-evaluation. We offer both inpatient and outpatient recovery programs that meet the needs of every individual. If you are ready to start your sober life at one of our rehab centers, contact Yellowstone Recovery at (888) 941-9048 today!
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