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Outpatient vs Inpatient Drug Rehab

Clinically Reviewed By Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Updated On

Outpatient vs Inpatient Drug Rehab

inaptient rehab image with chairs
Inpatient Rehab

For many, the idea of addiction treatment is the same across the board. They believe that every type of care, every program, and every facility is the same as the next. However, this is not the case with outpatient vs inpatient. Each level of care comes with its own distinct advantages, disadvantages and approach.

As a patient seeking addiction treatment, it is essential to learn more about the five types of care detailed below. This helps ensure the proper level of medical and therapeutic attention.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what type of treatment is best. This is based on a variety of factors, including the patient’s current situation as well as past treatment.

What is Inpatient Drug Rehab

This is often times considered the most intensive level of care, as the patient spends all of his or her time at the facility, receiving treatment throughout the day.

During inpatient rehab, patients are in position to receive medical and personal attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes both group and individual therapy, while addressing a variety of topics including but not limited to trust, trauma, and relapse prevention.

What is Inpatient Detox

Although similar to inpatient rehab, inpatient detox requires a higher level of medical care. With this in mind, 24 hour nursing care is available.

Patients are put on a detox treatment medical protocol, as well as a daily schedule to ensure the stabilization of withdrawal symptoms.

In addition to an intake evaluation, those who enter an inpatient detox program will undergo a physical exam as well as a psychosocial evaluation.

What is Residential Rehab

This type of treatment is a step between inpatient and outpatient. With residential rehab, patients live in an sober community that allows them to partake in daily clinical programs to avoid relapse.

Patients in a residential rehab environment have more personal responsibility, making it easier for them to adjust to life in the real world. While specialized therapy is available, many who partake in this type of rehab attend an off-site 12-step program.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP) / Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

For patients who are interested in living at home or in a sober living facility, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient is an option.

With this, patients can choose between day or evening treatment, allowing them to live their normal life. In addition to relapse prevention, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs include group therapy and counseling sessions along with mental health services.

Aftercare Services

While some people have no trouble staying sober on their own, after receiving the proper treatment, others need assistance getting back on their feet.

With an aftercare service, patients will learn to focus more on the future and less on the past. Along with this, a customized plan complete with future meetings and doctor appointments can be put into place. Some programs also offer lifetime support.

As you can see, there are many types of addiction treatment programs to consider. Outpatient and inpatient describe the general categories of treatment, but the options within each one are unique.

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