Outpatient vs Inpatient Rehab: A Comparative Guide

outpatient vs inpatient rehab

Believe it or not, the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States is drug overdose. It kills 44,000 people each year. That’s an incredibly high number that emphasizes how important it is that you get help if you need it.

The good news is that if you or anyone you know suffers from drug addiction, they’re not alone. There are rehab facilities that can help.

Read on to learn about outpatient vs inpatient rehab – the two types of rehab available.

What Are Outpatient and Inpatient Rehab

So, what is outpatient rehab and inpatient rehab? There are several key differences between the two.

Inpatient rehab is when a patient lives at the rehab facility during the course of treatment. Inpatient programs can be anywhere from one to three months long. They often begin with a detoxification process and may provide medication to help with withdrawal, depending on the severity of the case.

Outpatient rehab, on the other hand, doesn’t require the patient to live at the facility. Rather, they live at home and visit the facility for treatment and group therapy. Sometimes it also includes one-on-one therapy sessions.

Overall, outpatient is less intensive, and sometimes you can transition from inpatient to outpatient when you’re ready. Outpatient treatment is also much longer than inpatient and can last up to a year.

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Pros and Cons of Inpatient Rehab

The pros of inpatient rehab are numerous. Since the patient lives at the facility, they have access to a stable environment, 24-hour help, and intense support. Some facilities also offer specialty treatments like acupuncture or animal-assisted therapy.

The biggest con to inpatient care is that the patient doesn’t have access to the real world and has to give up their everyday responsibilities, from their job to schooling.

Inpatient care is also the more expensive of the two types of rehab.

Pros and Cons of Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient drug rehab is significantly cheaper and allows patients to maintain their usual responsibilities. This is especially important for people with dependents like children. Another pro of outpatient rehab is that you have greater access to support from your loved ones.

The greatest con to outpatient treatment is the lack of 24-hour care, making it easier for severe cases to relapse. Outpatient rehab can also pose a problem if your home environment is unsafe, unstable, and encourages your addiction.

Outpatient vs Inpatient Rehab: Which Is Right For You?

Now that you know the differences between the outpatient vs inpatient rehab treatment styles, how do you know which one is right for you or your loved one? There are a few key considerations to keep in mind.

If you are on a tight budget or can’t leave behind your dependents or daily responsibilities, outpatient rehab is probably the way to go. If, however, your home environment or the people in your life encourage your addictions, you may need a facility to stay at while you heal.


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