A patient and therapist talking about inpatient vs outpatient treatment

Inpatient and outpatient care services are common staples at rehab centers. However, many people don’t know the key differences between these two programs or which one is right for them. Before going to rehab, it’s important to know the features of inpatient vs. outpatient treatment as well as options such as an intensive outpatient rehab program.

Inpatient Vs. Outpatient

The first important feature to know is the main difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment involves clients residing at the treatment facility throughout the entire duration of care, ensuring round-the-clock support and supervision.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment provides clients with the flexibility to return home during non-treatment hours, allowing them to maintain their daily routines, while still attending therapy sessions at designated times during the day. This flexibility can be beneficial for individuals who require treatment but also need to fulfill other responsibilities in their daily lives.

Detox and Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Treatment

When a physical dependency is unfulfilled, the affected person undergoes withdrawal. Withdrawal is particularly severe for heavy users, and for users of alcohol, heroin, and benzos. This severity is dangerous not only to a person's health, but to their recovery. If a person undergoes withdrawal but has access to their substance of choice, the urge to relapse will be very strong. Withdrawal is the first, and perhaps the most difficult, roadblock to your recovery.

Since withdrawal is so severe, doctors strongly recommend against going through withdrawal alone, aka "cold turkey." Instead, doctors recommend that patients seek detox treatment at an inpatient rehab facility. Detox is normally only offered in inpatient facilities because of the worry that withdrawal symptoms could harm patients once they leave an outpatient program for the day. Another risk of detoxing during an outpatient program is relapse, since a substance may be available outside inpatient facilities.

Detox starts with withdrawal, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. The benefit of detox is that it takes place in a secure, medically monitored environment. Some withdrawal symptoms, like seizures or delirium tremens (for alcoholics), can be fatal if left untreated. Medical professionals monitor detox patients 24/7 to keep them comfortable and safe as their body purges the addictive substance. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we offer detox programs for alcohol and heroin, for both men and women.

Therapy in Inpatient Vs. Outpatient Programs

One major commonality between inpatient vs. outpatient programs is the use of therapy. Addiction therapy is a follow-up to detox, which heals the body. Psychotherapy instead focuses on healing the mind, tackling the roots of addictive behaviors. Therapy also handles co-occurring mental disorders through dual diagnosis treatment. The types of therapy used in inpatient vs. outpatient rehab can be split into the holistic approach and evidence-based modalities.

At San Antonio Recovery Center, therapies used in inpatient and outpatient programs include:

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

People benefit from inpatient treatment for a number of reasons. First, they leave their homes and enter a safe and caring environment 24/7. Leaving home is generally a good thing because it takes them away from the environment where their drug addiction developed.

Inpatient care also gives people around the clock support. With outpatient treatment, they’re on their own once they return home in the evenings. For some people, this lack of support can lead to relapse.

Lastly, studies show that inpatient treatment has a high rate of success. Most people attribute that to being in a controlled and supervised area. In short, the right environment makes it easier to overcome addiction.

The benefits of receiving inpatient care are great. In fact, most rehab centers recommend that people start with inpatient treatment and then move to outpatient care. It’s often best to leave the choice of program to the experts at the rehab clinic.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care offers a range of strong benefits for the right individuals. One of the key advantages is that it allows them to maintain their normal daily lives and routines, without the need for prolonged hospital stays. Unlike inpatient treatment, outpatient care permits individuals to continue attending work or school, which can be crucial for those who require ongoing support while managing their health.
Moreover, studies have highlighted that some individuals tend to experience greater success with outpatient treatment. This can be attributed to the invaluable support network provided by their family and friends, as well as the comfort and familiarity of being in their own homes. The sense of familiarity and stability can contribute to a more positive treatment experience and better overall outcomes.

In addition to these benefits, outpatient care often comes with a more affordable price tag compared to inpatient care. This cost difference is understandable since individuals do not reside at the treatment facility for the duration of their therapy. The financial savings associated with outpatient care can make it a more accessible option for many individuals seeking comprehensive and effective treatment for their health needs.

Addiction Treatment That You Can Count On

At San Antonio Recovery Center, we provide a customized addiction rehab program that you can count on. We take the care and safety of our clients very seriously. Some of the different programs that we offer include:

Don’t let drug addiction control your life any longer. Reach out to us and we’ll help you overcome your addiction safely. Call us anytime at 866.957.7885 or reach out online for more information about the services that we provide.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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