Inpatient vs Outpatient

Find an inpatient treatment center for any addiction

The decision has been made to seek treatment, which may be the toughest part of the process, so what’s the next step? Deciding what type of treatment to seek can make the difference between success and failure. Although there are countless variations, generally there are two main choices: inpatient vs outpatient. Both have their pros and cons. Both can lead to a successful recovery if the right choice is made and both can include basic recovery fundamentals. So how does one decide?

There are several issues to factor in – is this the first time in recovery? How long has the addiction been active? What is the drug of choice?  Are there job or privacy issues? Insurance considerations? Family concerns? How motivated is the addict or alcoholic? The list goes on…

Looking at Inpatient and Outpatient Programs

An overview of both types of treatment may be helpful in making that tough decision. In general, outpatient treatments are where a client comes into a counseling center and usually participates in some form of group therapy for anywhere from two to eight hours per day, several days a week.  Outpatient therapy can last from a few weeks to a few months depending on the program. Inpatient requires a stay of two weeks to several months in a closed facility where everything is done “in house” and clients eat, sleep and reside in the facility. 

Usually included in both models are an evaluation or assessment of needs, a general health assessment, individual, group and family counseling, educational information, ongoing drug use monitoring, peer mentoring and an introduction to personal accountability. But it is the differences one should be aware of when trying to decide which options are the best – one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to treatment.

A common problem does usually occur when people choose outpatient

Let’s look at a few examples of people who choose outpatient drug or alcohol treatment:

  • Let’s say John has decided to seek treatment but is not wholly convinced he’s an alcoholic. Maybe he’s just had a few bad breaks – sure he drinks too much on occasion, but doesn’t everyone? To appease his wife he’s decided to seek treatment, but doesn’t care to miss work or break the bank. He signs up for outpatient treatment, where he will get an overview of the addiction process as well as enough information to assess whether he is truly an alcoholic. He learns his health is still relatively good; he learns not all alcoholics drink daily (some are binge drinkers), and he may decide to quit while he’s ahead before the disease progresses further. If nothing else, his wife is appeased and life goes on as usual.
  • Shirley, on the other hand, has been to four rehabs already. Things have grown considerably worse. She was in the early stages when she sought treatment for the first time, but now, seven years later, she’s moving into the later stages of alcoholism. Her family can’t understand why she keeps relapsing – Shirley herself may not know why! The consequences alone should be motivation enough, but no, she keeps on. This is a definite case where outpatient treatment would be of little value whatsoever. Shirley needs more than just the basics she already knows. She needs long term immersion and extra support.
    She needs a more thorough assessment and one-on-one therapy. She most likely needs to be removed from her using environment and her personal responsibilities so she can focus intensely on her recovery. For someone like Shirley, choosing inpatient can literally be the difference between life and death.  However, she explains to her family that she’s “already been to inpatient rehab and can’t learn anything more”.
  • Bob has been arrested for his second D.U.I. And the law requires him to seek treatment or go to jail. He has no interest in getting clean, so he just wants the cheapest and easiest way out he can find. Bob most certainly won’t be checking in to a 28-day program.  He reluctantly signs up.

So what is the common problem in each of the examples listed above?  Each of the clients, those who suffer from addiction and alcoholism and are probably in the grips of it…each of them decided their own treatment plan before consulting professionals and taking suggestions.  Each of them “chose” outpatient based upon their decisions and not those of a professional.  And the reason each of them chose it has little to do with success, but rather comfort and convenience. 

Imagine if a cancer patient designed his treatment plan prior to even walking into the doctor’s office.  This is one of those most treacherous traps that someone suffering from addiction can make…to choose and design their plan from the beginning.  Here are some other pages that might help you to understand more of the differences between inpatient drug or alcohol treatment and outpatient.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming… it is! But that’s what we are here for. Call us at 877-696-0843 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It’s as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

877-696-0843
We are a free service

Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.

Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.

But how does one go about finding the right program?

If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!

888-205-8608
We are a free service

contact us today