For many people here in the United States, it comes as no surprise that there is a serious drug addiction problem across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are approximately 114 people that die every single day due to drugs. And it’s not just deaths; there are also 6,748 cases that require emergency room treatment each and every day. The American Addiction Centers highlights the fact that drug overdoses kill around 44,000 people each year, making it the top cause of injury-related death in the country.

These are sobering and scary statistics. It’s exactly for these reasons why many individuals with drug addiction problems seek help through an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program. But what’s the difference between these two programs? How does a person choose which is better for them? Let’s break down the main differences between inpatient and outpatient drug rehab programs.

What Does Inpatient Treatment Mean?

Inpatient treatment refers to the type of treatment wherein the person lives at the rehab facility. They are a resident of the facility. When you take part in this kind of program, there is a set number of days that you will need to stay there for. In general, it’s common to spend three months in an inpatient treatment facility.

During your stay, all your energy and focus will be on getting better. You won’t be able to continue working in your job while you stay at the facility, as all your time and effort will be spent on your rehabilitation program.

While each facility is different, typically you will start by meeting with a doctor or a team that will then conduct a complete medical care assessment. From there, your own individual treatment plan can be laid out. These types of facilities usually take a whole-health approach which means you will be taking part in classes and activities that are meant to heal your body and mind. There tends to be a combination of one-on-one therapy, group therapy (with other residents), and even family therapy.

What Does Outpatient Treatment Mean?

On the flip side, is outpatient drug rehab. In this scenario, you are still signing up for a drug rehabilitation program but you don’t live at the facility. A schedule is set up that you need to adhere to and you’ll need to meet at the facility to receive treatment on those days. It’s not unusual to visit the center up to five times a week – depending on the program and your needs.

Just like with the inpatient treatment facility, your program will begin with an assessment. This will determine the right treatment path for your specific needs. There will be a strong focus on therapy in all the same forms – one-on-one, group, and family therapy.

So, Which One Is Best?

Now, the most important question is, which type of treatment path is best for you? Unfortunately, it’s not always a simple and clear answer and for most people, it requires them to be very honest about their addiction and their desire to get better and on the path to recovery.

For those who don’t have a very stable, secure, or supportive life at home, joining an outpatient program probably won’t be enough. Your program will rely so much on you staying focused and on track and if you don’t have a supportive network at home, it’s going to be very tough to stay the course.

Then there is the question of how long your addictions have lasted, how serious they are, and how many you are trying to combat. The deeper the problems, the more likely you need intense treatment, which is where inpatient programs have the upper hand.

There is one common rule no matter which style of rehab a person chooses, and that’s the fact that the more time and energy you are willing to put into the program, the more you will get out of it, and the higher your chances of success will be.

Any Type of Program Should be Seen as a Positive

Choosing between an inpatient and outpatient drug rehab program isn’t easy, so it’s important to remember this one fact – every program offers benefits. There is no ‘bad’ program; it’s all about being honest with yourself about your current health, lifestyle, and addictions.