inpatient drug rehab

What Level of Care is Best for Your Needs

Before taking that important step toward getting clean and sober there are certain things to consider.  Whether an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient program is the best option is among the considerations, as well as insurance coverage, location, and philosophical and treatment approach.  Becoming familiar with the features of outpatient vs. inpatient drug rehab is a good first step while planning for your personal journey to recovery.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Drug Rehab

In most cases, the acuity of the addiction is the determining factor for the level of care needed for drug addiction treatment.  While both are equally committed to rehabilitating the individual from drug dependency and addictive behaviors, there are distinct differences between outpatient vs. inpatient drug rehab:

Inpatient Treatment Programs

For someone with a severe drug addiction, an inpatient program offers the highest level of care, including medically monitored detox and withdrawal.  In an inpatient rehab the individual resides at the facility for a specified period of time ranging from one month to a year, with the majority staying for just one month.  The days are highly structured, with scheduled meetings, classes, counseling sessions, and group sessions taking up the majority of the time.  Most inpatient programs also include a 12 step or non 12 step program that is integrated into the rehab program.  In addition to the traditional therapy, non-traditional or holistic activities are often included, featuring yoga and meditation, art therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, massage, and equine therapy.  Family sessions are usually included in inpatient programs, offering an opportunity for rebuilding trust between family members in a supportive, therapeutic environment.

The advantages of inpatient rehab include:

  • The individual is supervised and assisted through detox and withdrawal by medical professionals in a safe, supportive environment
  • The individual resides in an environment that is free of drugs and alcohol as well as acquaintances who are active users, reducing the exposure to triggers
  • The programs are comprehensive and use evidence-based therapies and methods
  • A co-occurring mental health disorder can be treated concurrently
  • The individual is surrounded by peers and clinicians who offer support throughout the length of the program

Outpatient Treatment Programs

For less severe drug dependency an outpatient program offers a sound alternative to inpatient treatment.  In an outpatient program the individual is able to continue to work at their job or attend school, while residing in their own home.  There is a range of outpatient programs available that varies in intensity and attendance requirements.  An outpatient program can offer someone who has completed an inpatient rehab a step down in continuing care, with a limited amount of hours per week involved for group counseling, classes, and other services.  In contrast, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) can start off requiring 25 hours per week participation in individual and group counseling, drug education classes, and relapse prevention, and then require fewer hours as benchmarks are met.

The advantages of outpatient rehab include:

  • Outpatient rehab is more flexible, allowing the individual the opportunity to continue working, attending school, or performing family responsibilities
  • Outpatient care is a fraction of the cost of inpatient rehab
  • Individual has access to family support on a continuing basis

The Treatment Specialist Addiction and Mental Health Network

When considering the differences between an outpatient vs. inpatient drug rehab, The Treatment Specialist provides high quality inpatient and outpatient care.  For more information about highly effective inpatient and outpatient programs, please contact The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.

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2 replies
  1. Kayla says:

    My cousin is having a hard time with rehab. My mom suggested trying outpatient care programs to assist him and shared this article. It says that outpatient rehab is more flexible and will allow him to perform daily responsibilities.


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