Inpatient vs Outpatient

Addiction to any substance is a mental disease that is very difficult to get rid of without a proper treatment plan. The treatment programs for addiction to alcohol and drugs can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Inpatient rehab
  • Outpatient rehab

Each type of treatment program has its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • While inpatient rehab offers intensive treatment in a secure and professional environment, outpatient program offers you more freedom allowing you to carry out your everyday duties.
  • Inpatient rehab requires a time commitment which may span over months while outpatient rehab only requires a portion of your time few days a week.
  • Inpatient rehab allows you to live in a different environment free from drugs and temptations while outpatient rehab offers more secrecy and privacy since you do not have to explain your absence to your family, friends or employer.

The type of program chosen for the addict depends upon his condition, the substance he abused and the duration of abuse. Addiction Rehab Centers evaluate the condition of the patient before suggesting a suitable treatment program. It is important to know about the pros and cons of each type of treatment program so the right plan can be chosen for the addicted person.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Program:

Inpatient rehab is the classical residential treatment plan that requires the patient to live in a rehab center for a varying period of time which may range between one to six months. It is the most intensive type of treatment plan with patient under constant supervision of professionally trained staff. However, since it is a live in program, the patient has to quit or take a leave from his job. Before opting for inpatient treatment, it is important to talk to your employer and family about it and make arrangements accordingly.

Involvement of the Family during Inpatient Rehab:

Addiction Rehab Centers realize the importance of family and the role they may play in the process of recovery. Isolation from family during treatment can be more harmful than useful. For this reason, Addiction Rehab Centers offer family therapy which involves the spouse and other family members of the addicted person. It can be immensely helpful to bridge the emotional distance present between the addict and his family. It can also help rebuild trust by helping the family members understand the condition of the addict in a better way.

Life During Inpatient Rehab:

Inpatient treatment program at Addiction Rehab Centers offers the addicts a homely environment away from home. It allows them to disconnect themselves from the worries of daily life and completely focus on their recovery. It is free from temptations and triggers that the addicts may come across during an outpatient rehab. A team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, counselors and psychiatrists is always available to take care of the patient. Individual and group therapies are an integral part of impatient rehabilitation. The first step towards recovery is the removal of left over drug and its metabolites from the body. At Addiction Rehab Centers, medication assisted therapy is used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings to make the process of recovery significantly easier.


It can be carried out at home, can even prove to be lethal. It is particularly true for strongly addictive drugs such as heroin, cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids. Inpatient rehab offers a safe environment to cope with the challenges of withdrawal.


The therapies offered during inpatient rehab help the patient learn coping mechanisms and effectively deal with triggers and urges. It greatly decreases the chances for a relapse.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program:

Outpatient treatment provides a great degree of freedom compared to an inpatient program. The patient does not have to live in rehab center and is free to live anywhere performing his everyday duties. However, he has to visit the rehab center several times a week.

During the visit to rehab center, the patient participates in individual and group therapies which help him learn coping mechanism and relapse prevention techniques. They also help him improve his mental and physical health.


Outpatient treatment program is a suitable option for patients with mild addiction to relatively less dangerous substances. However, it is not recommended in case of long term drug abuse.


Outpatient treatment program may last for three to six months, or in some cases, even for a year depending upon the progress made by the patient.

Outpatient Rehab Program:

It is a safe and effective alternative to residential rehab program offered during inpatient rehab. Addiction Rehab Centers offer medication assisted treatment during outpatient rehab to ensure a speedy recovery which is far less painful. The chances of a relapse also greatly decrease since unbearable withdrawal symptoms and cravings are the reasons most patients end up relapsing.


During the visits to rehab center, the patient is thoroughly checked for his mental and physical health. The mental and physical withdrawal symptoms can be effectively managed by using medications. It is a much safer alternative to an at-home rehabwhich can even be fatal in certain cases.

Privacy and Family Support:

Outpatient rehab is a great option for patients with a strong will power and supportive family at the background. As the patient is allowed to live at home, his family can play a great role in his recovery. Emotional support can immensely speed up the process of recovery. Also, the patients are allowed to perform their everyday duties such as going to their job. In this way, their professional life is not affected and they do not need to explain their absence to their employer. It can help them take their journey towards recovery in complete secrecy since the time of visiting the rehab center can be adjusted around the patient’s working hours.


12 step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous are also employed during the recovery program. These support groups can help the patient stay determined and focused on his recovery.


Some patients choose to opt for outpatient treatment after successfully completing an inpatient one. It helps them maintain their sobriety by effectively managing the cravings.


Outpatient treatment programs are cheaper than inpatient ones since they do not include the cost of living in a rehab center. Also, the medical care facilities that are available round the clock make inpatient rehab more expensive.

Recovery is always possible!

Addiction is progressive, but so is recovery! No matter which type of treatment program you opt for, recovery is awaiting you. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, sign up for a treatment program today.