Inpatient rehab is the top tier of addiction treatment because it offers the most intensive approach to recovery. It has remained a highly-sought after form of care for those who are ready to stop abusing drugs and alcohol and begin living healthy, substance-free lives. There are hundreds of inpatient rehab programs throughout the United States that offer the services needed for struggling alcoholics and addicts to get sober.
As previously mentioned, inpatient rehab offers the most resources and services to those ready to stop drinking or using drugs. It is a perfect program for some, but not the right fit for others. Inpatient drug rehab is an ideal choice for addiction treatment for those who meet the following criteria:
- Have made previous attempts to get sober but have been unable to stay sober
- Are also experiencing a mental health disorder that is moderate to severe
- Requires detoxification services prior to beginning therapy
- Does not have a support system outside of treatment
- Requires 24-hour supervision
While inpatient rehab is a no-brainer for those who meet these criteria, that does not mean that everyone has to relate to one of them. Inpatient addiction treatment can be a great option for anyone, even those who are not far along in their disease.
Inpatient rehab is unique in that it requires patients to reside at the facility for the duration of their care. The typical time frames for a stay at inpatient rehab include 30, 60, and 90 days. The number of days that a patient remains in inpatient treatment is not set in stone, as some may wrap up their care at any point between 30 and 90 days. This decision is made by addiction specialists and healthcare professionals familiar with each patient’s treatment plan.
The vast majority of inpatient treatment programs offer detox services for those patients who are physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. If a patient requires detox, they will go through this process prior to participating in a full-time therapeutic program. Detox allows patients to clear drugs and/or alcohol from their system while being supervised around-the-clock. Medical professionals can administer over-the-counter medications and even prescription medications if necessary to help manage the withdrawal symptoms.
Outpatient rehab is an addiction treatment option that is also highly popular and accessible across the country. This specific type of care allows patients to get the care they need all while being able to maintain their lives at home, work, school, etc. Outpatient rehab is most suitable for those individuals who:
- Have completed higher levels of addiction treatment, such as inpatient rehab, a partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program
- Are experiencing a mild to moderate substance use disorder
- Are not physically dependent on drugs or alcohol and does not require detox services
- Are able to maintain sobriety outside of a treatment center
- Have a stable place to live and a strong support system
The time that patients spend in outpatient treatment can vary. Most outpatient rehabs do not have a structured set of time for their programs, but rather work with the patient to develop a time frame that is ideal for them and their recovery. Generally, however, most patients remain in outpatient rehab for 8 to 12 weeks. During that time, patients will go to the facility anywhere from once a week to a few times per week, depending on their schedule. Each time they are there, patients spend a couple of hours at a time being treated.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab both offer the services needed for people to get sober and build a strong foundation in their recovery. And while both types of programs are effective in the treatment of the disease of addiction, they do differ from one another in many ways. Inpatient vs. outpatient rehab looks like this:
- Living situation — Inpatient rehab programs house patients for the entire time they are receiving treatment, while outpatient programs invite patients to attend their therapy sessions and then return home. This is a vital part of each program, as those who attend inpatient programs are in need of that consistent support while those who attend outpatient programs are able to continue living at home while recovering.
- Time spent in the program — The time spent in inpatient and outpatient rehab vary significantly. Those attending an inpatient rehab are receiving therapeutic services almost daily, while those in an outpatient program only spend a few hours each week at the facility. This is a direct reflection on the level of care the patients need.
- Access to therapies — Therapy is the core foundation of all addiction treatment programs, as they are what help to identify and address the issues related to the patient’s substance use disorder. Naturally, though, there are more therapeutic options available for patients in inpatient rehab, as they tend to have severe substance use disorders. Outpatient rehab may not offer the same amount of therapies because patients simply do not require it.
- Cost — Looking at it broadly, inpatient rehab is far more expensive than outpatient rehab. That is because more services are provided, including room and board. But depending on the patient’s insurance or other forms of coverage, these programs may be more affordable. The cost of addiction treatment is reflective of what types of services a patient receives and how long they participate, which is why not everyone will have the same price tag at the end of the day.
These are some of the most important things to consider when looking to compare inpatient rehab vs. outpatient rehab. While both types of rehabs are excellent at treating addiction, it is important to understand these differences prior to committing to a program.
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